Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Warmest in a Million Year

The Earth's rapid warming has pushed temperatures to their hottest level in nearly 12,000 years and within a hairbreadth of a million years, a study by the US space agency showed.

Global warming, which has added 0.2 degree Celsius (0.36 degree Fahrenheit) per decade over the past 30 years, has caused temperatures to reach and now pass through the warmest levels in the current interglacial period, which lasted almost 12,000 years, according to the study led by James Hansen, a leading climatologist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The study, published in the September 26 of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said that Earth was now within about 1.0 C (1.8 F) of the maximum estimated temperature of the past million years.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration researcher said that was the most important finding of the team's research.

"That means that further global warming of 1.0 degree Celsius defines a critical level. If warming is kept less than that, effects of global warming may be relatively manageable. During the warmest interglacial periods the Earth was reasonably similar to today," Hansen said.

"But if further global warming reaches 2.0 or 3.0 degrees Celsius, we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet than the one we know."

Oh yeah. Don't have to go to another world to get another world now!!!

No comments: