King, Andrew D., Black, Mitchell T., Min, Seung‐Ki, Fischer, Erich M., Mitchell, Daniel M., Harrington, Luke J., Perkins‐Kirkpatrick, Sarah E.

Geophysical Research Letters

Published date April 2, 2016

Emergence of heat extremes attributable to anthropogenic influences

  • States that climate scientists have demonstrated that a substantial fraction of the probability of numerous recent extreme events may be attributed to human-induced climate change
  • Identifies the first record-breaking warm summers and years for which a discernible contribution can be attributed to human influence
  • Finds a significant human contribution to the probability of record-breaking global temperature events as early as the 1930s
  • Finds that, since then, all the last 16 record-breaking hot years globally had an anthropogenic contribution to their probability of occurrence
  • Finds that aerosol-induced cooling delays the timing of a significant human contribution to record-breaking events in some regions
  • Concludes that without human-induced climate change recent hot summers and years would be very unlikely to have occurred