Climate change made June heat wave in N.S. ‘more likely’

The humid heatwave that descended across portions of Nova Scotia and Halifax in late June was made “more likely” by climate change, experts from Environment Canada said.

The record-breaking heat saw temperatures soar to 34.5 degrees setting a new record for June 20. Humidex values made it feel like closer to 40 in many parts of the province.

According to a first-of-its-kind analysis by the government weather agency, climate change made the heat wave two to 10 times more likely.

In a press conference on Tuesday, experts said Environment Canada could be one of the first government offices to roll out a rapid attribution tool, which helps officials determine how climate change impacted a heat event.

Researchers run climate models under two scenarios, one based on a simulation of a pre-industrial climate and another based on a simulation of the climate we have now. They then compare the results to an observed heat wave to figure out how much it was influenced by human-caused global warming.

Officials said they will eventually apply the program to other extremes including precipitation and wildfire activity.

The analysis comes on the heels of new results showing June marked the 13 straight month of record-breaking global temperatures.

The heat impacted much of eastern Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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