Australasia Temperatures Increased Sharply Since 1950s, Study
May 21, 2012
By studying natural climate records over 1,000 years, scientists have found evidence for human-caused climate change in the Australasian region since 1950.
AsianScientist (May 21, 2012) – In the first study of its kind in Australasia, scientists have used 27 natural climate records to create the first large-scale temperature reconstruction for the region over the last 1,000 years.
Lead researcher, Dr. Joelle Gergis from the University of Melbourne said the results show that there are no other warm periods in the last 1,000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950.
“Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1,000 year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region,” she said.
The study, published recently in the Journal of Climate, will form the Australasian region’s contribution to the 5th IPCC climate change assessment report chapter on past climate.
Gergis used a range of natural indicators including tree rings, corals, and ice cores to study Australasian temperatures over the past millennium and compared them to climate model simulations.
These ‘palaeoclimate’ natural records were provided by decades of work by more than 30 researchers from Australia, New Zealand, and around the world, and precede direct temperature records which started in 1910.
Using 27 natural climate records calculated in 3,000 different ways to ensure that the results were robust, Gergis developed a large-scale reconstruction of regional temperature over the last thousand years.
Gergis’ study is part of a global collaboration, PAGES, Past Global Changes Regional 2K initiative, which is working to reconstruct the last 2,000 years of climate across every region in the world in order to reduce uncertainties associated with future climate change projections.
Source: University of Melbourne; Photo: www.damncoolpictures.com.
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