Jun 10, 1999

Causes of twentieth-century temperature change near the Earth's surface

Simon F. B. Tett, Peter A. Stott, Myles R. Allen, William J. Ingram, John F. B. Mitchell
  • States that observations of the Earth's near-surface temperature show a global-mean temperature increase of approximately 0.6 K since 1900, occurring from 1910 to 1940 and from 1970 to the present
  • States that temperature change over the past 30–50 years is unlikely to be entirely due to internal climate variability and has been attributed to changes in the concentrations of greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols due to human activity, but attribution of the warming early in the century has proved more elusive
  • Finds that solar forcing may have contributed to the temperature changes early in the century, but anthropogenic causes combined with natural variability would also present a possible explanation
  • Excludes purely natural forcing for the warming from 1946 to 1996 regardless of any possible amplification of solar or volcanic influence and attributes it largely to the anthropogenic components