New Delhi: A new research has provided evidence of climate change being human-caused and showed that specific signals from human activities have altered the temperature structure of Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists have long recognised differences between tropospheric and lower stratospheric temperature trends as a “fingerprint” of human effects on climate. This fingerprint, however, neglected information from the mid to upper stratosphere, 25 to 50 kilometres above the Earth’s surface, the inclusion of which improves the detectability of a human fingerprint by a factor of five, the scientists involved in the study said. The study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) said,
Enhanced detectability occurs because the mid to upper stratosphere has a large cooling signal from human-caused CO2 increases, small noise levels of natural internal variability, and differing signal and noise patterns.
Noise in the troposphere can include day-to-day weather, interannual variability arising from El Niños and La Niñas, and longer-term natural fluctuations in climate. In the upper stratosphere, the noise of variability is smaller, and the human-caused climate change signal is larger, so the signal can be much more easily distinguished. The paper stated,
Extending fingerprinting to the upper stratosphere with long temperature records and improved climate models means that it is now virtually impossible for natural causes to explain satellite-measured trends in the thermal structure of the Earth’s atmosphere.
According to lead author Benjamin Santer, an adjunct scientist in the Physical Oceanography Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Massachusetts, US.
This is the clearest evidence there is of a human-caused climate change signal associated with CO2 increases. This research puts to rest incorrect claims that we don’t need to treat climate change seriously because it is all natural. . This study shows that the real world has changed in a way that simply cannot be explained by natural causes.
This layer, from the mid to upper stratosphere, which the earlier studies had not studied in detail, can now be studied better because of improved simulations and satellite data. The new research is the first to search for human-caused climate change patterns in the middle and upper stratosphere, the scientists said. co-author Qiang Fu, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, US, said,
These unique fingerprints make it possible to detect the human impact on climate change due to CO2 in a short period of time (10 – 15 years) with high confidence. The world has been reeling under climate change, so being as confident as possible of the role of carbon dioxide is critical.
co-author Susan Solomon, Martin Professor of Environmental Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said,
The fact that observations show not only a warming troposphere but also a strongly cooling upper stratosphere is unique tell-tale evidence that nails the dominant role of carbon dioxide in climate change and greatly increases confidence.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.