14A.5 Significant Anthropogenic-Induced Changes of Climate Classes Since 1950

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 4:30 PM
La Nouvelle A ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Duo Chan, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China; and Q. Wu

Anthropogenic forcings have contributed to global and regional warming in the last few decades and likely affected terrestrial precipitation. Here we examine changes in major Köppen climate classes from gridded observed data and their uncertainties due to internal climate variability using control simulations from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5). About 5.7% of the global total land area has shifted toward warmer and drier climate types from 1950-2010, and significant changes include expansion of arid and high-latitude continental climate zones, shrinkage in polar and midlatitude continental climates, poleward shifts in temperate, continental and polar climates, and increasing average elevation of tropical and polar climates. Using CMIP5 multi-model averaged historical simulations forced by observed anthropogenic and natural, or natural only, forcing components, we find that these changes of climate types since 1950 cannot be explained as natural variations but are driven by anthropogenic factors.
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