Record hot October in Australia at least 6 times more likely due to global warming

Writing in The Conversation CPDN partners David Karoly and Mitchell Black provide a real-time assessment of the role human-induced climate change and the ongoing El Nino are playing in the record breaking October temperatures in Australia. The magnitude of the monthly mean anaomalies is huge, with 1 deg Celcisus above the previous October record for Melbourne and much of southeast Australia. And this is no co-incidence.

To understand the role of human-induced climate change in these new records they compare simulations of the Earth’s climate from nine different state-of-the-art climate models and the very large ensemble of climate simulations provided by CPDN volunteers for the weather@home ANZ experiments for the world with and without human-induced climate change. Using thus 10 different climate models and over 10,000 simulations for the weather@home experiments alone, they find that breaking the previous record for maximum mean October temperatures in Australia is at least six times more likely due to global warming.

Taking the current El Nino conditions into account as well, the increase in the likelihood of setting a new record is even higher and estimated at at least a factor of ten.

These results demonstrate again that climate change is having a major influence in setting new heat records. They furthermore show that it is now possible to quantify this influence not months after the event but while the event is still unfolding. Quoted in The Age, David Karoly says: “What we’ve done that is really new and exciting is we can now do this analysis as the event is happening. We don’t have to wait.”


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