Aug 28, 2015

Significant anthropogenic-induced changes of climate classes since 1950

Duo Chan, Qigang Wu
  • Examines changes in major Köppen climate classes from gridded observed data and their uncertainties due to internal climate variability using control simulations from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5)
  • Finds that about 5.7% of the global total land area has shifted toward warmer and drier climate types from 1950–2010, and significant changes include expansion of arid and high-latitude continental climate zones, shrinkage in polar and midlatitude continental climates, poleward shifts in temperate, continental and polar climates, and increasing average elevation of tropical and polar climates
  • Finds that these changes of climate types since 1950 cannot be explained as natural variations but are driven by anthropogenic factors, using CMIP5 multi-model averaged historical simulations forced by observed anthropogenic and natural, or natural only, forcing components