A study recently published in the journal Nature brings grim news: anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) has officially ended the era of stable climate that has made possible the development of modern civilization.
The world we live in today, based on industrial-scale agriculture capable of feeding billions of people and sustaining these vast numbers of humans, is only possible within a stable climate paradigm.
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The recent study, “Reconciling divergent trends and millennial variations in Holocene temperatures,” underscores this by showing that temperatures across North America and Europe have reached levels that are unprecedented over the last 11,000 years. This research confirms the findings of a groundbreaking Oregon State/Harvard study from 2013.
The 2013 study, published in the journal Science, was at the time the single most comprehensive reconstruction of global temperatures over the last 11,000 years ever carried out.
When that study was published, lead author of the current study, Jeremiah Marsicek, explained at a news release, “we learned that the climate fluctuates naturally over the last 11,000 years and would have led to cooling today in the absence of human activity.”
The study also found that if the planet had not already been in the midst of a natural cooling phase when humans began warming it with our emissions, Earth’s atmosphere would be nearly an additional 1°F warmer now than it already is. Global temperatures have now broken with the naturally slow-changing and relatively stable conditions that existed before ACD began.
The recent study confirmed that the average global temperature of the last decade, from 2007 to 2016, was higher than that of even the warmest centuries over the last 11,000 years by more than 0.5°F.
Our Trumpian Climate Future
Given what the data of these two studies shows, it is worth remembering the results of a government ACD report that leaked last August. The product of 13 federal agencies, the National Climate Assessment showed that, via their “higher emissions” scenario, the US will experience a stunning 8°F to 10°F warming above where we are now over the interior of the country by 2100.
The projections also showed that the Arctic will experience a shocking 18°F of warming sometime between the years 2071 to 2100 and global sea levels could increase by eight feet above current levels by 2100, swamping every major coastal city on Earth.
Meanwhile, a 2009 study from MIT showed that there is a chance things could be even far worse than this: Unchecked ACD could result in more than 7°C planetary warming by 2100.