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Global Warming Set to Increase at Highest Rate in 1,000 Years

March 10, 2015
Environmental Protection

arctic sunsetNew research published in the journal Nature Climate Change has predicted that global warming could increase at a rate not seen for 1,000 years, with the Arctic, North America and Europe being the regions affected first.

Scientists came to the conclusion after studying 40-year warming trends and finding that by 2020 the rate of change could be as much as 0.25oC per decade. Over the 900 years preceding the 20th century, researchers found that 40-year warming trends had rarely shown an average rate of change higher than 0.1oC per decade.

The study started by calculating how fast temperatures changed between 1850 and 1930, a period when the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere was relatively low. Co-author Steven Smith from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory said, “Essentially, the world is entering a new regime where what is normal is going to continue to change and it’s changing at a rate that natural processes might not be able to keep up with.”

The northern hemisphere will be the first region to experience the effects, with the Arctic, which is already the fastest warming part of the planet, seeing temperatures rise by 0.6oc by 2040. Rates in Europe and North America will see slightly lower levels. Using a number of climate models, scientists warn that even if emissions are cut drastically the rate of change is still set to increase over the next 40 years.

You can view a copy of the study HERE