Nav: Home

Think pink for a better view of climate change

September 04, 2018

A new study says pink noise may be the key to separating out natural climate variability from climate change that is influenced by human activity.

Not familiar with pink noise? It's a random noise in which every octave contains the same amount of energy. Pink noise is found in systems ranging from earthquakes and electronics to biology and stellar luminosity. Compared to the more familiar white noise, pink noise has more low-frequency components.

Writing in the journal Physical Review Letters, Yale researcher John Wettlaufer, graduate student Sahil Agarwal, and first author and Yale graduate Woosok Moon of Stockholm University found that pink noise energy signatures on decadal time scales appear in historical climate proxy data both before and after the Industrial Revolution.

"A central question in contemporary climate science concerns the relative roles of natural climate variability and anthropogenic forcing -- climate change related to human involvement -- which interact in a highly nonlinear manner on multiple timescales, many of which transcend a typical human lifetime," said Wettlaufer, the A.M. Bateman Professor of Geophysics, Mathematics and Physics at Yale.

"We find that the observed pink noise behavior is intrinsic to Earth's climate dynamics, which suggests a range of possible implications, perhaps the most important of which are 'resonances' in which processes couple and amplify warming," Wettlaufer said.
-end-


Yale University

Related Climate Change Articles:

The black forest and climate change
Silver and Douglas firs could replace Norway spruce in the long run due to their greater resistance to droughts.
For some US counties, climate change will be particularly costly
A highly granular assessment of the impacts of climate change on the US economy suggests that each 1°Celsius increase in temperature will cost 1.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product, on average.
Climate change label leads to climate science acceptance
A new Cornell University study finds that labels matter when it comes to acceptance of climate science.
Was that climate change?
A new four-step 'framework' aims to test the contribution of climate change to record-setting extreme weather events.
It's more than just climate change
Accurately modeling climate change and interactive human factors -- including inequality, consumption, and population -- is essential for the effective science-based policies and measures needed to benefit and sustain current and future generations.
Climate change scientists should think more about sex
Climate change can have a different impact on male and female fish, shellfish and other marine animals, with widespread implications for the future of marine life and the production of seafood.
Climate change prompts Alaska fish to change breeding behavior
A new University of Washington study finds that one of Alaska's most abundant freshwater fish species is altering its breeding patterns in response to climate change, which could impact the ecology of northern lakes that already acutely feel the effects of a changing climate.
Uncertainties related to climate engineering limit its use in curbing climate change
Climate engineering refers to the systematic, large-scale modification of the environment using various climate intervention techniques.
Public holds polarized views about climate change and trust in climate scientists
There are gaping divisions in Americans' views across every dimension of the climate debate, including causes and cures for climate change and trust in climate scientists and their research, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
The psychology behind climate change denial
In a new thesis in psychology, Kirsti Jylhä at Uppsala University has studied the psychology behind climate change denial.

Related Climate Change Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who's Your Daddy?
At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews, to determine whether Tina should have done it at all. Related links: What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you Crime solvers embraced...