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Tim Radford – Scientists post extreme weather warning

New research warns that longer, hotter and more frequent heatwaves than those that killed 55,000 Russians in 2010, or 72,000 in France, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK in 2003, will hit Europe in the next two decades.

But, over the same period, Europe could also begin to get colder as a consequence of a drop in solar activity, and a century-long chill could be on the way, according to a study of long-period climate cycles.

And if global warming accelerates, and average global ocean temperatures rise by 6°C or more, most of the living, breathing world could in any case begin to suffocate, according to ominous calculations by a mathematician. At some point, the providers of oxygen could begin to perish.

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