Researchers say the likelihood of scorching summer temperatures in southern Europe is increasing because of man-made climate change.

Hotter-than-usual temperatures in the Mediterranean region – including an August heatwave in Italy and the Balkans dubbed ‘Lucifer’ – resulted in higher hospital admissions, numerous forest fires and widespread economic losses this summer.

The World Weather Attribution team says it combined temperature measurements and computer simulations, concluding that greenhouse gas emissions linked to human activity have increased the chances of such heatwaves four-to-tenfold.

They warned Wednesday that summers like this one could become the norm in the Euro-Mediterranean region by 2050 if emissions continue to rise.

The team’s techniques are widely accepted among scientists as a means of determining whether climate change plays a role in extreme events.

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