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Global warming cited as Europe reels from new weather extremes

June 29, 2007
In 2003, Europe was consumed by a heat wave that killed roughly 35,000 people. Four years later, there have been reminders of this strange climatic event as temperatures in some parts of Europe over the past week have reached up to 46 degrees. Though the death toll in Europe is nowhere near that of 2003, it is still raising eyebrows. Forty-two people have died in Italy and the Balkans, 23 deaths were reported in Romania, two in Bulgaria and Cyprus, nine in France, two in Spain and seven heat-related deaths in Greece. In parts of Italy, temperatures reached 46, and 42 in Athens and Argos in southern Greece. Conditions began to cool down in Romania. Paris and Berlin registered 39. There is clearly a "general warming" and "we are meeting more extreme events than usual. This heat wave in Europe and Israel is a signal of such warming." But to determine if global warming is truly the culprit, measurement on a year to year basis is inadequate; better to look at 10-year increments. "Scientists cannot really prove it at present, but we are more than 70 percent confident the reason is global warming."

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