Aug 19, 2016

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

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
  • 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