Human activity and external factors are driving global temperature increases
Researchers from the University of Oxford have found that human activity along with external factors are indeed causing temperatures to rise while natural ocean cycles have had little to no impact on climate change.
A study detailing the findings was published in the Journal of Climate.
“The idea that oceans could have been driving the climate in a colder or warmer direction for multiple decades in the past, and therefore will do so in the future, is unlikely to be correct,” said Dr. Karsten Haustein, the lead author of the study.
The researchers reviewed data on ocean and land temperatures dating back to 1850.
Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, volcanic eruptions, solar activity, and natural ocean cycles were all factored into the research to see if natural factors alone explain the current climate crisis.
Slow ocean cycles, which have been suggested as having a substantial impact on climate change, were found to have little influence on long-term temperature changes.
Instead, both human and external factors through the years account for the observed increases in temperatures.
“We can now say with confidence that human factors like greenhouse gas emissions and particulate pollution, along with year-to-year changes brought on by natural phenomenon like volcanic eruptions or the El Niño, are sufficient to explain virtually all of the long-term changes in temperature,” said Haustein.
The data also revealed that an “early warming period” from 1915 to 1945 was also caused by external factors and not natural fluctuations in ocean temperature, as had previously been thought.
“Our study showed that there are no hidden drivers of global mean temperature,” said co-author Dr. Friederike Otto, a co-author of the study. “In good news, this means when greenhouse gas concentrations go down, temperatures will do so as predicted; the bad news is there is nothing that saves us from temperatures going up as forecasted if we fail to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions.”–
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