Arctic Temperatures Now Highest In 120,000 Years

Arctic Temperatures Are Now Highest In 120,000 Years says a new study, reports Emily Chung at CBC News. Melting Eastern Canadian Arctic ice caps have exposed evidence suggesting that average summertime temperatures are the highest in 120,000 years. The study shows current temperatures are “well outside the range of natural variability now,” said Gifford Miller, from the University of Colorado, Boulder, who led the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters. “And so… there’s really nothing left but greenhouse gases to explain why the warming is occurring.” The researchers gathered dead moss that had been exposed by melting of the ice caps, and used radiocarbon dating to find out how long the moss had been buried in the ice before that. The researchers hit the 50,000-year limit of radiocarbon dating, meaning the moss had been buried since the middle of the last ice age. And since the ice almost certainly didn’t melt during the ice age, it had probably been there since the beginning of the ice age, 120,000 years ago. “Maybe the future warming estimates for the Arctic are still underestimated,” Miller added.

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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