Earth on track to be hottest in 11.3 millennia—study


In this Aug. 29, 1938, file photo, smoke rises from smokestacks at Skoda’s main foundry in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. A new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike. It shows how the globe for several thousands of years was cooling until an unprecedented reversal in the 20th century, which scientists say is further evidence that global warming isn’t natural but man-made since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The research was released Thursday, March 7, 2013 in the journal Science. AP PHOTO

WASHINGTON—The Earth is on track to becoming the hottest it has been at any time in the past 11.3 millennia, a period spanning the history of human civilization, a study published Thursday has found.

Based on fossil samples and other data collected from 73 sites around the world, scientists have been able to reconstruct the history of the planet’s temperature from the end of the last Ice Age around 11,000 years ago to the present.

They have determined that the past 10 years have been hotter than 80 percent of the last 11,300 years.

But virtually all the climate models evaluated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predict that the Earth’s atmosphere will be hotter in the coming decades than at any time since the end of the Ice Age, no matter what greenhouse gas emission scenario is used, the study found.

“We already knew that on a global scale, Earth is warmer today than it was over much of the past 2,000 years,” said Shaun Marcott, the lead author of the study, which was published in Science.

“Now we know that it is warmer than most of the past 11,300 years. This is of particular interest because the Holocene spans the entire period of human civilization,” said Marcott, who is a post-graduate researcher at Oregon State University.

The data show that temperatures cooled by 0.8 degrees Celsius over the past 5,000 years, but have been rising again in the past 100 years, particularly in the northern hemisphere where land masses and population centers are larger.

The climate models project that average global temperatures will rise by 1.1 to 6.3 degrees Celsius (2.0 and 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, depending on the level of C02 emissions resulting from human activities, the researchers found.

“What is most troubling is that this warming will be significantly greater than at any time during the past 11,300 years,” said Peter Clark, a paleoclimatologist at Oregon State.

The Earth’s position with respect to the Sun is the main natural factor affecting temperatures during that time, the scientists said.

“During the warmest period of the Holocene, the Earth was positioned such that Northern Hemisphere summers warmed more,” Marcott said.

“As the Earth’s orientation changed, Northern Hemisphere summers became cooler, and we should now be near the bottom of this long-term cooling trend—but obviously, we are not.”

Other studies have concluded that human activities—not natural causes—have been responsible for the warming experienced over the past 50 years.

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  • Requiem_9

    for those skeptics out there what and see for the proof your looking for is coming near as we speak 

  • joboni96

    sa daming sinunog na fossil fuel
    forests, nuclear etc.

    mostly by the west

    • ghzoc


  • WeAry_Bat

    Oh, most Americans will never believe that study. 

  • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

    the least of Enrile’s concern

  • catmanjohn

    This is disconcerting news for the Philippines, which is unfortunately placed on the front lines of this battle against climate change. Water management should be given top priority in the rebuilding of infrastructures, including building desalinization plants with the latest technology, coupling the use of solar and wind energy, and using systems that convert waste into energy. Planting as many trees, especially in urban areas, where removal of CO2 from cars and motorbikes, is vital in neutralizing the effects of global warming. The greedy logging industry must be taxed heavily to replenish the trees it removes. If such measures are not discussed and taken, typhoons like Pablo will be decimating the country every year until Nature pulverizes the PH into a possible failed nation state within 20 years. Look at central Mindanao, and multiply it 10 times across the nation. That thought is very scary.

    • WeAry_Bat

      Glad we seem to have the same concern.  May I add, there should be water containment infrastructures also.  Rain water at hand should be easier than salt water to be desalinized. 

      I imagine these huge infrastructures could be half-buried or as towering as high-rise buildings.  Every typhoon and super monsoon that sends us water, they are trapped as much as possible. 

      These towers could also be in the cities.  They double as cooling towers.  Even if the seas rise, because of their water-related design, people could still get water from these towers in the Venice-like remnants of the coastal cities. Hm, I went a bit far on that possible future path.

      • catmanjohn

        Without doubt, the water and waste management is priority, but just as there can be too much water in some places, there is the possibility that there could be  droughts in others. Therefore it is good to have the options in place, especially if solar and wind is used to provide the energy for the desalinization process. The experience of developing this technology is valuable for the future economy of the Nation as well. Every major city should have one, These are the areas the Aquino administration should focus more on, and less on coal, which should be used only as a short term solution until those cleaner and cheaper options are in place. Building code standards must be raised to meet these challenges as well, even if has higher costs initially, but on the long run, it is a safer investment. There are now buildings with steel frames, but without proper bolts, due to cost  reductions, but one good 6,0 quake, and everyone inside such a building will be a casualty.

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