The Monitor Daily (U.S.) – Assigning this Millennium’s Hottest Years to Natural Variability is a No-Go. The chances are very slim that 13 out of the 15 hottest years ever recorded since 150 years ago are caused by natural variability when they occurred in just 15 years.
Two of the hottest years ever recorded are in fact very close in memory. First, it was 2014 that broke any hot temperature record. When scientists were making informed guesses about 2015 following in the footsteps of 2014, they weren’t too far off. 2015 has been officially announced and confirmed from three independent sources to be the hottest year on record.
Natural variability or man-made climate change? All evidence points to the latter. While highly disputed, man-made climate change is no longer an abstract talking point. Since industrialization took over, the amount of emissions we’ve put in the atmosphere turned on the climate change switch. A high concentration of emissions in the atmosphere leads to the greenhouse effect. The atmosphere warms leading to an increased rate at which extreme weather events are happening.
While it’s common to assume climate change translate into higher and higher temperatures across the globe, the situation is different. Some regions will experience unusually high temperatures. Others, unusually low temperatures and rapid transitions. Floods, droughts and other extreme weather events are marks of climate change.
With 2015 being officially declared the hottest year on record, scientists say that assigning this millennium’s hottest year to natural variability is a no-go. It is highly unlikely that the highest global temperatures ever recorded occurred naturally. Global temperatures in 2015 have surpassed those preceding industrialization by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The likelihood that human activities caused climate change rather than natural variability underpinning it is rather high.
NOAA and NASA alike agreed that 2015 was the hottest year on record. NOAA’s data set suggests a temperature increase from 2014 to 2015 by 0.29 degrees. NASA’s numbers suggest that the difference is of about 0.23 degrees between the two highest temperature record years.
According to Professor Stefan Rahmstorf with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Germany):
“Natural climate variations just can’t explain the observed recent global heat records, but man-made global warming can. The risk of heat extremes has been multiplied due to our interference with the Earth system, as our data analysis show”.
A recent report published in the Scientific Reports journal brings a new argument to the table. Real life measurement and data modelling on the global climate revealed different outcomes for global temperatures when emissions were removed from the equation. The likelihood that natural variability played a role in the last 10 hottest years on record occurring since 2000 is 1 to 5,000.
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