The 20th century was the hottest in nearly 2,000 years, studies show

The 20th century was the hottest in nearly 2,000 years, studies show
The 20th century was the hottest recorded in the past two millennia, according to two climate change studies released July 24. Credit: iStock

Two new studies show that the 20th century was the Earth's warmest period recorded in 2,000 years of the planet's record.

The studies further indicate that was manmade because the warming trend began after the industrial revolution, according to climate scientist Julien Emile-Geay, associate professor of Earth sciences at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and a co-author of one of the studies.

The research also further confirms a long-challenged graph of climate data, "the hockey stick graph," that when first released in the late 1990s indicated that manmade pollution has contributed to the biggest rise in Earth's temperatures in two millennia.

The models account for multiple sets of data from , ocean corals, ice cores and other sources of record of the Earth's climate history.

Emile-Geay is a member of a network of climate scientists worldwide, Pages 2k, that conducted the studies, published Wednesday in the journals Nature and Nature Geoscience. The studies are based on multiple , all of which remarkably show the same trend, Emile-Geay says.

The hockey stick graph has been a political lightning rod for 20 years, both among climate change deniers and climate scientists. Researchers questioned the behind the graph after climate expert Michael Mann of Penn State University had first reported it in a scientific journal in the late 1990s.

The graph of global temperature change looks like a horizontal hockey stick with its toe curving up, indicating a temperature rise after the . The graph implies that humans have caused global warming.


Explore further

Scientists upgrade database tracking global temperatures across millennia (Update)

More information: Consistent multidecadal variability in global temperature reconstructions and simulations over the Common Era, Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0400-0
Journal information: Nature , Nature Geoscience

Citation: The 20th century was the hottest in nearly 2,000 years, studies show (2019, July 25) retrieved 23 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-20th-century-hottest-years.html
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