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Bombshell: Recent Warming Is 'Amazing And Atypical' And Poised To Destroy Stable Climate That Enabled Civilization

Environment  (tags: animals, climate-change, CO2emissions, destruction, ecosystems, environment, globalwarming, greenhousegases, habitatdestruction, healthconditions, oceans, politics, pollution, science, stae-owned, Sustainabililty, weather, wildlife, world )

- 1900 days ago -
New Science Study Confirms 'Hockey Stick': The Rate Of Warming Since 1900 Is 50 Times Greater Than The Rate Of Cooling In Previous 5000 Years

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Kit B (276)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 8:30 am
Cartoon credit: Think Progress

**Before reading this is might be help to view the graph at VISIT SITE to get a visual of this discussion.**

A stable climate enabled the development of modern civilization, global agriculture, and a world that could sustain a vast population. Now, the most comprehensive “Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years” ever done reveals just how stable the climate has been — and just how destabilizing manmade carbon pollution has been and will continue to be unless we dramatically reverse emissions trends.

Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) and Harvard University published their findings today in the journal Science. Their funder, the National Science Foundation, explains in a news release:

" With data from 73 ice and sediment core monitoring sites around the world, scientists have reconstructed Earth’s temperature history back to the end of the last Ice Age."

The analysis reveals that the planet today is warmer than it’s been during 70 to 80 percent of the last 11,300 years.

… during the last 5,000 years, the Earth on average cooled about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit–until the last 100 years, when it warmed about 1.3 degrees F.

In short, thanks primarily to carbon pollution, the temperature is changing 50 times faster than it did during the time modern civilization and agriculture developed, a time when humans figured out where the climate conditions — and rivers and sea levels — were most suited for living and farming. We are headed for 7 to 11°F warming this century on our current emissions path — increasing the rate of change 5-fold yet again.

By the second half of this century we will have some 9 billion people, a large fraction of whom will be living in places that simply can’t sustain them — either because it is too hot and/or dry, the land is no longer arable, their glacially fed rivers have dried up, or the seas have risen too much.

We could keep that warming close to 4°F — and avoid the worst consequences — but only with immediate action.

This research vindicates the work of Michael Mann and others showing that recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude, speed, and cause during the past 2000 years — the so-called Hockey Stick — and in fact extends that back to at least 4000 years ago. I should say “vindicates for the umpteenth time” (see “Yet More Studies Back Hockey Stick“).

Lead author Shaun Marcott of OSU told NPR that the paleoclimate data reveal just how unprecedented our current warming is: “It’s really the rates of change here that’s amazing and atypical.” He noted to the AP, “Even in the ice age the global temperature never changed this quickly.”

And the rate of warming is what matters most, as Mann noted in an email to me:

"This is an important paper. The key take home conclusion is that the rate and magnitude of recent global warmth appears unprecedented for *at least* the past 4K and the rate *at least* the past 11K. We know that there were periods in the past that were warmer than today, for example the early Cretaceous period 100 million yr ago. The real issue, from a climate change impacts point of view, is the rate of change—because that’s what challenges our adaptive capacity. And this paper suggests that the current rate has no precedent as far back as we can go w/ any confidence—11 kyr arguably, based on this study."

Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, told the AP:

[We have, through human emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, indefinitely delayed the onset of the next ice age and are now heading into an unknown future where humans control the thermostat of the planet.]

Unfortunately, we have decided to change the setting on the thermostat from “Very Stable, Don’t Adjust” to “Hell and High Water.” It is the single most self-destructive act humanity has ever undertaken, but there is still time to aggressively slash emissions and aim for a setting of “Dangerous, But Probably Not Fatal.”

By: Joe Romm | Think Progress |

JL A (281)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 10:08 am
Should be a huge wake up call to the powers that be...or have the Heartland Institute and corporate sponsors gained control of the powers that be?

Daniel Partlow (179)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 10:18 am
I'm sure there will be no immediate action. Too many idiotic politicians believe " the world can go on wonderfully just as it always has and always will"

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 12:24 pm

The corporations and Mega Business are the PTB. I doubt the world will continue to go on wonderfully, there are really limits to just how protected and isolated even the PTB can be from what is happening all around. This should no longer be allowed as an issue for debate, we need real and immediate action.

