Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Man, volcanoes and the sun have influenced Europe's climate over recent centuries

20.01.2011
An International research team has discovered that seasonal temperatures in Europe, above all in winter, have been affected over the past 500 years by natural factors such as volcanic eruptions and solar activity, and by human activities such as the emission of greenhouse gases. The study, with Spanish involvement, could help us to better understand the dynamics of climate change.

Up until now, it was thought that Europe's climate prior to 1900 was barely affected by external factors, but now a group of scientists has shown that natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions or solar radiation, as well as human emissions of aerosols and greenhouse gases, have had an impact on the evolution of Europe's climate over the past five centuries.

"The influence of the increase in levels of greenhouse gases, in particular, can be clearly seen since the end of the 17th Century", Jesús Fidel González Rouco, a physicist at the Complutense University of Madrid and co-author of the study, which has recently been published online in the journal Nature Geoscience, tells SINC.

The researchers studied how natural and human factors affected temperatures across Europe throughout the seasons in the years from 1500 to 2000. The results show that winter is the season in which changes in levels of greenhouse gases and aerosols from manmade sources can be seen to have the clearest influence.

As reliable temperature records do not go back any further than 150 years, the team carried out simulations using three climate models and reconstructed past climate scenarios based on old instrumental observations, information recorded in historical documents and by studying tree rings.

Lessons for climate change

"For the first time we are able to attribute causes to how the climate has evolved over several centuries, working at continental and seasonal scale", says González Rouco. "And the relevance of this approach is based on the fact that the impact of any possible climate change can be greater for societies and ecosystems within the range of these spatial and time-based scales".

Scientists say that Europe's climate "has in the past been sensitive to variations in radiative forcing from natural and human sources (changes in the energy received from the Sun, in volcanic activity, or in levels of greenhouse gases), so it is to be expected that the intense current and future variations in these forcings will play a significant role in the future evolution of Europe's climate".

This study was led by the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom) with the participation of the Complutense University, the Justus-Liebig University (Giessen, Germany) and the University of Berne (Switzerland).

References:

Gabriele Hegerl, Juerg Luterbacher, Fidel González-Rouco, Simon F. B. Tett, Thomas Crowley y Elena Xoplaki. "Influence of human and natural forcing on European seasonal temperaturas". Nature Geoscience, 16 de enero de 2011 (avance on line). DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1057.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora
27.06.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos
27.06.2017 | CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>