Global Warming Reaches an “Unprecedented” Level in 24 Thousand Years

They warn that the magnitude and speed with which the temperature has increased during the last 150 years far exceeds the changes registered during the last 24,000 years

A study on the evolution of global temperature since the last ice age, over a period of about 24,000 years, shows that warming on Earth has now reached an “unprecedented” level as a consequence of human action. 

The research published this Wednesday by the journal Nature, led by the University of Arizona (USA), has reconstructed at 200-year intervals maps of global temperatures since the ice age, which ended about 10,000 years ago 

Thus, experts have verified that the man responsible for climate change since then has been the increase in concentrations of greenhouse gases and the retreat of the ice sheets. 

In this sense, they warn that the magnitude and speed with which the temperature has increased during the last 150 years far exceeds the changes registered during the last 24,000 years. 

The researchers also note that their results indicate that the general trend over the last 10,000 years is warming, rather than cooling, which they believe has closed an old debate in the paleontological community. 

“This reconstruction suggests that current temperatures are unprecedented in the past 24,000 years, and also suggests that the rate of human-caused global warming is faster than at any time during that period,” co-author Jessica Tierney explains in a statement. of the study. 

The fact that “we are now so far” from the limits “considered normal” is “cause for alarm and should surprise everyone”, contributes to Matthew Osman, the main author of this work, who starts from graphs on temperature changes global statements made eight years ago. 

“Our team’s reconstruction improves that curve by adding a spatial dimension,” Tierney says. 

With these new maps, Osman adds, “anyone” can analyze temperature changes “across the Earth and in a very personal way.” 

“For me,” says the expert, “being able to visualize evolution over 24,000 years in the place where I am sitting today, or where I grew up, really gives an idea of ​​the severity of climate change” 

To create the aforementioned maps with temperatures from the past, the researchers used two independent data sets: marine sediment temperature data and computer simulations of the climate

“We are looking forward to applying this method to study ancient climates that were warmer than today, as these periods are essentially windows into our future, as greenhouse gas emissions increase,” Tierney concludes. 

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