Scientists have long known that climate change is warming the arctic at an alarming rate. But new research shows that in some areas—where human-caused climate change has driven temperatures higher than they’ve been for tens of thousands of years—melting polar ice caps are now beyond any hope of saving.
A study announced this week confirms for the first time that, because of global warming, the average summer temperature over the past 100 years in the Eastern Canadian Arctic is hotter than any other century in the last 44,000 years and likely the hottest over the past 120,000 years.
This means that current temperatures surpass those of the early Holocene period 11,000 years ago, when the northern hemisphere was closer to the sun, receiving 9 percent more energy from it, explained Colorado University at Boulder geological sciences Professor Gifford Miller, lead author of the study.
“The only possible explanation for today’s hotter temperatures is global warming,” Miller told Common Dreams in a phone interview. “This is the first study to find firm evidence that current arctic temperatures are warmer now than the early Holecene, when the sun was closer and it should have been a warmer time.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT