The question of how humans have influenced individual extreme weather events is both scientifically and socially important. However, deficiencies in climate models’ representations of key mechanisms within the process chains that drive weather reduce our confidence in estimates of the human influence on extreme events. We propose that using forecast models that successfully predicted the event in question could increase the robustness of such estimates. Using a successful forecast means we can be confident that the model is able to faithfully represent the characteristics of the specific extreme event. We use this forecast-based methodology to estimate the direct radiative impact of increased CO2 concentrations (one component, but not the entirety, of human influence) on the European heatwave of February 2019.
Forecast-based attribution of a winter heatwave within the limit of predictability
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