Daily Bulletin


The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageLast year's temperatures in England were the hottest in a continuous record dating back to 1659.AAP Image/NEWZULU/STEPHEN CHUNG

Last year was probably the hottest on record worldwide. On regional and local scales, 2014 also broke many records. Across Europe as a whole, and in 19 individual European countries, it was the warmest year recorded.

The Central England Temperature series – the longest instrumental temperature record in the world, extending all the way back to 1659 – also experienced its warmest year last year.

In a study published today in Environmental Research Letters, my colleagues and I examined this record-breaking year in central England to try and answer the question: has human-induced climate change altered the likelihood of very warm years in that region?

imageMap of the region used in the study. Crosses show the locations of stations used to calculate the Central England Temperature series.SOURCE, Author provided

To find the answer, we used two very different methods.

The first involved the use of different sets of climate model simulations. We examined climate models that include both natural influences on the climate, such as solar fluctuations and volcanic eruptions, and human influences such as greenhouse gas emissions. We then compared these with simulations that only take account of natural influences (without the human influence) over the past century.

For each set of models, we worked out the likelihood of very warm years in central England, and then compared the results. We found that human-induced climate change has increased the likelihood of very warm years in central England by at least 13-fold.

imageGraph of observed Central England Temperature Series (black), in model simulations including human and natural influences (orange), in simulations with only natural forcings (blue) and projected from 2005 to 2020 (red).Env. Res. Lett., Author provided

The second method involved the observed temperature record, rather than models. We studied more than a century of the Central England Temperature series, to work out the distribution pattern of all the warmest years back to 1900.

This allowed us to compare the “return times” for warm years like 2014 in the current climate, versus the climate of a century ago. We found that the likelihood of very warm years in central England has very likely increased by at least 22-fold between 100 years ago and today.

What do the different numbers tell us?

Both methods show large increases in the likelihood of very warm years in central England related to human-induced climate change. These numbers are consistent given that they are based primarily on different data sets and slightly different relative likelihoods (using simulations of a natural climate in the first method and the observed climate of 100 years ago in the second). What’s more, the range of uncertainties on these values have large overlaps.

The key conclusion is that there is strong evidence that human-induced climate change is already significantly and substantially increasing the likelihood of very warm years in central England. This is remarkable, given that central England is such a small region of the world and has a highly variable climate.

Another way to put it is that, even in such a small region with such wide-ranging weather, we are still able to detect a clear “fingerprint” of human-induced climate change over the relatively short time span of a century.

As the climate continues to warm we would expect the likelihood of very warm years in central England to increase further because of human-induced climate change.

Andrew King receives funding from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/englands-set-to-swelter-through-a-rash-of-record-hot-years-41028

Writers Wanted

Sydney Festival review: Circa's Humans 2.0 is a visceral delight

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister's Remarks to Joint Party Room

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is great to be back in the party room, the joint party room. It’s great to have everybody back here. It’s great to officially welcome Garth who joins us. Welcome, Garth...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Business News

7 foolproof tips for bidding successfully at a property auction

Auctions can be beneficial for prospective buyers, as they are transparent and fair. If you reach the limit you are willing to pay, you can simply walk away. Another benefit of an auction is tha...

Dominique Grubisa - avatar Dominique Grubisa

Getting Ready to Code? These Popular and Easy Programming Languages Can Get You Started

According to HOLP (History Encyclopedia of Programing Languages), there are more than 8,000 programming languages, some dating as far back as the 18th century. Although there might be as many pr...

News Co - avatar News Co

Avoid These Mistakes When Changing up Your Executive Career

Switching up industries is a valid move at any stage in your career, even if you’re an executive. Doing so at this stage can be a lot more intimidating, however, and it can be quite difficult know...

News Co - avatar News Co



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion