Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Anthropogenic Contributions to the Australian Record Summer Temperatures of 2013

In this paper the authors1 report investigations of  anthropogenic contributions to the record the hot summer in Australia in 2013, the hottest summer in the observational record, by the use of a suite of climate model experiments. For the simulations with only natural forcings Australian area-average summer temperatures were compared to simulations using anthropogenic and natural forcings for the period 1976-2005 and the RCP8.5 high-emission simulation of 2006-2020 from 9 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, phase 5, models. To compare the likelihood of extreme Australian summer temperatures between the experiments, by using fraction of attributable risk, it was very likely, with >90 % confidence,  the odds of extreme heat due to human influences were increased by at least a 2.5 times, by the use of simulations to 2005, and when using the simulations for 2006-2020 there was a 5-fold risk increase. Natural climate variations alone, which included ENSO, are considered by the authors1 to be unlikely to explain the record temperatures, but the human contribution to the increased odds for summer extremes in Australia like 2013 was substantial.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Lewis, Sophie C., and David J. Karoly. "Anthropogenic Contributions to Australia's Record Summer Temperatures of 2013." Geophysical Research Letters 40, no. 14 (2013): 3705-09.
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated 18/10/2013
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