Roger G (154)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 2:16 pm
noted, thanks !

pam w (139)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 3:34 pm
I wouldn't mourn the loss of humanity. I WOULD morn the loss of millions of innocent species taken down with us.


Bette M (91)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 5:19 pm
Thank you Kit for the mind boggling pst.
All I could think about was our two children
have been spared. But, for many others
"their children" will not be spared.
I personally would not bring another living
human into this world inlight of your posted
comment. And, yet million will do just that
not knowing what you & I & the rest know by
reading your post.

Man is an insane and thoughtless destructive
creature.But all too many will get up in the
morning and go to work not knowing what is
following them......TdeATH CLOCK.

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant and protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 5:25 pm
notato grazie Kit!!!!!

Bette M (91)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 5:31 pm
Make that ......Death Clock.......

Plant and protect Danny's trees for life.........

Care member (1)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 10:08 pm

Claudia A (70)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 1:10 am
Noted. Thank you :(

Sally S (95)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 3:19 am
And still there are those who deny there is a problem....

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 3:49 am

Lindsay K (6)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 4:02 am
Very scary. I think the key phrase is Urgent Action. And that means that everyone has to be on board and readly to support and protect those across the world who are vulnerable and would suffer most.

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 6:52 am
Why do recent climate discussions rely less on specific science than the striking pattern of worsening predictions?

Michael O (176)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 7:52 am
This is not good news, to say the least. However, it does highlight that the time for debate is over. Grassroots activists can only do so much. We need real action on the part of our leaders to start the transition away from fossil fuels immediately.

Thanks for this post Kit. Noted and recommended!

Craig Pittman (52)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 8:27 am
There is growing evidence that science has been dramatically underestimating the time frame wherein catastrophic changes will occur. Some scientists are even saying that change will occur exponentially.
Civilization it would seem has not turned out to be a good thing for the earth or the creatures inhabiting it.
Thanks for the story Kit.

Bette M (91)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 8:30 am
Michael.......We/Man are way past due to save ourselves,
the animals and the land the trees stand on.
Yes, the leaders need to get up off their royal endowed asses
and start enforceing tough new rules to live & survive by.

But, I sense it will not happen......Man is teettering on the
edge of a cliff.

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant and protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Ro H (0)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 10:04 am

. (0)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 12:13 pm
Noted & posted

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 3:52 pm

Mitchell D (87)
Monday March 11, 2013, 10:58 am
Kit, and Micheal O., this is not, and never ought to have been an issue for debate. Even John McCain, some years ago, after the first U.N. science report came out, said that "The debate is over." I had a letter to the editor, published in the N.Y. Times, at that time, stating that the debate was a bogus thing, in the first place. It was created created only by those who did not want to spend money on corrective measures, in the power industry, and broadcast by their puppets in congress. They would rather spend the same money keeping the public in the dark, keeping the government out of their hair. These were the same people who had previouslyclaimed that Acid Rain was bogus, until lakes started to die!
We have seen how hurtful deregulation is, and how the Plutocrats just keep raking in the money, with nothing but scorn for the rest of society.
Pam, and Dan and Tina, I am in agreement with you, in particular.

Mitchell D (87)
Monday March 11, 2013, 11:09 am
P.S.: The article associated with the Oregon/Harvard report, about solar panel growth in India, and elsewhere, connects so the sad legacy (in so many ways) of Saint Ronald Reagan, of the Right: He dismantled the solar panels that Jimmy Carter had put on the White House, which may have served as an environmental icon, had they been left there. Instead, despite Reagan's claim to want to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil. it increased by 89% during his rein!
And then there is Dick Cheney, closely tied to the oil industry, who helped scuttle Pres. Ford's ideas about alternate energy sources. IMAGINE how different things might be, had this country seriously moved in that direction, beginning that long ago!!
It is conceivable, had Cheney not succeeded, that we would never have gone to war in Iraq, avoiding that senseless tragedy!

Vallee R (280)
Tuesday March 12, 2013, 10:11 am
Amazing graph - all I can say is that the East has been bombarded with snow this year and living in Colorado - I am back in the dust bowl - we had almost no snow all winter - I had to water my young trees all winter long.
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