Energy & Environment

Climate change erases millenia of cooling: study

Getty Images

Recent global warming has erased thousands of years of global cooling, according to a new study

Researchers found that, within the past 12,000 years, temperatures peaked over a 200-year period about 6,500 years ago, then began cooling.

That period was about 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer than the 19th century, the study said. 

However, lately temperatures have been warming. The study said that temperatures between 2011 and 2019 were an average of 1 degree Celsius higher than they were between 1850 and 1900. 

Temperatures projected for the rest of the century are “very likely” to exceed 1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures, the researchers wrote. 

Lead author Darrell Kaufman told The Hill that evidence shows that modern temperatures are “comparable” to peak temperatures 6,500 years ago. 

“It’s as likely as not that the temperatures now are higher than any time….since the last ice age,” Kaufman said, though he cautioned that methods used to capture older temperatures are less precise. 

He also said that greenhouse gas emissions fueling modern climate change are much stronger than the factors that drove the previous peak. 

“The current changes, which are ascribed in part to human activities, more than dwarf the changes that are occurring naturally,” he said. 

Scientists have long warned about the impacts of climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above industrial levels or less could save humanity from dealing with higher storm intensity and negative effects on ecosystems, food security and more. 

This year is also projected to be the hottest on record and is likely to surpass the record set by 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Tags Climate change

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video