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Global warming: Study finds greenhouse gas fingerprints all over Australia’s record-breaking summer heatwave

Heat-trapping gases increase likelihood of extreme weather

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Australian researchers say there’s a 90 percent chance that unprecedented summer heat was linked with human-caused changes in the atmosphere.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Australia’s January heatwave pushed “the limits of previous temperature extremes,” and now, climate scientists are saying they’re more than 90 percent sure that human influences on the atmosphere dramatically increased the likelihood of the extreme summer heat.

Climate scientists have long been saying that global warming loads the climate dice to increase the odds of extreme weather, particularly extreme heat, but they’ve been reluctant to attribute any single event to human-caused climate change.

The findings were announced just as the southwestern U.S. was starting to experience a persistent heatwave that is expected to result in some all-time record temperatures in the region.

The research led by the University of Melbourne shows that global warming caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases  increases the odds of more record-hot temperatures at least fivefold. The research also suggests that the greenhouse gas fingerprint overpowers, at least in some cases, the influence of the Pacific El Niño-La Niña cycle. Continue reading

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Global warming: Researchers say recent temperature trends in Australasia are unprecedented during past 1,000 years

Far-reaching study tabs greenhouse gas emissions as main culprit

April 2012 global temperature anomalies.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Studying tree rings, ice cores and corals, a research team from the University of Melbourne identified the fingerprint of mankind in an unprecedented warming trend that’s unprecedented in the Earth’s recent history.

“Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1,000 year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region,” said lead researcher Dr. Joelle Gergis. There are no other warm periods in the last 1,000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950, she said. Continue reading

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