Last updated October 10, 2018

Attributing changing rates of temperature record‐breaking to anthropogenic influences

  • States that record-breaking temperatures attract attention from the media, so understanding how and why the rate of record-breaking is changing may be useful in communicating the effects of climate change
  • Proposes a methodology designed for estimating the anthropogenic influence on rates of record-breaking in a given timeseries
  • Shows that the frequency of hot and cold record-breaking temperature occurrences is changing due to the anthropogenic influence on the climate
  • Uses ensembles of model simulations with and without human-induced forcings to demonstrate that the effect of climate change on global record-breaking temperatures can be detected back to the 1930s
  • Finds that anthropogenic influence on the increased occurrence of hot record-breaking temperatures is clearer than it is for the decreased occurrence of cold records
  • Suggests approach proposed here could be applied in rapid attribution studies of record extremes to quantify the influence of climate change on the rate of record-breaking