New study shows global warming was a long time coming

Scientists showed that consistent global warming started in the 1830s, affecting various areas in the world differently.

Century-scale temperature trends for the continents and tropical oceans over the last 500 years. Credit: Abram et al.

Century-scale temperature trends for the continents and tropical oceans over the last 500 years. Credit: Abram et al.

Since the Industrial Revolution, mankind has spewed more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, causing a significant rise in temperatures. Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming and there’s a virtual consensus among everyone studying climate that the warming is not only happening, but it’s happening because of us. Now it’s just a matter of understanding how it happens.

The thing is, global warming isn’t occurring uniformly across the world. So when we’re talking about a 2C increase in global temperatures, that doesn’t mean that average temperatures will increase by two degrees Celsius everywhere in the world – some areas will heat up more, others less. More and more importance is being cast on the regional effect of climate change, and this is where this new study kicks in.

 

Lead researcher Associate Professor Nerilie Abram from The Australian National University (ANU) and his team first showed that man-drive climate change has been going on for almost two centuries. The results were quite unexpected.

“It was an extraordinary finding,” said Associate Professor Abram, from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. “It was one of those moments where science really surprised us. But the results were clear. The climate warming we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago.”

Nerilie Abram, Associate Professor at the Australian National University also said she was surprised to see the results.

“It did surprise us that the earliest signs of climate warming developed around the 1830s,” she told ZME Science. “Even though industrialisation was already starting to increase greenhouse gases in the atmosphere during the 19th Century, the changes were small compared to the very rapid increases that are occurring today. The early onset of warming implies that our climate is very responsive to even small changes in greenhouse gas levels.

They analyzed data from the past two millennia, data mining strong climate indicators and consistently showing that warming trends, especially in the North Hemisphere, started out in the 1830s — when the industrial revolution reached its fruition and the developed world became industrialized. These indicators included climate histories preserved in corals, cave decorations, tree rings and ice cores.

Coral coring at Rowley Shoals, west of Broome in Western Australia, November 2009. Credit: Eric Matson, Australian Institute of Marine Science

Coral coring at Rowley Shoals, west of Broome in Western Australia, November 2009.
Credit: Eric Matson, Australian Institute of Marine Science

However, while the early trends are significant, the amount of heat humans were imposing on the environment was quite small. Co-researcher Dr Helen McGregor, from the University of Wollongong’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said humans only caused small increases in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere during the 1800s.

“But the early onset of warming detected in this study indicates the Earth’s climate did respond in a rapid and measureable way to even the small increase in carbon emissions during the start of the Industrial Age,” Dr McGregor said.

England during early Industrial Era.

England during early Industrial Era.

Furthermore, the effect wasn’t uniform across the planet. The video divides most of the Earth’s landmass into several areas, and it’s clear some areas were affected harder than others. The northern parts of Europe and North America were affected the most, while eastern Asia suffered significantly less. But more importantly for the future, we need to incorporate pre-twentieth century information in comprehensive assessments of human-induced climate change, and we might even have to rethink some of our climate models, considering heating trends from before the 20th century.

Abram added that for the Northern Hemisphere, existing models show a good fit with their data, but for the southern hemisphere, things are a bit tricky.

“Actually, we found that for most parts of the world the climate history reconstructed from natural archives is very similar to that simulated by climate models,” she added in an email. “So that gives us a lot of confidence that the climate models are generally doing a good job. The place where we do see differences between data and models though is in the Southern Hemisphere and especially Antarctica, and we don’t yet know exactly why that is. This is going to be very important for scientists to figure out.”

Journal Reference: Early onset of industrial-era warming across the oceans and continents. DOI 10.1038/nature19082

2 thoughts on “New study shows global warming was a long time coming

  1. Rick Kooi

    Chile has just contracted for a SOLAR POWER PLANT to provide electricity at HALF the UN-SUBSIDIZED cost of electricity in the US……now that the OIL Billionaires lies about the high cost destroying the world economy is GONE…..what is preventing ACTION ? ?

    Legitimate Science had been warning about the massive & unrestrained pumping of industrial waste products

    .gasses and chemicals into our atmosphere

    .& back yards for that matter…for decades & decades.

    .note the 1958 Report to President Eisenhower

    & the 11/5/1965 Report, Warning, and Projections to President Johnson.

    .

    How could ANY rational human being think that there would be no price to
    pay for the massive pumping of these wastes into our atmosphere ?

    .

