A study published in the latest issue of the journal Science revealed that temperatures have never been as high in the history of our planet. In addition, the scientists predict that by 2100, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will cause even more drastic increase.
The trend that is presented in the paper indicates that the period of over a thousand years of flat temperatures has ended a century ago, when the steady increase has begun.
The lead author of the publication, Shaun Marcott, a researcher at Oregon State University, states that although the records they used for their study are completely independent, they still give the same results.
Data was collected from 73 locations around the world and covered the period from the last Ice Age glaciers melt until now- a period known as the Holocene. The team was determined to establish whether the trends that we observe now have occurred at some point during the past 11,000 years.
The findings indicate that natural causes have never had such effect on temperatures. The scientists used evidence from chemical composition of the ancient shellfish foraminifera, as well as pollen from lake sediments and other determining factors for temperature change.
The study shows that 5000 years ago the temperature has increased, but then it has been cooling gradually until 200 years ago.
According to Marcott, the study goes with the trend known as Milankovitch Cycles, the main cause for which has been considered to be the Earth’s tilt and orbit. According to these cycles, the temperatures should still be dropping. This is clearly not the case, and therefore the warming cannot be associated with natural phenomena.
The conclusions of the study, however, are not any different from what others have previously stated. The report by IPCC released back in 2007, also found human activities to be responsible for the warmer climate over the past nearly 2000 years.
Hopefully, the new report will not only trigger immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also get policymakers more involved in shaping up future legislation.