July 27, 2011
Last year, more than two million square kilometres of Eastern Europe and Russia were scorched -- 50 000 people died as a result as temperatures stayed more than 6°C above normal for many weeks, crops were devastated and hundreds of giant wildfires broke out. The price of wheat and other food rose as two thirds of the continent experienced its hottest summer in about 500 years.
"I think that global 'weirding' is the best way to describe what we're seeing. We're used to certain conditions and there's a lot going on these days that is not what we're used to," said climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University.