With global climate change unfolding, the question whether and to what extent the impacts of human emissions are already being felt around the world is gaining prominence.
The thesis documents the observed impacts of climate change across systems and sectors, and assesses the role of human influence, compared to natural variability, for climate-change related impacts that have been reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For the first time, a discernible impact of human induced climate change is confirmed for a large range of individual observations, rather than on generic level.
The thesis discusses caveats and challenges in attributing observed effects to climate change, and points out the consequence of those limitations for scientific policy advice. Key issues concern the question whether extreme weather events and their impacts can be attributed to human induced climate change and the limited availability of long-term monitoring records in many vulnerable regions.
This research was conducted under the auspices of the Graduate School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE).