DEFINITION
Climate Change Detection

The process of demonstrating that an observed change in climate is highly unusual in a statistical sense, although a reason for the change is not necessarily provided.

Attribution is the process of establishing the cause of a particular change in climate, including the testing of competing hypotheses. Climate change detection and attribution studies attempt to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural influences on climate. Any anthropogenic effect will be superimposed on the background "noise" of natural climate variability.

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