Arctic reverses trend, is warmest in two millennia

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Arctic reverses trend, is warmest in two millennia

Post  Roick on 3/9/2009, 4:39 pm

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WASHINGTON – The Arctic is warmer than it's been in 2,000 years, even though it should be cooling because of changes in the Earth's orbit that cause the region to get less direct sunlight. Indeed, the Arctic had been cooling for nearly two millennia before reversing course in the last century and starting to warm as human activities added greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

"If it hadn't been for the increase in human-produced greenhouse gases, summer temperatures in the Arctic should have cooled gradually over the last century," said Bette Otto-Bliesner, a National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist and co-author of a study of Arctic temperatures published in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

The most recent 10-year interval, 1999-2008, was the warmest of the last 2,000 years in the Arctic, according to the researchers led by Darrell S. Kaufman, a professor of geology and environmental science at Northern Arizona University.

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Arctic reverses trend, is warmest in two millennia
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