Four papers published by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science say they found clear evidence nature couldn’t have produced such weather without human intervention.
“We often talk about the fingerprint of human-caused climate change when we look at extreme weather patterns,” said climate researcher Lisa Alexander, the author of two of four papers from the study published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
“This research across four different papers goes well beyond that. If we were climate detectives then Australia’s hottest year on record in 2013 wasn’t just a smudged fingerprint at the scene of the crime, it was a clear and unequivocal handprint showing the impact of human caused global warming.”
The study finds the record-smashing heat of 2013 was 2,000 times more likely due to human-influenced global warming.
“When it comes to what helped cause our hottest year on record, human-caused climate change is no longer a prime suspect, it is the guilty party,” said Markus Donat, author of another of the papers.
A fifth independent study by a US team of scientists found the same results.
Extreme summer temperatures were five times more likely and hot spring temperatures 30 times more likely due to human-caused climate change
“The most striking aspect of the extreme heat of 2013 and its impacts is that this is only at the very beginning of the time when we are expected to experience the first impacts of human-caused climate change,” said climate scientist Sarah Perkins.
“If we continue to put carbon into our atmosphere at the currently accelerating rate, years like 2013 will quickly be considered normal and the impacts of future extremes will be well beyond anything modern society has experienced.”