Humans are altering seasonal climate cycles worldwide

Nearly four decades of global temperature data collected by satellites reveal the atmospheric fingerprint of climate change.

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An analysis of decades of satellite data has revealed how humans are changing seasonal cycles in the lower atmosphere. The accumulation of greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels has increased air temperatures in summer and caused larger annual temperature swings in the northern hemisphere.

Previous research has documented how global warming is altering seasons on the ground — causing winter snowpacks to melt earlier, shifting animal migrations and lengthening fire seasons. The latest study, which draws on satellite temperature records from 1979 to 2016, is the first to pinpoint seasonal changes in the atmosphere.

By Jeff Tollefson


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