Image courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
By Science Daily
An analysis of changes to the climate that occur over several decades suggests that these changes are happening faster than historical levels and are starting to speed up. The Earth is now entering a period of changing climate that will likely be faster than what’s occurred naturally over the last thousand years, according to a new paper in Nature Climate Change, committing people to live through and adapt to a warming world.
In this study, interdisciplinary scientist Steve Smith and colleagues at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory examined historical and projected changes over decades rather than centuries to determine the temperature trends that will be felt by humans alive today.
“We focused on changes over 40-year periods, which is similar to the lifetime of houses and human-built infrastructure such as buildings and roads,” said lead author Smith. “In the near term, we’re going to have to adapt to these changes.”
See CMIP run
Overall, the Earth is getting warmer due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that trap heat. But the rise is not smooth — temperatures bob up and down. Although natural changes in temperature have long been studied, less well-understood is how quickly temperatures changed in the past and will change in the future over time scales relevant to society, such as over a person’s lifetime. A better grasp of how fast the climate might change could help decision-makers better prepare for its impacts.
Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.