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Record Heat Statistically Pinned On Human Warming

29.01.2016 10:19 Age: 2 yrs

Record warm years almost certainly due to human-made climate change. The odds that 13 of the 15 warmest years would ocur in this century are between 1 in 5000 and 1 in 170,000, a new study by an international team of scientists now shows

Click to enlarge. From the paper. NH (left) and Global (right) mean estimated natural variability component (blue) along with five different Monte Carlo ARMA surrogates (gray) using CMIP5 all-forcing experiments. Courtesy: authors and Nature Scientific Reports



From the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Global warming increases risk of local heat extremes


2014 was nominally the warmest year on record for both the globe and northern hemisphere based on historical records spanning the past one and a half centuries. It was the latest in a recent run of record temperatures spanning the past decade and a half. Press accounts reported odds as low as one-in-650 million that the observed run of global temperature records would be expected to occur in the absence of human-caused global warming. Press reports notwithstanding, the question of how likely observed temperature records may have have been both with and without human influence is interesting in its own right. Here we attempt to address that question using a semi-empirical approach that combines the latest (CMIP5) climate model simulations with observations of global and hemispheric mean temperature. We find that individual record years and the observed runs of record-setting temperatures were extremely unlikely to have occurred in the absence of human-caused climate change, though not nearly as unlikely as press reports have suggested. These same record temperatures were, by contrast, quite likely to have occurred in the presence of anthropogenic climate forcing.


The Likelihood of Recent Record Warmth by Mann, M.E., Rahmstorf, S., Steinman, B.A., Tingley, M., Miller, S.K. published in Nature Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/srep19831

Read the abstract and get the paper here.


PIK news release here.