Arctic is the warmest it’s been – over a 2000 year scale

Arctic temperatures are now higher than at any time in the last 2,000 years, research reveals. Changes to the Earth’s orbit drove centuries of cooling, but temperatures rose fast in the last 100 years as human greenhouse gas emissions rose…

Writing in the journal Science, they say this confirms that the Arctic is very sensitive both to changes in solar heating and to greenhouse warming.

The 23 sites sampled were good enough to provide a decade-by-decade picture of temperatures across the region…

“The most pervasive signal in the reconstruction, the most prominent trend, is the overall cooling that took place for the first 1,900 years [of the record],” said study leader Darrell Kaufman from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, US.

The 20th Century stands out in strong contrast to the cooling that should have continued. The last half-century was the warmest of the 2,000-year temperature record, and the last 10 years have been especially dramatic,” he told BBC News.

On average, the region cooled at a rate of 0.2C per millennium until about 1900. Since then, it has warmed by about 1.2C…

“The 20th Century is the first century for which how much energy we’re getting from the Sun is no longer the most important thing governing the temperature of the Arctic,” said another of the study team, Nicholas McKay from the University of Arizona.

The recent warming of the Arctic has manifested itself most clearly in the drastic shrinkage in summer sea-ice extent, with the smallest area in the satellite era documented in 2007.

But, b-b-but, my Grandma says…

A source more authoritative than any raised by the so-called skeptics unwilling [or often unable] to make sense of peer-reviewed science.

I wish I could be around long enough to witness some of the coming changes. Some of these may actually be beneficial to specific regions. Though the task of cleaning up our environment and especially the atmosphere is praiseworthy whatever the motivation.

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