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Breaking down humanity's contribution to climate change

Breaking down humanity's contr...
The study looked at individual events, assigning each a score describing the measure of confidence in human-generated emissions having caused the change in climate
The study looked at individual events, assigning each a score describing the measure of confidence in human-generated emissions having caused the change in climate
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The study looked at individual events, assigning each a score describing the measure of confidence in human-generated emissions having caused the change in climate
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The study looked at individual events, assigning each a score describing the measure of confidence in human-generated emissions having caused the change in climate

Over the past 100 years, global temperatures have risen by an average amount of 0.8° C (1.4° F), which according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is due largely to humanity's release of pollutants into the atmosphere. Now an international team of researchers has analyzed almost 40 years worth of data in order to quantify exactly what fraction of the change can be attributed to mankind based on events and trends in different regions.

The study was undertaken by researchers at Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, working together to develop a novel way of assessing humanity's impact on the planet's climate.

The team focused on individual regional impact events identified by the IPCC, such as melting glaciers or Alaskan wildfires, taking place between 1971 and 2010. Using a specially-developed algorithm, the researchers worked through each event, judging whether the gathered data on the local climate was sufficiently detailed to allow conclusions to be drawn, and whether the models used to analyze said data were sufficiently detailed and appropriately tailored to the region.

Once those criteria were met, the algorithm compared the observed results with numerous model simulations of what would have occurred with and without the presence of harmful emissions resulting from human activities. Each event was then given a score to describe the measure of confidence in human-generated emissions having affected the change in climate, and those results combined to provide an overall conclusion.

While the link between the harmful emissions and changes in rainfall were weak, when it came to cases of warming over land or in coastal areas, a strong correlation – almost two thirds of the recorded impacts – were found to be the result of human activity. Furthermore, in cases where the connection between the emissions and local warming was found to be weak, this was usually due to insufficient data rather than evidence of other causes.

According to the researchers, the new study is a big step forward. Previous work looked more at the big picture, without studying individual events in detail.

"Our analysis is the first to bridge these gaps for a large range of impacts, by assessing the role of human-related emissions in each impact individually, including impacts related to trends in precipitation and sea ice," said the Potsdam Institute's Dr. Gerrit Hansen.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

25 comments
25 comments
Bruce Schuck
You do understand that computer climate models have proven to be very, very wrong don't you?
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/95-of-climate-models-agree-the-observations-must-be-wrong/
SuperFool
Because some computer models have been shown to be wrong doesn't mean they all are. With that caveat, they give a better view than none at all. This one should have a legend to show what the symbols and colors mean.
Daishi
Sort of related 2015 was the hottest year on record by a decent margin: http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/01/2015-was-official-the-hottest-year-on-record/
The infographic is pretty self explanatory: http://i.imgur.com/WgiJ0j8.png
Kaiser Derden
SuperFool ... no, every single one has been proven to be wrong ... and at least half of the "warming" occurred before 1950, before CO2 levels began to rise ... and no, a falsified theory is not better than none at all, its worse ...
LikelyLad
"...is due largely to humanity's release of pollutants into the atmosphere"
Jeez! With a start like that, there's little point in reading the rest.
christopher
I love how the simple question "Why" never gets answered, or even addressed.
Whether or not anything is warming, or what the cause might be, is utterly irrelevant.
The fact that no matter how much greenies might wish otherwise, our human race as a whole can never make any *noticeable* change they might want - now *that* is the rain this whole boring climate parade needs to wake up and notice.
For as long as we eat, move, and reproduce, our climate is going to head wherever it wants to.
The problem is that all those people need work, and the false hope of "saving the world" employs millions and millions of them, so these pointless reports are never going to stop I guess.
johanschaller
Bruce Schuck, you realise that Roy Spencer has been proven to be very, very wrong, don't you? https://www.skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Roy_Spencer.htm
Comparing multiple model data with two sets of observations is obvious cherry picking - there are vastly more sets of observations available, but clearly those didn't suit Spencer's purpose.
Last time I looked, Spencer had used four sets of observed data for comparison, but I guess the pickings are getting slimmer as time goes on.
johanschaller
Interesting to read today about Tangier Island, in Chesapeake Bay, which is part of a group of islands that have lost more than 60% of their land area since the 1850s. Perhaps someone could explain why that's happening to the inhabitants of Tangier which will be under water in 50 years or so... ...but it's not global warming, of course.
rokdun
It's funny how every single time there is an article about climate change on Gizmag, the same comments pop up.
Meanwhile... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming#Scientific_discussion
"While up to 18% of scientists surveyed might disagree with the consensus view, when restricted to scientists publishing in the field of climate, 97 to 100% agreed with the consensus. The consensus view being that most of the current warming is anthropogenic. (...)"
Mel Tisdale
2014 was the hottest year on record, now 2015 has beaten that record. That fact, along with a raft of other evidence that the earth is getting warmer, begs the question as to what we can do about it. Sadly, the answer is very little without disrupting how we live.
The nay-sayers might like to follow this link:
http://ourfiniteworld.com/2016/01/19/why-oil-under-30-per-barrel-is-a-major-problem/
It is heavy going but well worth the effort, especially if you are young and thus highly likely to have to endure the full effects of the state we are in regarding energy supply and how little we can sensibly change it. It is small wonder that the Paris accord was not made legally binding.
Believe what you will, the planet is warming and will continue to warm unless we make major changes to the way we live. In a nutshell: We need to burn fossil fuels if we are to continue to enjoy the life we live, but unless we drastically cut down on our burning of fossil fuels, climate change will drastically disrupt the way we live. (If you think renewables are going to save the situation, think again. They are nowhere near ready to do so, see fig 4 in the above linked document.)
I feel sorry for my son and the future he faces, but I am glad I am of an age that means I will avoid the worst of it. When I read the sort of comments on climate change that Gizmag generates, I find it very difficult to feel sorry for the authors, who, judging by the style and tone are obviously destined face more of the privations climate change will heap on the planet that is their home than most adults will. Talk about defecating on one's own doorstep. In my youth we marched when things were wrong. Today I guess they are too busy doing important stuff like playing computer games or messaging irrelevancies to each other.
I advise all climate change deniers to watch this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVMsYXzmUYk
If they then cannot see just how much they have been cruelly deceived, then they deserve all that is clearly coming their way.

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