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U.S. heat wave breaks records

Reuters / An “unprecedented” March heat wave in much of the continental United States has set or tied more than 7,000 high temperature records, and signals a warming climate, health and weather experts said on Friday.

While natural climate variability plays a major role, it is the addition of human-spurred climate change that makes this particular hot spell extraordinary, the scientists said in a telephone and web briefing.

“This heat wave is essentially unprecedented,” said Heidi Cullen of the non-profit science and communication organization Climate Central. “It’s hard to grasp how massive and significant this is.”

Since March 12, more than 7,000 high-temperature records have been equalled or exceeded, Cullen said, citing figures from the U.S. National Climatic Data Center.

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