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We traced the human fingerprint on record-breaking temperatures back to the 1930s

Andrew King and Mitchell Black write in The Conversation (8.3.16) about research pointing to the long duration of human impacts upon the climate and the environment more broadly.

‘In recent years climate scientists have looked at the role climate change played in unusual extreme weather events such as Australia’s hottest summer in 2012-13 and recent heatwaves.

‘Before now no one had looked at how far back in time we could go and still link these weird weather events and record-breaking climate extremes to our influence on the climate.

‘Our study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, addressed the question of when climate change started altering the influence of record hot years and summers in a way we can detect. We looked at five regions of the world, as well as the whole globe.’

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