Climate change strengthens the Earth’s ‘heartbeat’ – and that is bad news

Seasonal temperature fluctuations and trends to be visualized and shown on NASA’s “Blue Marble” image. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

It is no secret that humans are changing the climate, and a new study shows how our influence of the serious consequences of the Earth the seasons and the atmosphere.

Climate change is much more than rising temperatures and the melting of the ice. In a new study by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and five otherorganizations show that human activity is a significant influence of the seasonal temperature cycle in the troposphere, or lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere — the layer that we live in, where the weather occurs.

These researchers have what is known as a “fingerprint” technique, in which they were separated, the influence of the human from the natural influence on the climate. This allowed them to isolate the human contribution, and assess the specific effects of our species. And, while many fingerprint studies explore climate patterns over years and decades, this work shows how people impact on the changing of the seasons. [See the Consequences of Climate change In the Earth (Video)]

In this new study, researchers examined seasonal temperature cycles in the troposphere, and observed the deep impact of humans on the atmosphere and our seasons. In particular, the researchers discovered that as a result of the emissions of carbon dioxide, the Earth’s seasonal “heartbeat”, or the contrast between hot summers and cold winters, is becoming stronger and stronger.

The team used temperature measurements by satellites studying changes in the size of the seasonal temperature cycle in the troposphere at several different points on the surface of the planet. In this way, the researchers can see the difference between summer and winter temperatures and the difference between warm and cold seasons.

The researchers find that our summers are warming faster than other seasons of the Earth, the average temperature rises, a phenomenon that is especially the case in the Northern Hemisphere. In addition, the measured temperature in the troposphere are consistent with the models that suggest a strengthening of the seasonal heartbeat.

“Our results suggest that attribution studies with the changing seasonal cycle provide strong and novel evidence for a significant human influence on the climate of the Earth,” Benjamin Santer, LLNL climate scientist and lead author of the new work, said in a statement.

Climate fingerprint research, which originated in the 1970s, studies climate patterns to find the source of great changes in the climate. It takes into account the natural factors that contribute to a climate if the ocean heat, the water cycle, the circulation in the atmosphere, sea ice, and extreme natural events, according to the statement. In this study, researchers studied model climate simulations driven by the historical changes in human behaviour.

The team found a very important “pattern” between seasonal temperature trends and the influence of human activity, or “fingerprint” on the troposphere, according to the statement. This shows that the observed changes in our atmosphere and seasonal tropospheric temperature cycles are probably caused by human actions, the study said.

This is the first formal fingerprint research ever carried out in line with the changing seasonal tropospheric temperature cycle, according to the statement.

This work was published July 20 in the journal Science.

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