The probability of record-shattering heat waves is increasing due to climate change, according to scientists who are measuring temperature predictions in a new way.

Researchers that looked into rate of warming, rather than how much warming has occurred, found that record-shattering heat waves occur in spurts during periods of accelerated climate warming, according to a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change.

Similar events as the back-to-back heat waves that have been occurring in the Western U.S., including triple-digit temperatures in the typically cool and wet Pacific Northwest, will become the norm if climate changes continue as business as usual, Erich Fischer, a climate scientist at ETH Zurich and the author of the study, told ABC News.

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Photo Credit: Kathryn Elsesser