By 2100, Earth will be the warmest it has been in all of human civilization, scientists at Oregon State University and Harvard University say in a study released on March 7.

Study Shows Mother Earth Heading Toward Highest Temperatures in Human History by End Century


Greenhouse gases and thus temperatures are skyrocketing and will most likely reach epic proportions by the year 2100, scientists at Oregon State University and Harvard University have found.

Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Paleoclimate Program, and published in the March 8 issue of the journal Science, the study covers 11,300 years and finds temperatures higher than they have been over 70 to 80 percent of that time, OSU said in a statement on March 7.

A team headed by Shaun Marcott, a postdoctoral researcher in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Studies, reached further back than most other studies, which he said usually don’t go beyond 2,000 years ago, to give the current climate change issues some context. They studied data from 73 sites around the world, to tell Earth’s temperature history back to the end of the last Ice Age. The current age, called the Holocene, began when the great ice sheets of northern Turtle Island and Europe receded. What they found may well heat up the climate change debate.

First, Earth cooled about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the past 5,000 years, but warmed back up by the same amount over just the past 100 years, the researchers said. And the bigger the land masses and the larger the populations, the warmer it got—as in the Northern Hemisphere.

Predictions from climate change models expect the temperatures to increase another 2.0 to 11.5 degrees by the end of the century, the OSU statement said, “significantly greater than at any time during the past 11,300 years,” said Peter Clark, an OSU paleoclimatologist and co-author on the Science article, in the statement.

“We already knew that on a global scale, Earth is warmer today than it was over much of the past 2,000 years,” Marcott said in an OSU statement. “Now we know that it is warmer than most of the past 11,300 years. This is of particular interest because the Holocene spans the entire period of human civilization."

Moreover it’s an anomaly because of the speed with which it is happening, said Candace Major, the program program in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences, which funded the research along with NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences.

Breaching the Holocene’s temperatures would be a first, the scientists said. Although 2000–2009 was one of the warmest since the U.S. started keeping records, the temperatures have been lower than the age’s overall. But no more.

“The last century stands out as the anomaly in this record of global temperature since the end of the last ice age,” said Majo in OSU’s statement. “This research shows that we’ve experienced almost the same range of temperature change since the beginning of the industrial revolution as over the previous 11,000 years of Earth history—but this change happened a lot more quickly.”


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Jon Wilson's picture
Jon Wilson
Submitted by Jon Wilson on
Calculating greenhouse gases can be mistaken as no one is calculating the difference made by algae levels in the oceans and other water sources. This is a huge variable. For certain there is no one settling Greenland and grazing sheep on pastures there as the Vikings did between 1100 and 1350 AD.

Harry L's picture
Harry L
Submitted by Harry L on
The guy is a idiot. There are a lot of real data that shows global cooling since 1998. Next we are heading into a solar max that is very low. Like it was during the last mini-ice age. We will see a lot of climate changes that seem out of line until this finally settles in. The we will be in another natural cooling cycle. That is real science. It will happen in the next 10 yrs. And he should then have his liberal PhD pulled...

John Hix's picture
John Hix
Submitted by John Hix on
Aside from just a report in predicted changes in temperature that we face in the present century, I would like to see studies across the scientific areas as to what changes as the result of this rising temperature we might expect such as evolution of animal and plant life, impact on geophysical triggers, oceanic chemistry change and even what effects may be wrought in the magnetic and radiation fields of earth. What temperature can the Earth tolerate and still sustain mankind in the natural state? What can mankind start dong now to adapt to these expected changes? We keep talking from a point of confirming that the Earth is heating up but we are not talking about how to adapt to it for survival of the species.

Richard Prigan 's picture
Richard Prigan
Submitted by Richard Prigan on
Michelle Nostradamus predicted that in the 1500's. Please read John Hogue's book about Nostradamus and his many poems.

ak's picture
Submitted by ak on
We need to make some major changes ASAP. As the saying goes, we don't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. I am extremely concerned about my children's future.

Rita Kenion's picture
Rita Kenion
Submitted by Rita Kenion on
Clark's statement that human occupation of sites all over the world were completely in the Holocene. Recent science suggests that pre-Holocene occupations existed, and recent discoveries by Archaeologists suggest that some are fairly complex. You are making scientific statements that are apparently out of your field of expertise. It is estimated by numerous qualified Archaeologists that North America was settled at least 18,000 years ago.

