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Arctic Warmest in 120,000 Years

November 4, 2013
Environmental Protection

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p>A new study has found that average summer temperatures in the East Canadian Arctic are warmer than at any point in the past 120,000 years. Researchers looked at mosses found beneath receding glaciers on Baffin Island, located west of Greenland, coming to the conclusion that the region was in a period of unprecedented warming. Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado Bolder, lead author of the report ‘Unprecedented recent summer warmth in Arctic Canada’, is convinced that man made emissions are to blame saying; “Our data pretty clearly demonstrates that the observed warming now exceeds any plausible explanation by natural variability. There is no other explanation that anybody has put forward outside of greenhouse gas emissions that can possibly meet what we’ve observed.”

Many scientists believe that arctic warming is responsible for redirecting the jet stream in the northern mid latitudes making extreme weather events in the USA and Europe more likely. Arctic warming has been occurring since 1900 but the most rapid increase has been shown to be happening in the past 40 years. Radiocarbon dating was the key to the research, as Miller explained; “Since radiocarbon dating is only accurate to about 50,000 years and because Earth’s geological record shows it was in a glaciation stage prior to that time, the indications are that Canadian Arctic temperatures today have not been matched or exceeded for roughly 120,000 years.”

The full report can be found at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013GL057188/abstract