Amazingly enough, to spite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there are still a few on the fringe who try to argue that global warming is just part of a normal, natural cycle. Now, new data proves that this can not be the case.
A new study from University of Colorado Boulder reveals that Arctic temperatures have been higher in this last century than any other century in more than 44,000 years and with this new information, it may be higher than the planet has seen in the past 120,000 years. The study was conducted using samples from the Baffin islands which lies east of Greenland. The majority of the island's 196,000 square miles are in the arctic circle, providing the best options for testing natural warming and cooling trends which gives us an understanding of just how unprecedented our current temperatures are. What is the significance of this? During the Holocene period, which began as the last ice age ended, the Earth experienced a warming trend. At this time, the Northern Hemisphere received much stronger amounts of energy from the sun during the summer months than what we do now, 9 times as much in fact. Yet, even with this enormous amount of the sun's energy beating down on the planet, the Earth still did not exhibit rising temperatures as high as what we have seen in just the last 100 years following the rise of the industrial revolution.
What this means in layman's terms is simply that the rising temperatures can not be attributed to a normal, natural cycle. If the Earth receiving 9 times the amount of the sun's energy did not result in temperatures of this scale; how then could it now be a natural occurrence with much less of the sun's energy? If we did not factor in man's use of fossil fuels and the resulting pollution and greenhouse effect there would be no other possible, natural cause for the warming. In other words, Global Warming is directly caused by fossil fuels and human pollution.
While this is troubling news, because it means that, since it is not a natural cycle, there is no built in mechanism to counter the trend. It is also good news because it conclusively tells us that we do, in fact, know the cause of global warming, which means that we still have a very small window of opportunity to stop the pollution that is causing it and to try to work towards repairing some of the damage before we hit the tipping point of no return.
Read the full details of the study from the university here.