Latest news on the Anthropocene science front: global warming still happening, breaking records yet again. You can read the Dot Earth post by Andrew Revkin here, and the journal Science article here. The short and sweet is that we have a new and seemingly comprehensive data set reconstructing not just part, but the entire, Holocene data temperatures. And guess what, it reinforces and extends the “hockey stick” analogy for climate change.
Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ~0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with ~2°C change in the North Atlantic. Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ~75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios.
Here’s Andrew Revkin talking with one of the paper’s authors about their findings, and some of the likely scientific reactions and climate implications. The last minute of the video specifically addresses the idea of the Anthropocene.
Until next time…remember the Vikings!