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extreme weather

Europe's taste of a hotter planet

With 2017 set to be among the hottest years on record, Europe's extreme-weather summer may be a taste of the new normal.

Europe appears to be getting a taste of things to come this summer, as heat waves, tornadoes and storms swept across the continent, and there were three times more forest fires than average. Hospital admissions spiked and weather-related deaths were reported in several countries.

Scientists have been able to pin down the connection between specific individual extreme weather events and climate change with increasing accuracy over the past years. But with 2017 expected to rank among the hottest years ever recorded, it's hardly surprising Europe's feeling the burn.

And things are only likely to get worse. A study published this week in The Lancet Planetary Health journal found that weather-related disasters could affect around two-thirds of the European population each year by the year 2100, with weather-related deaths increasing fiftyfold.

"Global warming could result in rapidly rising costs of weather-related hazards to human beings in Europe unless adequate adaptation measures are taken," the authors said.

All the more reason to take action to protect the climate, many say!

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