An early start to climate change

Around 1830, just decades after the start of the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide added in small but increasing amounts started to change the chemistry of the atmosphere. Not long after, the planet’s oceans started to warm up, kicking off a trend that continues today.

That’s the message of a new study authored by the PAGES 2k Network published in Nature. Drawing on a roughly 500-year history of temperatures in the oceans and on land, the group concluded that the warming of the planet may have started early in the 1800s – and much earlier than typical climate change graphs depict. The results show that even small amounts of carbon dioxide may be able to shift how fast the planet is warming, with both positive and negative repercussions.   

Access the Nature paper here.

Read more about this PAGES 2k Network contribution, including the PAGES' press release and FAQs, here.

Read a complementary article in The Conversation by 2k members Helen McGregor, Joelle Gergis, Nerilie Abram and Steven Phipps here.