HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

Higher Temperatures Means We Must Act Now by ClimateYou Senior Editor George Ropes

Last week an article in the Guardian by John Abraham reported on how pollen data indicates a reversal natural global cooling. Over the last 11,000 years, humans have reversed a natural trend toward slightly cooler temperatures into the opposite trend, with slowly warming temperatures in the last 2,000 years, especially in the last century, which has seen warmer temperatures than in almost any of the previous 11,000 years. Scientists from the University of Wyoming just published the results of their research in the journal Nature. They measured the distribution of pollen from plants to determine what plants thrived where and when. Because each type of plant produces pollen only within a narrow temperature range, and because pollen doesn’t degrade for thousands of years, the scientists could determine ancient temperatures accurately. Focusing on the Holocene period that began about 11,000 years ago, they detected a slight cooling trend for the first 2,000 years, which has since reversed. Temperatures since then have trended warmer, with a noticeable bump over the last 2,000 years as man entered the industrial age and began burning lots of coal. A spike over the last century or so has produced higher temperatures than in almost any year over the last 11,000.

Temperature in North America and Europe over the past 11,000 years based on pollen reconstruction data. Illustration: Marsicek et al. (2018), Nature.

The significance of the research is that climate does fluctuate naturally over time, but human activity now dominates and drives changes in temperature beyond any recent historical experience. Consequences include sea level rise, increased rainfall, heat waves, and droughts. Mankind must sharply slow or stop its production of the heat-trapping gases that result from burning carbon-based fossil fuels, which are forcing the higher temperatures beyond those that humans and the Earth have known for thousands of years, to the point that it’s continued hospitality for human life and indeed the sustainability of all life on the planet is now threatened. We don’t have much time. We must act now.

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

2 Responses

  1. I strongly support the view of Climate You Senior Editor George Ropes. The increase of Climate Change is physically evident since most of this heat increase is developed by the effects of Green House Gases. I am of the view that steps must be implemented to positively impact this phenomenon.
    In my opinion, if humans become much more educated about the dangers of Climate Change (Global Warming) and how it severely affects mankind, responsible approaches to sustain planet Earth can be anticipated outcomes. Therefore, it is imperative for each one to teach one. Act now!

    1. Thank you! Glad you agree with me about the need for individual action. ‘Each one teach one’ is a good way to put it. George

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SHARE THIS ARTICLE


More Posts Like This

CITY TECH BLOG

Unbearable Heat Waves by City Tech Blogger Andray Whyte

Summer is hotter, winter is warmer. The world as we know it is getting hotter and hotter as the years go by. Global warming is affecting our world in a negative slope. It is affecting our lives and animals’ lives. Across the glob countries are constantly breaking records

CITY TECH BLOG

How does climate change affect Tourism? By City Tech Blogger Fareen Bacchus

Tourism for many locations is the main source of income for the population. Over the years, millions will travel to various destinations to visit. A location may be known for its wildlife, beaches and its architecture. For example, Florida is known for their wonderful beaches and trophy fishing.

Take action in the fight against climate change