n-ARCTIC-ICE-large There have been many studies highlighting the warming of the arctic. But how does this relate to humans and how grave is the situation? A recent study has shown the warming of the earth is at its highest rate now than it has been in thousands of years.

Temperatures over the Canadian Arctic are the highest they’ve been in the last 44,000 years, and perhaps the last 120,000 years. What is so unprecedented is the alarming rate at which this warming is happening. This rate shows that there is no natural variability, but greenhouse gases have to be the cause.

This study is significant because it is the first to show that current Arctic warmth exceeds the peak heat period in the Holocene, which is the name for the current geological period. Furthermore they found that solar radiation was about 9 percent greater during peak warmth than it is today. In order to back up their theories, Gifford Miller, a researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and his colleagues looked at gas bubbles trapped in the ice to find temperatures. This allows scientists to reconstruct past temperature and levels of precipitation. Additionally, radiocarbon dating has revealed plants trapped in the ice for at least 44,000 years, suggesting that temperatures in this region haven’t been that high for a very long time.

The anomaly isn’t the warming going on in the Arctic, but the rate at which the earth is warming. Miller says the most significant warming didn’t start until the 1970s. Clearly unnatural forces are causing the warming to significantly increase. Humans have done so much already to try and reverse the effects of global warming, but unfortunately the repercussions will last long afterward.

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