A team of scientists just published a record of global temperatures in the journal Science that dates back to the end of the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago.
As summarized in a brief note on National Public Radio, this global temperature compilation gives us a jolting view of temperature change over the last 100 years:
Shaun Marcott, a geologist at Oregon State University, says “global temperatures are warmer than about 75 percent of anything we’ve seen over the last 11,000 years or so.” The other way to look at that is, 25 percent of the time since the last ice age, it’s been warmer than now.
You might think, so what’s to worry about? But Marcott says the record shows just how unusual our current warming is. “It’s really the rates of change here that’s amazing and atypical,” he says. Essentially, it’s warming up superfast”.
The research article is published in Science – http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract
Science 8 March 2013:
Vol. 339 no. 6124 pp. 1198-1201