    WARNING:

    The out break of skin cancer epidemics world wide

    traced back to similar waste gasses & chemicals dumped into our atmosphere

    in smaller amounts than CO2.

    it took a CONSERVATIVE President to address these problems causing the OZONE HOLE.

    .

    WARNING:

    The browning & dying of vast forests, world wide.

    Traced back to similar waste gasses & chemicals dumped into our atmosphere,

    in smaller amounts than CO2.

    It took another CONSERVATIVE President to address these problems causing the ACID RAIN.

    SO where did those 1970’s ‘newspaper reports’ about a NEW ICE AGE come from?

    & why ?

    From the industrial/political Right Wing.

    2 prime intents

    .undermine legitimate science on Global Warming

    .and to sell a million new Furnaces & the sale of more oil & gas.

    .

    OH MAMA !

    they are doing it again !

    ..It is said: we are on our way into a new ice age !

    ..Why, We will be “knee deep” into ICE !

    ..& their fellow apologists for the TRILLION DOLLAR CASH FLOW FROM YOUR POCKETS

    into the Banks Owned by OIL & GAS BILLIONAIRES.

    .

    The Next Exercise in Muddying the waters of democratic discussion:

    ALL SCIENTISTS are Getting rich on government grants.

    Say What?

    . SURPRISE !

    An Average research scientist earns LESS than a 1st year elementary school teacher

    (Even though he/she has FAR more education & 5 yrs.+ experience.)

    (And virtually no researchers have ever seen a gov’t. grant application request)

    .

    After the RightWing PR people, paid by oil funded sites,

    attacked NASA / NOAA 2100+ ground stations as manipulated data & politically motivated data .

    NO PROOF,

    just misquotes with decorative smoke & mirrors.

    .

    INTERNATIONA NEWS organizations set out to prove

    NASA had lied, in order to WIN JOURNALISTIC RECOGNITION & $$ !

    *

    THEY collected Tens Of Millions of data sets from over 30,000 privately
    owned & monitored digital Weather stations: WMO, 1000+businesses,
    small colleges,

    Independent air fields & free ports,

    municipalities, small Christian Colleges & Monasteries etc.

    all that data,

    Tens of Millions of data sets from around the world per YEAR.

    *No computer models for you to fixate upon.*

    ALL that Data Verify RISING WORLD TEMPS.

    Matching NOAA & NASA records to .007C

    *

    but why should that be an issue ?

    .

    Call any Agriculture Department at ANY Northern University & ask about the change in season lengths over the last century!

    Univ. of Wis., Univ. of Mi., Univ. of Minn etc. as I have.

    THEY ALL Verified:

    the AVERAGE FIRST HARD FROST in the Fall is much later ((WEEKS)) than a century ago.

    The AVERAGE LAST HARD FROST IN THE SPRING IS Much ((WEEKS)) EARLIER than a century ago !

    *That is 1 piece of good news

    since it expands growing seasons.

    Proving that Temperatures world wide are rising & at an increasing rate.

    *

    The Japanese Satellite launched decades ago registered a detailed record of

    A. ‘Incoming’ Short Wave Solar Radiation/Energy

    B. ‘Escaping’ IR Long Wave Radiation/Energy

    .

    IT PROVES A CLEAR & ‘GROWING’ ENERGY IMBALANCE.

    (CO2, Methane, Ozone, Nitrous Oxide & watervapor)

    a ‘growing’ portion of that escaping IR Radiation/energy

    IS NOT EXITING our Earth System !

    IN THE EXACT SAME WAVE LENGTHS as the GREEN HOUSE GASSES

    .

    As Proven in the mid 1800’s. Now it is being measured, in detail.

    **AS Greenhouse Gasses increase,

    **Escaping Radiation/Energy decreases.

    *

    The US launched a more sophisticated satellite

    As did the Russians

    And the Chinese.

    *ALL VERIFIED PRECISELY

    Green House Gas activity (as mentioned) in the atmosphere

    &

    the enhanced Green house effect.

    Green House gasses capture Escaping IR Energy & reflect a Chunk of that escaping energy

    back to earth, increasing Global Warming,

    increasing warming oceans & melting Snow Packs & Glaciers.

    *

    Storms world wide that more than doubled….according to UN & International Insurance Data.

    Storms world wide have nearly DOUBLED in intensity.

    2015 ushered in >> 1st time <> EVER <<.

    2015 ushered in MORE Killer Heat Waves.

    More Killer Flooding Events world wide.

    More Droughts world wide.

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