Volcanoes and humans the driver of change, finds study

Volcanoes and human activity have been categorically confirmed as the culprits behind the steady increase in average global temperatures, a new report from the University of Oxford has concluded.

The new study, published in the Journal of Climate, saw researchers from Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute observe ocean and land data dating back to 1850.

Apart from the growing human-induced contributing factors, researchers also identified other external factors such as volcanic eruptions, solar activity and non-human produced air pollution as contributing factors to global climate warming.

The findings demonstrated that slow-acting ocean cycles do not explain the long-term changes in global temperature, which includes several decades of accelerated or slowed warming.

“We can now say with confidence that human factors like greenhouse gas emissions and particulate pollution, along with year-to-year changes brought on by natural phenomenon like volcanic eruptions or the El Niño, are sufficient to explain virtually all of the long-term changes in temperature,” says study lead author Dr Karsten Haustein.

“The idea that oceans could have been driving the climate in a colder or warmer direction for multiple decades in the past, and therefore will do so in the future, is unlikely to be correct.”

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