We’ve been Warming the Climate longer than We’ve Thought

The Earth is on fire owing to our harmful activities.

As mass industrialization got underway in England, and much of the rest of Europe, we began to change the planet’s climate by emitting vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. From the mid-19th century onward we set global warming unwittingly in motion. Or so the story goes.

Turns out we might well have been changing the Earth’s climate much earlier than that. A whole century earlier, to be precise. Already in the 1830s global temperatures were noticeably rising owing to human activities, according to an international team of scientists.

Albeit people were emitting fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during the 1830s than in the 1930s, temperatures around the planet were already on the upswing. What that shows is that the atmosphere responds fast to even relatively low levels of extra carbon dioxide in it. “The changes in greenhouse gases in the 19th century were small compared with the fairly rapid changes we see now, so seeing the climate respond this way was a surprise,” she said.

A nasty surprise, we might add. If even relatively low levels of carbon dioxide can change climates globally in measurable ways, how much more can the large amounts we continue to pump into the atmosphere change those climates?

Link: http://cleanmalaysia.com/2016/08/26/weve-warming-climate-longer-weve-thought/

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