This year’s remarkably warm Arctic winter would have been “extremely unlikely” without climate change, according to a new analysis from a consortium of scientists dedicated to understanding the impacts of global warming.
World Weather Attribution (WWA) released its report after the Arctic was hit with record-breaking temperatures amid the hottest year in recorded history.
The North Pole’s temperature anomalies “were not seen in our natural world ensemble,” the group wrote. “In contrast, events like 2016 or hotter occur in our current world model simulations but are rare, with a return interval of roughly 200 years. These results suggest that it is extremely unlikely this event would occur in the absence of human-induced climate change.”
As Andrew King, a researcher with the University of Melbourne who worked on the study, told the Washington Post on Wednesday, “We found that in our natural simulations, those without any human influences, we didn’t see Arctic winters as warm as this at all. In our simulations that kind of represent the world of today, including human forcings, it was a roughly one in a 200 year event.”