Climate detectives reveal handprint of human caused climate change in Australia

Climate detectives reveal handprint of human caused climate change in Australia
The impacts of man-made climate change were felt in Australia during its hottest year on record in 2013. Credit: UNSW, P3, Helena Brusic.

Australia's hottest year on record in 2013 along with the accompanying droughts, heat waves and record-breaking seasons of that year was virtually impossible without the influence of human-caused global warming.

New research from ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS) researchers and colleagues, over five different Australian papers in a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), has highlighted the powerful influence of global warming on Australia's climate.

"We often talk about the fingerprint of human-caused when we look at extreme weather patterns," said Prof David Karoly, an ARCCSS researcher with the University of Melbourne.

"This research across four different papers goes well beyond that. If we were climate detectives then Australia's hottest year on record in 2013 wasn't just a smudged fingerprint at the scene of the crime, it was a clear and unequivocal handprint showing the impact of human caused global warming."

In 2013, heat records fell like dominoes. Australia had its hottest day on record, its hottest month on record, its hottest summer on record, its hottest spring on record and then rounded it off with the hottest year on record.

According to the research papers presented in BAMS, the impact of climate change significantly increased the chances of record heat events in 2013. Looking back over the observational record the researchers found global warming over Australia (see attached graphic): doubled the chance of the most intense , tripled the likelihood of heatwave events, made extreme summer temperature across Australia five time more likely increased the chance of hot dry drought-like conditions seven times made hot spring temperatures across Australia 30 times more likely.

But perhaps most importantly, it showed the record hot year of 2013 across Australia was virtually impossible without the influence of human-caused global warming. At its most conservative, the science showed the heat of 2013 was made 2000 times more likely by .

"When it comes to what helped cause our hottest year on record, human-caused climate change is no longer a prime suspect, it is the guilty party," said ARCCSS Australian National University researcher Dr Sophie Lewis.

"Too often we talk about as if they are far in the future. This research shows they are here, now."

The extreme year of 2013 is just the latest peak in a trend over the observational record that has seen increasing bushfire days, the record-breaking warming of oceans around Australia, the movement of tropical species into temperate zones and the shifting of rain bearing storm tracks further south and away from some of our most important agricultural zones.

"The most striking aspect of the extreme heat of 2013 and its impacts is that this is only at the very beginning of the time when we are expected to experience the first impacts of human-caused climate change," said Dr Sarah Perkins an ARCCSS researcher with the University of New South Wales.

"If we continue to put carbon into our atmosphere at the currently accelerating rate, years like 2013 will quickly be considered normal and the impacts of future extremes will be well beyond anything modern society has experienced."


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Citation: Climate detectives reveal handprint of human caused climate change in Australia (2014, September 29) retrieved 20 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-climate-reveal-handprint-human-australia.html
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Sep 29, 2014
If you're seriously concerned about the environment and carbon emissions, you've got to support nuclear power. If you don't, you aren't serious about the environment, you're just lying to advance another agenda.

"The polar bears will be fine." - Freeman Dyson

Sep 29, 2014
I know you are just trying to score points but prima facie, it's a fair request. Some form of nuclear power could work quite well as a cost effective, safe, power generating source.

The traditional nuclear power plants of the 20thC though have been shown to be expensive, unsafe, vulnerable and are not competitive with the rapid improvements in solar and wind. But there are certainly use cases where some of the new reactor designs might be the smarter bet.

So, bring on the innovation in energy. Safe, efficient, cost competitive energy. If nuclear can keep up, it's welcome to the party.

Ultimately the cheapest, clenest energy source is clearly the sun and the speed that photovoltaics have improved and come down in cost seems to me to make it the smartest bet to double down on.

Sep 29, 2014
Yes the Climate Change is MAN MADE.
http://joannenova...tralian/

Sep 29, 2014
Just, wow. They are really getting desperate. Isn't it wonderful how this discussion goes? If anyone points out a short term climate trend or a single weather event, the alarmists are quick to cry, "it's weather not climate, stupid!"

So, my turn. It's weather, not climate, stupid! There! How's that feel? If you idiots keep trying to attribute every short term trend, every weather event, to climate change, feel free to show the logical fallacy in your arguments. However, if you are expecting anyone to take your claims of "Science" seriously, then all the sensationalism in the media has to go. One or the other, science, or sensationalist propaganda. Which is going to be your chief tool? For, they are incompatible, and using both just makes you look like fools.

Sep 29, 2014
You CANNOT deny the fact that our planet is being TRASHED by our modern lifestyle.
The oceans are a trash bin, over fishing is decimating the edible fish populations, oil spews are damaging the fresh water, salt water and ground water. Fracking is destroying our clean water tables, air pollution from industry, from coal, from combustion engines is choking our planet.
Forget about global warming, but focus on our dirty lifestyle.
" It is time to destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth." BIBLICAL
Revelation 11:18

Sep 29, 2014
Yes, they can and do deny it. Either because they're exceptionally stupid, or they're being paid to make noise every time an article like this is posted.

Or both, except in antogoracle's case: He is just exceptionally stupid.

Sep 29, 2014
@guybb That comment was like watching a gun safety advocate blow his own foot off. Brilliant!

You just commented on an article that makes the point that when you see 3 royal flushes and 2 four ace hands that the only plausible answer is the deck has been loaded, not that it's all due to natural variance and chance AND then you tried to imply it was all due to natural variance and chance.

Awesome.

Sep 29, 2014
Yes, they can and do deny it. Either because they're exceptionally stupid, or they're being paid to make noise every time an article like this is posted.

