Attribution science, which is concerned with understanding the role of climate change versus natural weather patterns and climate variability, can assist us in better understanding the links between extreme weather and climate change, provide new insight into which specific emissions are causing the worst impacts, and help shape climate solutions.
Research can now explain how much climate change causes a heatwave to get hotter or a hurricane-related deluge to become more severe, as well as where the emissions originate. In the 1990s, the study of climate attribution became more generally acknowledged, when scientists made advances in their computer models to simulate the Earth’s climate and explore the causes of observed changes.
Two forms of climate attribution science — event and source attribution — are assisting in answering two crucial concerns. First, did climate change influence a specific weather event? Second, which emission sources are the most responsible for climate change?
Climate event attribution science studies have found that climate change has altered:
Scientists have long known that burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, but now with climate source attribution science they can identify the specific sources.
One study for example, found that emissions traced to the 90 largest carbon producers contributed approximately 57 percent of the observed rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide, nearly 50 percent of the rise in global average temperature, and around 30 percent of global sea level rise since 1880.
Another study, showed that emissions traced to the world’s largest fossil fuel companies are responsible for more than half of the ocean’s acidification since preindustrial times.
In a relatively short period of time, attribution science has already enabled scientists to better understand their work, and as the field advances, it has the potential to inform climate action and assist municipalities, states, and countries in preparing for and adapting to a radically changing climate.
Scientists can build public support for the policies, litigation, and other actions needed to hold carbon producers accountable, cover the cost of losses and damages that communities have already suffered, implement adaptation strategies, and mitigate future impacts by providing clear and compelling evidence of the role played by specific emission sources, particularly the fossil fuel industry.
Reference- National Geographic,Clean Technica, Union Of Concerned Scientist story, Springer report
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