BOSTON (TheStreet) -- This spring put climate change back on the mainstream media radar.
It started in March, when the American Association for the Advancement of Science released a report on climate change titled What We Know to kick off an initiative to raise awareness on the issue. It makes clear that not only is human-caused climate change real and happening, but that we need to take quick and direct action to rein in greenhouse gas emissions to avert likely catastrophe. Now the the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a grim report acknowledging that global carbon emissions have continued accelerate even with the recent spike in political rhetoric on tackling the issue.
Despite the growing alarm in the scientific community on climate change, deniers have continued to raise their voices to drown out concern. Two arguments most often used by climate skeptics are that climate change is part of the planet's natural cycle and climate variability and that climate projections rely on fallible computer models. A study released this month in the peer-review journal Climate Dynamics, though, should put these arguments to rest.
Conducted by geophysicist Dr. Shaun Lovejoy of McGill University in Montreal, the study analyzed temperature data collected since 1500, paying particular attention to changes in the past 125 years, since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Lovejoy considered these temperature changes in the context of longer-term climate fluctuations and looked at records of tree rings, ice cores, cores of the ocean floor and lake sediments. This kind of data offers insight into hemispheric and global climate fluctuations over hundreds, thousands or in some cases even hundreds of thousands of years. For instance, some ice cores from the South Pole can offer a blueprint of climate fluctuations over the past 800,000 years.