Or both, except in antogoracle's case: He is just exceptionally stupid.
saposTurd
So, you spew the sh!te between your ears for free, eh. Now, who is really the stupid one. (rhetorical)

Sep 29, 2014
Cue the Paid Progressive Government Trolls......in Three, Two, One..... oh rats, they're fast, to defend AGW Profit Al Gore and the talking points from the DNC.

How about this, blame all weather, good, bad, normal, abnormal on AGW, then you can say this proves AGW, the science is settled, shout and yell at anyone who disagrees and presents contrary evidence..... Oh wait, PPGT and AGW believers already do this.

Sep 29, 2014
@freethinking It's always so enlightening when Al Gore gets strawmanned for having raised this issue back in the 90s or Hansen for doing it back in the 80s, or Kealing for doing it back in the 60s.

Pointing out that CO2 is a molecule that absorbs and re-emits infrared radiation and that increasing it 1.4-2ix will naturally lead to greater heat being trapped in the oceans, land and air seems like responsible communication to anyone who isn't ideologically predisposed to hear it as a justification for government intervention.

Put more CO2 in the atmosphere, cook planet : FACT. Happy to listen to any non govt solutions you have for dealing with this reality. If you know of a way to get millions of businesses and billions of people to change their practices to reduce our pollution of CO2 I'm all ears. I'd got no attachment to a government driven solution, and I know from actually having had a personal conversation with Al Gore that he isn't either (true claim).

Sep 29, 2014
Bacon did you do your talking with Profit Al Gore on his private CO2 spewing jet flying to an exotic remote location for a "conference" on how evil it is for the commoners to own cars and fly coach for a vacations?

Or where you talking with Profit Al Gore in one of his several massive C02 spewing mansion, with a group of his close friends dining on rare and endangered animals, about how the commoners should live in smaller homes?

Or were you in one of his CO2 trading companies headquarters talking about how to get more commoners to pay carbon credits as alms.

Even though Al Gore has made a great deal of Profit from CO2, none of his Prophesies about climate have come to pass, and yet you still want me to believe him.....

Sep 29, 2014
Since you talk to Al Gore, why don't you tell him to recycle his private jet fleet, demolish and recycle all of his mansions and plant trees on the property, recycle all his monster CO2 spewing cars, have him only drive electric vehicles or use only bikes, have him to move into a modest home of say 2000 sf, lit by led bulbs, powered by solar panels, take only cold showers, hold only teleconferences to reduce travel, eat only locally grown food, to donate all he earns to real charities that help the poor in the third world move away from dung stoves and provide the poor with clean water.

How about telling him and all the profits of AGW to quit living hypocritical lives. That alone might make more people believe him.

Sep 29, 2014
FreefromThinking says:
Since you talk to Al Gore, why don't you tell him to recycle his private jet fleet, demolish and recycle all of his mansions and plant trees on the property, recycle all his monster CO2 spewing cars, have him only drive electric vehicles or use only bikes, have him to move into a modest home of say 2000 sf, lit by led bulbs, powered by solar panels, take only cold showers, hold only teleconferences to reduce travel, eat only locally grown food, to donate all he earns to real charities that help the poor in the third world move away from dung stoves and provide the poor with clean water.


You seem to live in a zero-sum-game. Technology got us into this fix and technology can get us out. There is no reason for everyone to head back to the stone age. Instead, we can use technology to produce new markets around renewables and fossil fuel carbon sequestration. Because you have no engineering insight, you can't see any engineering solutions.

Sep 29, 2014
@freeofthought Lay on all the character assassination and random vilification of Al Gore you need. Clearly that justifies absolutely nothing about the issue.

We pollute CO2 & other GHGs far in excess of the planet's natural cycles for handling them and the consequences are now spelled out in 30,000+ scientific research publications and hundreds of collected analysis.

What do we do about it? If you think that government setting a clear price signal on carbon is the end of civilization as we know it or you think that the government stopping the $4B annual subsidy of oil & gas production is interfering with the god given right for hand outs to oil tycoons, or you think that investing some of the billions in government R&D in clean energy projects is only political largess then, you haven't really offered any solution.

You've just argued for the status quo which hard data and real measured science show is cooking the planet. So what's that plan?

Sep 29, 2014
Al Gore's fixes, Progress fixes, and Radical Environmentalist fixes for the environment will do nothing but increase poverty, which increases real pollution. Their solutions are nothing but kickbacks for rich socialist elites. If you ask, most people would like money spent on real problems and come up with real solutions, instead of having money wasted on non-existent problems designed to enrich greedy socialists elite like Al Gore.

Al Gore like it or not is either a liar, a hypocrite, or a con-artist. I can't for the life of me understand why people listen to him anymore. But hey it's a free world, if you want a con artist for a hero, be my guest.

While you are against "handouts" to oil tycoons, you say nothing about the handouts, graft, theft, crony capitalism that "green" company's who are in league with Obama and the DNC are involved in.

Real solutions to real problems is not what Al Gore or Progressives are after. Lets be very clear about that.

Sep 29, 2014
Because you have no engineering insight, you can't see any engineering solutions.

So thermo, you have all the insight, then tell us why aren't you making millions like your False "Profit" Al.

Sep 30, 2014
The AGW Cult can't even predict the weather, so now they play detective, and of course finger the wrong culprit.
http://www.breitb...and-NOAA

Oct 05, 2014
Gee, they just discovered this ONE SINGLE mishap, but how many did they miss?

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