Research Press Release

China heats up

Nature Climate Change

October 13, 2014

An extremely warm summer in Eastern China is now 60 times more probable than it was in the 1950s due to human influence on the climate system, reports a paper published online in Nature Climate Change. If future greenhouse-gas emissions are fixed at a moderate level, this trend of hot extremes is predicted to continue and by 2024, half of summers are projected to match the heat of the 2013 record summer, which had daily maximum temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius or more.

Xuebin Zhang and colleagues analyse Eastern China temperature records from the 1950s to 2013 to determine natural and human influences on extreme temperatures and show a warming of 0.82 degrees Celsius over the period. The authors find a clear indication of human influence and extrapolate their results using climate model projections to show that summer heat extremes will become more frequent in the near future.


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