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8/26/2016

Humanshavecausedclimatechangefor180yearsScienceDaily

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Humanshavecausedclimatechangefor180years
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Summary:

August24,2016
AustralianNationalUniversity
Aninternationalresearchprojecthasfoundhumanactivityhasbeencausingglobalwarmingfor
almosttwocenturies,provinghumaninducedclimatechangeisnotjusta20thcenturyphenomenon.

FULLSTORY

AustralianNationalUniversityresearcherAssociateProfessor
NerilieAbram.
Credit:StuartHay,ANU

Aninternationalresearchprojecthasfoundhumanactivityhasbeencausingglobal
warmingforalmosttwocenturies,provinghumaninducedclimatechangeisnotjusta20th
centuryphenomenon.
LeadresearcherAssociateProfessorNerilieAbramfromTheAustralianNationalUniversity(ANU)saidthestudy
foundwarmingbeganduringtheearlystagesoftheIndustrialRevolutionandisfirstdetectableintheArcticand
tropicaloceansaroundthe1830s,muchearlierthanscientistshadexpected.
"Itwasanextraordinaryfinding,"saidAssociateProfessorAbram,fromtheANUResearchSchoolofEarthSciences
andARCCentreofExcellenceforClimateSystemScience.
"Itwasoneofthosemomentswheresciencereallysurprisedus.Buttheresultswereclear.Theclimatewarmingwe
arewitnessingtodaystartedabout180yearsago."
Thenewfindingshaveimportantimplicationsforassessingtheextentthathumanshavecausedtheclimateto
moveawayfromitspreindustrialstate,andwillhelpscientistsunderstandthefutureimpactofgreenhousegas
emissionsontheclimate.
"InthetropicaloceansandtheArcticinparticular,180yearsofwarminghasalreadycausedtheaverageclimateto
emergeabovetherangeofvariabilitythatwasnormalinthecenturiespriortotheIndustrialRevolution,"Associate
ProfessorAbramsaid.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160824135035.htm

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8/26/2016

Humanshavecausedclimatechangefor180yearsScienceDaily

Theresearch,publishedinNature,involved25scientistsfromacrossAustralia,theUnitedStates,EuropeandAsia,
workingtogetheraspartoftheinternationalPastGlobalChanges2000year(PAGES2K)Consortium.
AssociateProfessorAbramsaidanthropogenicclimatechangewasgenerallytalkedaboutasa20thcentury
phenomenonbecausedirectmeasurementsofclimatearerarebeforethe1900s.
However,theteamstudieddetailedreconstructionsofclimatespanningthepast500yearstoidentifywhenthe
currentsustainedwarmingtrendreallybegan.
Scientistsexaminednaturalrecordsofclimatevariationsacrosstheworld'soceansandcontinents.Theseincluded
climatehistoriespreservedincorals,cavedecorations,treeringsandicecores.
Theresearchteamalsoanalysedthousandsofyearsofclimatemodelsimulations,includingexperimentsusedfor
thelatestreportbytheUN'sIntergovernmentalPanelonClimateChange(IPCC),todeterminewhatcausedthe
earlywarming.
Thedataandsimulationspinpointedtheearlyonsetofwarmingtoaroundthe1830s,andfoundtheearlywarming
wasattributedtorisinggreenhousegaslevels.
CoresearcherDrHelenMcGregor,fromtheUniversityofWollongong'sSchoolofEarthandEnvironmental
Sciences,saidhumansonlycausedsmallincreasesinthelevelofgreenhousegasesintheatmosphereduringthe
1800s.
"ButtheearlyonsetofwarmingdetectedinthisstudyindicatestheEarth'sclimatedidrespondinarapidand
measureablewaytoeventhesmallincreaseincarbonemissionsduringthestartoftheIndustrialAge,"Dr
McGregorsaid.
Theresearchersalsostudiedmajorvolcaniceruptionsintheearly1800sandfoundtheywereonlyaminorfactorin
theearlyonsetofclimatewarming.
AssociateProfessorAbramsaidtheearliestsignsofgreenhouseinducedwarmingdevelopedduringthe1830sin
theArcticandintropicaloceans,followedsoonafterbyEurope,AsiaandNorthAmerica.
However,climatewarmingappearstohavebeendelayedintheAntarctic,possiblyduetothewayoceancirculation
ispushingwarmingwaterstotheNorthandawayfromthefrozencontinent.

StorySource:
TheabovepostisreprintedfrommaterialsprovidedbyAustralianNationalUniversity.Note:Contentmaybe
editedforstyleandlength.

JournalReference:
1. NerilieJ.Abram,HelenV.McGregor,JessicaE.Tierney,MichaelN.Evans,NicholasP.McKay,DarrellS.
Kaufman,KaustubhThirumalai,BelenMartrat,HuguesGoosse,StevenJ.Phipps,EricJ.Steig,K.Halimeda
Kilbourne,CaseyP.Saenger,JensZinke,GuillaumeLeduc,JasonA.Addison,P.GrahamMortyn,MaritSolveig
Seidenkrantz,MarieAlexandrineSicre,KandasamySelvaraj,HelenaL.Filipsson,RaphaelNeukom,Joelle
Gergis,MarkA.J.Curran,LucienvonGunten.Earlyonsetofindustrialerawarmingacrosstheoceansand
continents.Nature,2016536(7617):411DOI:10.1038/nature19082

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160824135035.htm

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8/26/2016

Humanshavecausedclimatechangefor180yearsScienceDaily

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