State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Heat Waves: Climate School Experts Available to Comment

Hundreds of people have lost their lives in Spain and Portugal due to a heat wave that is moving north and east through Europe. Wales reached its highest-ever temperature of 98.8 degrees Fahrenheit and parts of France saw temperatures as high as 108.68 degrees F on Monday. The extreme heat also led to devastating wildfires across southwestern Europe.

Heat waves are becoming more common in Europe, according to a recent study co-authored by Kai Kornhuber, an adjunct researcher at the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. This is due to changes in the jet stream.

“Western Europe is seeing its third intense heatwave this summer, and it is still early [in the summer],” Kornhuber told the UK’s Financial Times. In an interview with Reuters, he called Europe a “heatwave hotspot.”

Meanwhile, heat waves are raking much of the United States.

Kornhuber and several other experts from the Columbia Climate School are available to comment for media, including:

  • Mingfang Ting is an atmospheric physicist who studies the regional effects of climate change on heat waves as well as droughts and extreme precipitation in North America and elsewhere. | 845-365-8374
  • Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty, studies large-scale cycles such as El Niño that influence weather, including extreme bouts of heat. His studies of drought and heat waves in the U.S. West are widely cited.  | 845-365-8743
  • Cascade Tuholske is an Earth Institute postdoctoral researcher hosted by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). He focuses on how climate change is affecting global urban population exposure to extreme heat and heat waves. 

More Climate School heat wave experts can be found here.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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