As the report states, the graph illustrates that “the significant post-industrial sea ice decline occurs in concert with significant atmospheric and ocean warming driven by an exponential increase in atmospheric COThis map shows how global temperatures in 2016 differed from those of the early 20th century, before post-industrial-revolution emissions of carbon dioxide began significantly influencing Earth’s climate system.
As the map shows, the Arctic is warming more intensely than any other region on Earth.
The 85 scientists who published the peer-reviewed Arctic Report Card synthesized research from multiple sources.
The section devoted to comparing today’s observed climate shifts to changes that occurred in the past is based in part on paleoclimate research using what scientists call “proxy records.” These include tree-ring records, and chemical fingerprints locked within cores drilled from ice sheets, lake sediments, and the seafloor.
These proxy records are needed because accurate monitoring of climatic factors extends no farther back than the late 1800s.
The graph above reveals what these proxy records along with modern monitoring reveal about the history of Arctic climate change over the past 1,500 years.
Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications.
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