Scientists: there have been warming on Earth, but what is happening now has no analogues
The rates of global warming that have been observed in the past few decades have no analogs over the period covering the last 2000 years. Even the Small Ice Age, which took place on Earth from the 14th century to the 19th century, cannot be compared with the scale of climatic changes taking place now, according to a study by scientists at the University of Bern (Switzerland).
The results of the study of Swiss scientists were published in scientific journals - Nature and Nature Geoscience (1 and 2). As the scientists present in the study emphasize, the data suggests that the so-called “climate skeptics” - those who do not believe the generally accepted scientific ideas about global warming, have very weak arguments, writes Air force.
The graph of climate fluctuations in different years over the past 2000 years made up by scientists clearly demonstrates that the current warming in terms of the pace and scale of change has no analogues. Theories, according to which the current climate change is another period of warming, which will later be replaced by cooling, can be called insolvent, the scientists emphasize.
According to them, there is no reason to talk about the similarity of what is happening now global warming with the periods of relative warming observed on Earth in the pre-industrial era.
To understand the nature and nature of climate change taking place, a research team attempted to reconstruct climate data on Earth over the past 2000 years. To get an idea of the nature of climate change, scientists analyzed the available data, such as measurements of corals, tree rings and thickness of lake sedimentary layers.
As a result, they came to the conclusion that all the climatic changes that occurred during this period were local, and not once in 2000 years did they occur on a global scale.
Even the Little Ice Age affected mainly the Pacific region and Europe. At the same time, the coldest period in the Pacific region was in the 15th century, and in Europe - in the 17th century.
All studied large-scale climate change covered no more than half of the globe.
During the so-called Medieval Climate Optimum (950 -1250 AD) —epochs of a relatively warm climate — climatic changes affected only the Northern Hemisphere (in general, no more than 40% of the Earth's surface).
The warming period that we are seeing now is not like what happened on Earth earlier. Global warming is happening now covers almost the entire territory of the globe - 98% of the Earth's surface.
“This proves to us that global warming caused by anthropogenic factors not only has no analogs in the rate of temperature change, but is also completely unique in scale,” the study says.
Scientists have noticed that in the pre-industrial era, volcanic activity was the main factor influencing climate change. Scientists did not find evidence that solar radiation could be one of the main factors that provoked climate change.
The changes that are observed now go far beyond the limits of natural climate fluctuations.
“Analyzing data on climate change, we see that the pace of warming in recent years is much higher than the rate of natural climate change,” says one of the authors of the study from the University of Bern, Rafael Neuk. According to him, this observation also tells us about the unprecedented nature of the current climate change.
Although scientists have not set themselves the task of finding out whether human activity is the main factor influencing climate change, the data obtained in the course of the study indicate that global warming is happening with human activity.
“We didn’t focus on the possible causes of current warming, as many studies have already been done on this topic. And I must say that the results of these studies have always testified to the anthropogenic nature of global warming that is occurring, ”says Rafael Neuk.
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Many scientists from around the world expressed their admiration for the quality of research of their Swiss colleagues.
“They were very careful and careful in assessing the available and received data. They took into account the possible "natural" distortion of these data, so we can say that the quality of the obtained data and their analysis is the main achievement of this research. Simply amazing, ”says Professor Daniela Schmidt of the University of Bristol.
Many experts point out that, thanks to the research, it is possible to talk about the failure of many climate skeptics' arguments, which cast doubt on the unprecedented nature of the climatic changes that are taking place and on the fact that they were provoked by anthropogenic factors.
“This study should finally stop those who continue to deny climate change and argue that current warming is only part of the natural climate cycle,” says Professor Mark Meslin from University College London, who did not participate in the study.
“The study shows a truly serious difference between local climate changes that took place in the past and the global influence of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases on the climate,” emphasizes Marc Meslin.
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