A NOAA paper exercising some tiny minds

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A NOAA paper exercising some tiny minds

Postby HBS Guy » 12 Jan 2018, 09:17

on OzPol.

Attribution of extreme events is a challenging science and one that is currently undergoing considerable evolution.

In this paper, 20 different research groups explored the causes of 16 different events that occurred in 2013. The findings indicate that human-caused climate change greatly increased the risk for the extreme heat wavesassessed in this report. How human influence affected other types of events such as droughts, heavy rain events, and storms was less clear, indicating that natural variability likely played a much larger role in these extremes.

Multiple groups chose to look at both the Australian heat waves and the California drought, providing an opportunity to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of various methodologies. There was considerable agreement about the role anthropogenic climate change played in the events between the different assessments.

This year three analyses were of severe storms and none found an anthropogenic signal. However, attribution assessments of these types of events pose unique challenges due to the often limited observational record. When human-influence for an event is not identified with the scientific tools available to us today, this means that if there is a human contribution, it cannot be distinguished from natural climate.


The date of this paper is Sep 2014, the science has moved on from then! Event attribution to AGW is a fast growing area in climate research.

In any case, the science was clear that anthropogenic causes (our reckless emission of greenhouse gases) led to extreme heat events.

That anthropogenic causes lie behind more and more extreme precipitation causing floods is easy to see in general: as the seas and the atmosphere warm up there is more evaporation followed in due course by more precipitation, e.g. Hurricane Harvey dumping 52" of rain on Houston in just one week. But attributing AGW to particular storms presented difficulties in 2014.
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