Relative impacts of human-induced climate change and natural climate variability View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

1999-02

AUTHORS

Mike Hulme, Elaine M. Barrow, Nigel W. Arnell, Paula A. Harrison, Timothy C. Johns, Thomas E. Downing

ABSTRACT

Assessments of the regional impacts of human-induced climate change on a wide range of social and environmental systems are fundamental for determining the appropriate policy responses to climate change1, 2, 3. Yet regional-scale impact assessments are fraught with difficulties, such as the uncertainties of regional climate-change prediction4, the specification of appropriate environmental-response models5, and the interpretation of impact results in the context of future socio-economic and technological change6. The effects of such confounding factors on estimates of climate-change impacts have only been poorly explored3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Here we use results from recent global climate simulations8 and two environmental response models9,10 to consider systematically the effects of natural climate variability (30-year timescales) and future climate-change uncertainties on river runoff and agricultural potential in Europe. We find that, for some regions, the impacts of human-induced climate change by 2050 will be undetectable relative to those due to natural multi-decadal climate variability. If misleading assessments of—and inappropriate adaptation strategies to—climate-change impacts are to be avoided, future studies should consider the impacts of natural multi-decadal climate variability alongside those of human-induced climate change. More... »

PAGES

688-691

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1038/17789

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/17789

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1037472541


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