Long term climate heading into territory ‘unknown’ by humans:
Scientists have created the longest continuous reconstruction of the Earth’s surface climate stretching back two million years.
Their analysis predicts that current greenhouse gas levels could commit the planet to extreme rises of temperature over the long term.
The research, published overnight in the journal Nature, suggests warming of between three to seven degrees Celsius may already be ‘locked in’ over coming millennia.
The paper is called Evolution of global temperature over the past two million years and was conducted by Stanford University researchers in the US.
Will Steffen from the Australian National University says short term transient temperature is increasing 170 times faster than background levels.
Professor Steffen says rising carbon emissions are likely to lock in hundreds of thousands of years of climate change ‘nothing like humans have known in the past’.