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First Signs Of Global Warming Appeared In 1940s

Science & Tech  (tags: science, climate-change, climatechange, globalwarming, globalwarming, CO2emissions, pollution, science, ecosystems, fossil fuels, Industrial Revolution )

- 1210 days ago -
Only recently has it become possible to detect the effects of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures. However, by examining data on a regional basis, climate scientists have found indications of global warming dating to the 1940s.


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Michael O (176)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 6:55 am
By Stephen Luntz

Greenhouse gases have been increasing in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, but initially their effects were too small to be distinguished from random fluctuations. Now, a paper in Environmental Research Letters explores patterns in average and extreme temperatures region by region, as well as looks at the intensity of rainfall events. The authors sought the point where a particular measure first moved outside expected values as a result of human-induced global warming.

First author Dr. Andrew King of the University of New South Wales told IFLScience, “We did a statistical test of distributions. We had a rigorous requirement that values had to remain well outside natural distributions for all subsequent periods. They couldn't just pop out and pop back in."

"Remarkably our research shows that you could already see clear signs of global warming in the tropics by the 1960s but in parts of Australia, South East Asia and Africa it was visible as early as the 1940s," King said in a statement.

The wavelengths that carbon dioxide captures should cause more rapid warming in colder environments, and the fastest warming observed so far has been in the Antarctic Peninsula and Alaska. Despite this, King found that the first warming that could be confidently attributed to human influences was in the tropics, while the same indications could not be established from polar data until 40 years later.

“Inter-annual variability is very low in the tropics,” he told IFLScience, so warming changes stand out more. King added that for this reason the effects of warming can also be more severe in the tropics. "Polar flora and fauna are adapted to wider temperature changes,” but the same is not true for the tropics, where small variations can have a bigger impact.

In any given region, average seasonal temperatures showed a clear pattern before extremes. King told IFLScience this was not surprising: “For average temperatures we had 90 values in a season, whereas the extremes were just one per season, so there was much more noise to hide the trend.”

Changes in rainfall lagged even further behind, and indeed are generally hard to discern definitively even today. “We expect the first heavy precipitation events with a clear global warming signal will appear during winters in Russia, Canada and northern Europe over the next 10-30 years,” said co-author Dr. Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading.

Today, temperatures show a clear anthropogenic influence on almost every part of the Earth. The notable exception is the eastern United States, where political climate change denial is matched, and perhaps enhanced, by an absence of a clear trend, although King anticipates one will emerge in the next decade.


Animae C (508)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 6:55 am
Thanx Michael

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 10:04 am
Too many people even then. No surprise. thx Michael

Roger G (148)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 2:00 pm
noted, thanks

Julie P (154)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 2:03 pm
In December 2014, UPI posted the following:

"NASA study: Vegetation decline seen in wake of drying Amazon"

"As revealed by a newly concluded 13-year NASA study, vegetation in the Amazon is becoming smaller and less green as precipitation totals have tapered...

if greenness declines, this is an indication that less carbon will be removed from the atmosphere," lead study author Thomas Hilker, a remote sensing specialist at Oregon State University, explained in a press release. "The carbon storage of the Amazon basin is huge, and losing the ability to take up as much carbon could have global implications for climate change."

This is yet another of the innumerable signs that we are in deep trouble.

A few weeks ago, I was visited by a couple of people campaigning for a local federal candidate, given our upcoming Canadian election. We discussed climate change, industrial agriculture, democracy, health care and the deeply concerning changes in protection of the environment and our water, among other topics.

The scariest thing they said was that many of the people they had visited had no idea anything was wrong.


Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 3:33 pm
Noted. Thanks, Michael.

Paul Christensen (1)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 4:57 pm
Plant a tree if you can people.Leaf trees draw the most carbon from the atmosphere.I hope to do a major planting here 100 plus deciduous trees[sugar maple]and others as well apple,Asian pear,sour cherry.These last as an experiment granted but climate change is here....the effects will be slow to realize and our food will be among the most affected

Fran F (116)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 6:52 pm
Noted. Thanks, Michael, for shedding light on a question I have often wondered about.

Nelson Baker (0)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 6:53 pm
Noted.Thank you fr the article.

MmAway M (517)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 10:29 pm
Wow...I thought we were kinda good back then.

Thank you for posting Michael!

Hartson Doak (39)
Saturday September 26, 2015, 10:47 pm
Like Mr. Christensen, I agree that trees are part of the solution. I use my butterfly points to plant trees. I use Ecosia as my search engine and plant trees. Locally, I plant native tree where ever I can. I let trees that start growing by themselves grow, if they are in a good place.

Nancy C (806)
Sunday September 27, 2015, 1:08 am
I'm a member of and plant 2 trees each month as I have no personal yard to plant other than flowers. Well, as far knowing probably 100 yrs ago that the comfort of natural riches was changing...stupid humans who did not listen to indigenous wisdom. Instead, the wisest peoples have been massacred, ignored, abused and to this day still fight for their very existence. To think we never would have needed insurance or big pharma had we followed a clean, green path. Greed, power and insatiable desire for "stuff" has killed us.

Debra Phillips (77)
Sunday September 27, 2015, 1:56 am
Noted, thanks.

donna m (97)
Monday September 28, 2015, 12:44 am

donna m (97)
Monday September 28, 2015, 12:45 am
thanks for sharing

Jim M (38)
Monday September 28, 2015, 1:38 am

Jim M (38)
Monday September 28, 2015, 1:38 am
thank you

Melania Padilla (123)
Friday January 15, 2016, 2:32 pm
Not surprising, actually it strikes me how the Earth has been so healthy with so many damage we cause. Sharing too, thanks!
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