Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Humans stoked Australia’s unprecedented ‘angry summer’ heat, study finds

27.06.2013
Human influences that drive global warming are likely to have played a role in Australia's exceedingly hot summer of 2013, the hottest in that country’s observational record. A new study shows that global warming has increased the chances of Australians experiencing record hot summers, such as the summer of 2013, by more than five times.

"Our research has shown that, due to greenhouse gas emissions, these types of extreme summers will become even more frequent and more severe in the future," said Sophie Lewis of the University of Melbourne in Victoria,Australia, who is lead author of the study.


The Australian continent endured unprecedented high temperatures in the summer of 2013. This image, using data from NASA’s Aqua satellite, shows Australian land-surface-temperature anomalies, or departures from average, during Jan. 1-8, 2013. Red means above-average temperature; blue, below average; grey, incomplete data. Australia’s summer occurs during the northern-hemisphere winter. (Image credit: Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory).

It is possible to say with more than 90-percent confidence, she added, that human influences on the atmosphere dramatically increased the likelihood of the extreme summer of 2013.

Lewis is also with the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

The study has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The study used climate observations and more than 90 climate model simulations of summer temperatures in Australia over the past 100 years. Australia’s summer occurs from December to February, during the northern-hemisphere winter.

David Karoly, also of the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre and co-author of the paper, said the observations, coupled with a suite of climate-model runs comparing human and natural influences in parallel experiments, indicate that Australia has experienced a very unusual summer at a time when it was not expected.

The combination of extreme heat, bush fires and flooding prompted Australians to dub last summer the "angry summer," the researchers note in their paper.

"This extreme summer is not only remarkable for its record-breaking nature but also because it occurred at a time of weak La Niña to neutral conditions, which generally produce cooler summers," Karoly said. "Importantly, our research shows the natural variability of El Niño Southern Oscillation is unlikely to explain the recent record temperatures."

This analysis of the causes of the record 2013 Australian summer is one of the fastest ever performed worldwide for a significant climate event. This fast-response analysis was made possible because data from many existing climate models and observations were made available through Centre of Excellence collaborations with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Bureau of Meteorology and the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI). "The new data resource means scientists are able to work on understanding and addressing the problems of extreme climate events sooner," Karoly said.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science and the NCI National Facility funded this research.

Notes for Journalists

Journalists and public information officers (PIOs) of educational and scientific institutions who have registered with AGU can download a PDF copy of this accepted article by clicking on this link:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50673/abstract

Or, you may order a copy of the final paper by emailing your request to Peter Weiss at pweiss@agu.org. Please provide your name, the name of your publication, and your phone number.

Neither the paper nor this press release are under embargo.
Title:

"Anthropogenic contributions to Australia’s record summer temperatures of 2013"
Authors:
Sophie C. Lewis and David J. Karoly School of Earth Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Contact information for the coauthor:

Sophie Lewis, Tel: +61 3 8344 6931, email: sophie.lewis@unimelb.edu.au

David Karoly, Tel: +61 3 8344 4698, email: dkaroly@unimelb.edu.au

AGU Contact:
Peter Weiss
+1 (202) 777-7507
pweiss@agu.org
University of Melbourne Contact:
Rebecca Scott
Mobile +61-0417164791
rebeccas@unimelb.edu.au
ARC Centre Contact:
Alvin Stone
Mobile +61-0418 617 366
alvin.stone@unsw.edu.au

Peter Weiss | American Geophysical Union
Further information:
http://www.agu.org

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments
22.01.2018 | Duke University

nachricht World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered
18.01.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>