‘Unprecedented’ warming since 1950
THE rise in temperatures in and around Australia since 1950 has been unprecedented, according to new research published in the Journal of Climate.
A team led by scientists at the University of Melbourne has found no period during the past 1000 years matches the warming experienced in Australasia in the past 60 years.
It’s believed to be the first study of its type in the region.
Lead researcher, Joelle Gergis, says a reconstruction of regional temperatures provided a “climate picture” of the past.
‘Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1000-year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region,” Dr Gergis says in a statement.
The researchers examined natural indicators, such as tree rings, corals and ice cores to look at temperatures over time.
Dr Gergis says they were fundamental in evaluating global climate variability before 1910 when direct temperature records started.
The team compared the data with climate model simulations.
To ensure the results were accurate, the team’s reconstruction used 27 natural climate records which were calculated in 3000 different ways.
Dr Gergis says the study will help scientists better understand future climate variability too.
The study is part of an international collaboration which aims to reconstruct the past 2000 years of climate in every part of the world.