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Recent Heat Waves Caused by Global Warming, Hansen Says

The drought in Texas last year, the heat wave in Russia in 2010 are among weather extremes that “certainly would not have occurred” without global warming, according to a paper by a U.S. government climate scientist.

Abnormal weather episodes were so rare from 1951 to 1980 that the recent events can only be explained by the effects of the increasing accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to research being published today. If carbon emissions continue unchecked, such events will become routine, with more extremes common within 50 years.