Everyday weather is linked to human-caused climate change in new study

Source(s)
Washington Post, the

By Andrew Freedman

For the first time, scientists have detected the “fingerprint” of human-induced climate change on daily weather patterns at the global scale. If verified by subsequent work, the findings, published Thursday in Nature Climate Change, would upend the long-established narrative that daily weather is distinct from long-term climate change.

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The study’s results also imply that research aimed at assessing the human role in contributing to extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods may be underestimating the contribution.

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The research may provide a bridge between two approaches to detecting the human fingerprint on the changing climate. One of these techniques focuses on long-term trends, while another looks at regionally specific, shorter-term extreme weather events. Until this new study, there was no way to integrate these two specialties.

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“Because it’s not possible to disentangle the fingerprint of climate change from natural internal variability for any particular extreme event, these studies use model simulations to estimate how the probabilities of such ‘class of events’ may have changed under anthropogenic climate change,” said study lead author Sebastian Sippel, of the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich.

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