Uhe, P., Otto, F. E. L., Haustein, K., Oldenborgh, G. J., King, A. D., Wallom, D. C. H., Allen, M. R., Cullen, H.

Geophysical Research Letters

Published date August 19, 2016

Comparison of methods: Attributing the 2014 record European temperatures to human influences

  • States that the year 2014 broke the record for the warmest yearly average temperature in Europe
  • States that attributing how much this was due to anthropogenic climate change and how much it was due to natural variability is challenging
  • Compares four event attribution methods
  • Looks at the risk ratio (RR) associated with anthropogenic climate change for this event, over the whole European region, as well as its spatial distribution
  • Finds that each method shows a very strong anthropogenic influence on the event over Europe, though the magnitude of the RR strongly depends on the definition of the event and the method used
  • Finds that across Europe, attribution over larger regions tended to give greater RR values
  • Concludes that this highlights a major source of sensitivity in attribution statements and the need to define the event to analyze on a case-by-case basis