How Climate Change Influences Temperatures in 1000 Cities Around the World – InsideClimate News

by | Oct 29, 2022 | Climate Change


Climate Change as an ‘Important Driver’ of Temperatures

Was the temperature in your city on a given day influenced by climate change?

A new tool can answer that question for more than 1,000 cities around the world. The Climate Shift Index, developed by scientists at Climate Central, uses long-term observations and trends at locations combined with global climate models to determine whether the temperature at a given location on a given day was made more or less likely by global warming. 

The tool uses methods established in the field of attribution science to look at the frequency of temperatures in our current climate, which has warmed nearly 1.3 degrees due to human-caused carbon emissions. Scientists are able to model an alternative scenario where there is no global warming and compare how often that day’s temperature would likely occur under that scenario. The Climate Shift Index will put out a number as low as negative-5 (signaling the temperature was made 5 times less likely under climate change), as high as positive-5 (signaling the temperature was made 5 times more likely under climate change), or if climate change had no detectable influence on the temperature, a zero.

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Distinct weather events cannot be said to be “caused” by climate change—weather varies widely, even without increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But this tool allows us to still talk about how climate change is making extreme conditions more common in …

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