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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Arctic Summers might be Warmest in 2000 Years

A millennia-long cycle of natural cooling in the Arctic, due to changes in the earth's orbit around the sun has been reversed due to increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Sunset over the Arctic.

This reversal has supposedly raised Arctic summer temperatures to their highest levels for at least 2000 years, according to a report that was posted in the Journal Science.

The rise in temperature began around 1900 and accelerated after 1950.

Professor Darrell Kaufman, a climate scientist at Northern Arizona University and lead author of the study, along with his colleagues reconstructed a decade-by-decade record of the Arctic climate over the past 2,000 years by analyzing lake sediments, ice cores and tree rings. Computer simulations of changes in seasonal sunlight levels caused by the Earth's elliptical orbit and the shifting tilt of its axis verified the long-term cooling trend.

The scientists showed that summer temperatures in the Arctic fell by an average of 0.2C every thousand years, but that this cooling was swamped by human-induced warming in the 20th century, according to the article from the Guardian.

Check out this link from the Daily Mail Online (UK). It shows a melting glacier that appears to take the form of a crying face. With today's photo imaging software, an image like this can certainly be doctored, but I doubt it in this case. If it is real, that is a pretty cool image. One of our regular commentators (Kipp) is a photography professional, I wonder what he thinks.

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