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Report: Last 3 Decades of 20th Century Hotter Than Anytime in 1,400 Years

Science & Tech  (tags: Climate change, discovery, environment, habitat, health, history, investigation, NewTechnology, research, safety, science, scientists, society, technology )

- 1828 days ago -
New research confirms dramatic shift in long-term cooling trend "correlates directly" with human induced carbon emissions.

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Kit B (276)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 9:12 am
A British photographer marks a 110 degree day, "the hottest of my life."(Photo: David Reeves/ Flickr)

A groundbreaking new report published Sunday by Nature Geoscience found that average worldwide temperatures over the past thirty years were "higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years."

Researchers behind the report, "Continental-Scale Temperature Variability During the Past Two Millennia," reconstructed past temperatures for continental regions over the past one to two millennia. Over that time, the analysis shows a long term cooling trend that lasted through to the middle of last century. Then, as the climate advocacy group Tck Tck Tck writes, the cooling "halted with a sharp reversal" in the late nineteenth century, "correlat[ing] directly with an increase in carbon emissions from human activity."

"Prior to the 20th century natural drivers were dominant, such as change in solar output and volcanic eruption, however what happened during the 20th century is that human influences and predominantly greenhouse gases become dominant," says co-author and paleoclimatologist Dr Steven Phipps of the University of New South Wales.

The reversal culminates during the period between 1971-2000 during which the researchers found the "average reconstructed temperature was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years."

The report also refutes the popular belief that previous warming and cooling trends spanned the globe, finding instead that they only occurred regionally.

"What we thought of in the past as being globally uniform phenomena, such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, didn't happen at the same time—for example, the medieval warming happened earlier in the northern hemisphere than the southern hemisphere," Phipps says.

The implication of this is that the current widespread global warming phenomena is unique and cannot be explained by historic causes of temperature variability, such as volcanic eruptions and changes in solar irradiance.

Gathering data from corals, ice cores, tree rings, lake and marine sediments, historical records, cave deposits and climate archives to help establish the temperature trends, the study is the most comprehensive reconstruction of global temperatures to date.

The consortium of 78 authors from 24 countries are affiliated with the 2K Network of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program's Past Global Changes (PAGES) project.

By: Lauren McCauley, staff writer | Common Dreams |

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 11:39 am
Thank you for the fascinating article. (P, N, T)

Yvonne White (229)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 1:04 pm
Very interesting! I wish they had given a clue as to what that really means - will it cause another Ice Age, as has happened before? Will it cause a bigger wobble in the Earth's rotation? Is there a Possibility of containing the damage Already done? Or is it past controlling? etc., etc...

David C (133)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 1:07 pm
....and all I hear up here in MN is jokes about how "winter is non-ending".....its global and climate not local and weather......

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 1:16 pm
They were researching the past and are not responsible for predicting the future, as they cannot do that with an issue so new. But these new findings are fairly amazing and will hopefully serve as another argument against the deniers who have usually always brought up these "normal cycles of change". Thx Kit, very intersting.

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 1:17 pm
Spammer flagged, pls help1

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 1:18 pm
Exactly Dave- been hearing the same over here " with this record cold winter how can they speak of "global warming" and such..

. (0)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 1:19 pm
Good article. Thanks, Kit.

marie C (163)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 1:22 pm
Yet another truly interesting article.

Winn A (179)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 1:58 pm

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 3:20 pm
Thank you

Kit B (276)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 3:49 pm

When one looks at the research here, we can see most of the outliers are addressed. The possibility that climatic change is from volcanoes or that we are actually verging on another ice age, the numbers are not there to support these 'theories". I doubt we can change the damages done, they happened by cumulative damage over the past years of industrialization. I do recommend the movie "Ice Chasers" shown on National Geographic Channel. If this country joins with other countries and we make a full commitment to address climate change, we might just save this planet, but we have no more time to wait.

Tuesday April 23, 2013, 3:56 pm
read and noted on 4-23-13 the main reason that we are witnessing this is a little thing they call global warming and our climate is changing more now than say 30 years ago we have alot of different factors that are helping the chemicals or toxins that are in our air and the rotation of earth and also how the change of air flow and deforestation of our trees also factor in this we all need to take better care of our surroundings and help reduce this serious problem because one day we can wake up and everything will be good forever.

Gene J (290)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 4:20 pm
"A groundbreaking new report published Sunday by Nature Geoscience found that average worldwide temperatures over the past thirty years were "higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years."

I don't know how this can be called groundbreaking as that implies new, something recently learned. An Inconvenient Truth in 2005 laid this all out in clear, breath taking and deadly clarity. Climatologists have been talking about this for decades, Al Gore spent much of his time in political office talking about these issues, they are not new. What is perhaps is that finally the message, the voices are becoming impossible to not hear and the pseudo-scientists are themselves being debunked. What really annoys me about this are people who claim not to have seen this coming. There have been literally thousands of "John the Baptists" crying in the wilderness for decades and we have only begun to listen to the band on which they broadcast. That speaks to human hubris and that people prefer ignorance, even unto their own death, to shaking a nickel out of their pocket to try to reverse what is probably now irreversible. We were given this wonderful planet and the privilege to have a life on it and we have squandered it as if it were nothing. Sad, is what this is.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 4:28 pm

True Gene, but the studies go on as does the research in the hope that it will finally gain the attention needed. We do have this one beautiful, dynamic planet. We are wasting and fouling the resources, each of us can take our share of responsibility, but we still need an aggressive national plan to make things happen.

lee e (114)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 5:07 pm
An aggressive national plan with an international outreach! Your right Gene, how do we motivate - when congress is filled with deniers!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 5:10 pm

Jeremy S (3)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 5:13 pm
And people go on to insist that it's a natural cycle, that it would happen anyway, that it's a minor fluctuation--or they ignore it altogether! Some people just refuse to see the nose in front of their face before they trip over it!

Terry V (30)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 7:07 pm
How do we stop GREED???

Could Just One Degree Change the World

4 Degrees Warmer

Kit B (276)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 7:34 pm

Thanks Terry for sharing those videos. So much information packed into such a short time frame.

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 7:44 pm
It is so hot in Arizona, already this Spring (not yet May either), that I asked a friend in another country to send me a Celsius thermometer that does not have a conversion on the other side. OK, I know this is self deception, but I feel more comfortable looking at it anyway.

Yvonne White (229)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 8:17 pm
LOL Betsy! :) You cannot currently send a star to Gene because you have done so within the last day.

Roxie H (350)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 8:27 pm
well, I don't know.. I think I posted that movie from before went offline for Earth Day, and if anyone watched chasing ice on the Nat Geo channel.. the global warming is now not disputed by scientists anymore, which was the "big issues" with the deniers at one time. So, we are losing arctic ice at the rate of more then 30,000 years in less then 11 years.. and we can feel it on our skin and our rivers and lakes are being sucked dry for mining and they are already being used up by human encroachment. The time to take evasive action is NOW, or sadly THEN .. and now might be just ummm ugh, hold some green space...because Gaia is pretty mad? we need to kick the powers out of office, revolution is now... people power and time to take our earth back.. she needs some love

Susanne R (234)
Wednesday April 24, 2013, 8:46 am
The observations cited in the report are hard to dispute: climate change is related to human activity. How do we convince those whose heads are stuck in the sand? Unfortunately, the bulk of dangerous carbon emissions are created by industrial endeavors, which are the source of income for the people these industries employ. We need to convince the offending industries to find environmentally-friendly alternatives to fossil fuels. Such a change would be time-consuming and costly and would cut into their profit margin. There are no easy answers, but we desperately need to find some before our "goose is cooked" --without having to use a stove.

pam w (139)
Wednesday April 24, 2013, 12:32 pm
Tell it to the oil companies and their STOOGES....the Bush family, Cheney and their buddies.

Tell it to "Drill, drill, drill" Sarah Palin.

Tell it to those who would sell our parks and rivers to fracking!

Tell it to the religious fundamentalists who LONG for RAPTURE and celebrate the end of the world!

Fred Krohn (34)
Wednesday April 24, 2013, 5:39 pm
So... We had a similar heatwave back when Muhammad Ali rode his horse off a cliff to start Islam? Hahahaha! This is why I still consider the current 'global climate shift' still within natural parameters. We can certainly mitigate human influence with dedicated reforestation and lumber farming, switching to more non-fossil-fuel energy systems, and improving our efficiency in energy use, but ultimately it's nature with her volcanoes and masses of insects versus vegetation in ocean and land who plays the top hand in the world's temperature and carbon balance.

Sherri G (128)
Wednesday April 24, 2013, 5:48 pm
Good Article Thanks Kit. There are interesting and breath taking photos by James Balog "Chasing Ice". He has time lapse photos of ice or the lack of it over the last 10 years. I saw it on National Geographic. He and his team took incredible risks to place about 20 cameras for continuous filming. I think Scientists grew weary of ridiculous claims that there is no global warming and decided to film film film. Hats off to them for rubbing our face in it while saying "Deny It Now". BTW James Balog's camera placements, locations, and conditions were more than a little challenging. Personally I wish they would put his film on a continuous loop for ever congressman who denies global warming.

Jeremy S (3)
Wednesday April 24, 2013, 6:46 pm
Some people will still not believe it, or explain it away by being part of a "natural cycle"--which is absolute nonsense! It's clear that humans are doing it to their own planet, and we've got to stop, before it's too late (if it isn't already)!

Jaime Alves (52)
Wednesday April 24, 2013, 11:30 pm
Noted, thanks.!!

Kerrie G (116)
Thursday April 25, 2013, 8:09 am
Noted, thanks.
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