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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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