Middleway's picture
Submitted by Middleway on
What people need to understand is that a few degrees hotter doesn't sound so bad for humans, but it is a big deal for snow and ice, which melts at 32 degF. Also, all of the more extreme weather (hurricanes, tornado, floods, droughts) that we have experienced so far is with only a 1.7 defF increase... and we are heading for 2-8 degF this century. Another words, global warming is a very big deal.

EDMH's picture
Submitted by EDMH on
The effect CO2 as a Greenhouse gas becomes ever more marginal with greater concentration The political target of limiting the effect of Man-made global warming to only +2⁰C can never be reached. According to well understood physical parameters, the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas diminishes logarithmically with increasing concentration and from the current level of ~390 ppmv, (parts per million by volume), only ~5% of the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas remains. This inconvenient fact is well understood in the climate science community. It can be accurately modeled using the Modtran program maintained and supported at the University of Chicago. The logarithmic diminution of the effect of CO2 is probably the reason why there was no runaway greenhouse warming from CO2 in earlier eons when CO2 levels were known to be at levels of several thousands pmmv. Remarkably, IPCC Published reports , (TAR3), do actually acknowledge that the effective temperature increase caused by growing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere radically diminishes with increasing concentrations. This information is in their report. It is well disguised for any lay reader, (Chapter 6. Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: section 6.3.4 Total Well-Mixed Greenhouse Gas Forcing Estimate). The diminishing percentage effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas as acknowledged by the IPCC and its concomitant diminishing temperature effect are as follows: increment cumulative 0-100 ppmv ~2.22°C ~2.22°C 100-200 ppmv: below this level plants die +~0.29°C ~2.51°C 200-300 ppmv: noted as the preindustrial CO2 level +~0.14°C ~2.65°C 300-400 ppmv: current level IPCC attributes all as Man-made +~0.06°C ~2.71°C 400-600 ppmv: business as usual till 2100 +~0.08°C ~2.79°C 600-1000 ppmv: improving levels for plant growth +~0.06°C ~2.90°C Accounting for the diminution effect the actual temperature reductions achievable, the calculated achievable values are in the range of few hundredths to a few thousandths of a degree Centigrade. As the margin of error for temperature measurements is about 1.0°C, these miniscule levels the temperature effects for all the efforts of nations attempting to control their CO2 emissions, only about 12% of world CO2 emissions, are marginal, immeasurable and thus irrelevant. These minute temperature changes have to be seen in the context of normal daily temperature variations at any a single location of 10⁰C to 20⁰C. It can be as much as 40⁰C to 50⁰C over the course of a whole year. Although the IPCC tacitly acknowledges that this crucial diminution effect with increasing concentrations effect exists, it certainly does not go out of its way to emphasise it. Like the Medieval Warm Period, that they attempted to eliminate with the Hockey Stick graph in 2001, the panel knows that wide public knowledge of the diminution effect with increasing CO2 concentration would be utterly detrimental to their primary message. “Man-made CO2 emissions are the cause of climate change”. The IPCC certainly does not explain these devastating consequences for the CAGW theory in their Summary for Policy Makers. This is because the IPCC is an essentially political organisation, that is solely tasked with the promotion and presentation of Man-made Climate Change from CO2 emissions, as an accepted and non-contentious fact for world’s politicians. Thus the IPCC is entirely misleading in its central claim for Policy Makers, as they say: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” Any unquestioning, policy making reader is lead to assume that all increasing CO2 concentrations are progressively more harmful because of their escalating Greenhouse impact. But the opposite is so. From the present concentration of atmospheric CO2 at ~390 ppmv, only ~5% of the effectiveness of CO2 as a Greenhouse Gas remains. This can only give rise to a maximum of a further of ~+0.21°C. Thereafter beyond 1000+ pmmv the effect of increasing levels of CO2 can only ever be absolutely minimal even if CO2 concentrations were to increase indefinitely. It is for this irrefutable physical fact that the widely held alarmist policy ambition “to constrain Man-made temperature increase to only +2°C” could in fact never be reached, however much more Man-made CO2 was emitted. It is impossible to ever reach the much vaunted policy upper limit of +2.0 °C that has been promoted by politicians as a target final limit for man-made CO2 emissions.

Gayno Standsblack's picture
Gayno Standsblack
Submitted by Gayno Standsblack on
i cannot say i have scientific evidence but i know since my child hood the rains have not filled up the puddles nor has the snow covered the ground as it did as it had in my child hood and we my family, friends and people i speak to off the street know the difference of how it was and how it is.....