Hockey Stick Graph Now Even More Stickish

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Everyone is familiar with the “hockey stick” chart of global warming. It’s called that because it shows relatively flat global temperatures over the past millennium followed by a sudden sharp rise over the past century.

Well, here’s the latest version, based on a reconstruction of enormous amounts of data over a much longer time frame. It very dramatically shows how different the past century is from the past 12,000 years. Over that period, global temperatures gradually rose as we exited our last ice age and then gradually started to fall about 5,000 years ago. But there’s nothing gradual about what happened next: Starting around 1900, global temperatures suddenly spiked almost straight up. The LA Times reports:

New research into Earth’s ancient climate is providing a clearer, more detailed view of how the planet’s average surface temperature fluctuated over the period known as the Holocene epoch, which continues today.

….In a study published in Friday’s edition of the journal Science, researchers used eight indirect temperature indicators — such as pollen and shells from marine organisms — to chart long-term global warming and cooling trends….“By the year 2100, we will be beyond anything human society has ever experienced,” said study leader Shaun Marcott, a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.

Michael Mann, a climate researcher who has endured a blizzard of attacks from climate deniers over his original hockey stick graph, figures the team who published this work will suffer the same fate. “I am certain that professional climate-change deniers will attack the study and the authors, in an effort to discredit this important work,” he told the Times.

No doubt. Tim McDonnell has more here.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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