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March 9 2013

Global temperature rise is fastest in at least 11,000 years, study says


Over the past century, global average temperatures appear to have risen faster than at any time since the end of the last ice age 11,300 years ago, and perhaps longer. Meanwhile, the magnitude of the increase has been unmatched in at least the past 4,000 years.

Researchers say those are the implications of a new study that uses natural stand-ins for thermometers to trace temperature trends back to the beginning of the current warm, interglacial period. Significantly, the study’s findings suggest the current warming trend cannot be explained by some forms of naturally occurring temperature variability, a lingering issue in the debate over the impact of human activity on global warming.

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