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NASA study links Earth impacts to human-caused climate change
Date:5/14/2008

hat at the global scale, about 90 percent of observed changes in diverse physical and biological systems are consistent with warming. Other driving forces, such as land use change from forest to agriculture, were ruled out as having significant influence on the observed impacts.

Next, the scientists conducted statistical tests and found the spatial patterns of observed impacts closely match temperature trends across the globe, to a degree beyond what can be attributed to natural variability. The team concluded observed global-scale impacts are very likely because of human-caused warming.

"Humans are influencing climate through increasing greenhouse gas emissions," Rosenzweig said. "The warming is causing impacts on physical and biological systems that are now attributable at the global scale and in North America, Europe, and Asia."

On some continents, including Africa, South America, and Australia, documentation of observed changes in physical and biological systems is still sparse despite warming trends attributable to human causes. The authors concluded environmental systems on these continents need additional research, especially in tropical and subtropical areas where there is a lack of impact data and published studies.


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Contact: Steve Cole
stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov
202-358-0918
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Source:Eurekalert

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