Press Releases

Below you will find information about papers which have received a high level of media coverage. The press releases can be from PAGES, Future Earth, journals or institutions.

This is by no means a complete list, and not all press releases for each entry have been included.

Jun-18

Warmer Worlds

Authors:
Fischer H, Meissner KJ, Mix AC, Abram NJ, Austermann J, Brovkin V, Capron E, Colombaroli D, Daniau A-L, Dyez KA, Felis T, Finkelstein SA, Jaccard SL, McClymont EL, Rovere A, Sutter J, Wolff EW, Affolter S, Bakker P, Ballesteros-Cánovas JA, Barbante C, Caley T, Carlson AE, Churakova (Sidorova) O, Cortese G, Cumming BF, Davis BAS, de Vernal A, Emile-Geay J, Fritz SC, Gierz P, Gottschalk J, Holloway MD, Joos F, Kucera, M, Loutre M-F, Lunt DJ, Marcisz K, Marlon JR, Martinez P, Masson-Delmotte V, Nehrbass-Ahles C, Otto-Bliesner BL, Raible CC, Risebrobakken B, Sánchez Goñi MF, Saleem Arrigo J, Sarnthein M, Sjolte J, Stocker TF, Velasquez Alvárez PA, Tinner W, Valdes PJ, Vogel H, Wanner H, Yan Q, Yu Z, Ziegler M & Zhou L

Paper:
Palaeoclimate constraints on the impact of 2 °C anthropogenic warming and beyond

Publication:
Nature Geoscience. Published 25 June 2018.
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-018-0146-0

Link to Press Releases and Swiss television news item:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/journal-articles/12487-warm-worlds-paper-nat-geosci-18

Description:

This paper by members of PAGES Warmer Worlds Integrative Activity stresses the urgency of reducing CO2 emissions to avert major environmental damages. The study - led by Hubertus Fischer, Katrin Meissner and Alan Mix, with a group of almost 60 scientists from 17 countries - compiled evidence from the past to review the response of different components of the Earth System (such as marine and terrestrial ecosystems, ice sheets, sea ice etc.) on a warming in various regions of the globe similar to what is expected for a maximum 1.5-2°C global warming as agreed upon in the Paris Agreement. The results suggest that, even with global warming limited to within 2°C above preindustrial levels aimed for in the Paris Agreement, climate zones and ecosystems will shift poleward or to higher altitudes, rapid polar warming may release significant additional greenhouse gases, and sea-level will rise by several meters over several thousand years.

Oct-17

VICS

Authors:
Joseph G. Manning, Francis Ludlow, Alexander R. Stine, William R. Boos, Michael Sigl & Jennifer R. Marlon

Paper:
Volcanic suppression of Nile summer flooding triggers revolt and constrains interstate conflict in ancient Egypt

Publication:
Nature Communications, vol. 8 (Article 900). Published 17 October 2017.
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00957-y

Link to Press Releases and FAQs:
http://www.pastglobalchanges.org/products/11451-vics-nile-egypt-nature-comms-17

Description:

Members of PAGES Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society (VICS) working group believe volcanic eruptions, climate change and the absence of Nile summer flooding caused upheaval in ancient Egypt. The authors investigate the impact of eruptive volcanism on the Nile’s ability to flood, and combine volcano–climate numerical modeling, ice-core catalogued eruption timings, ancient Egyptian documentation of socio-economic behaviour, and recordings from the Islamic Nilometer (an ancient history of Nile water levels) in their study, which shows that the lack of critically important summer flooding in Ptolemaic Egypt (305–30 BCE) correlates with volcanic eruptions, leading to societal unrest.

Jul-17

2k Network

Authors:
PAGES 2k Consortium

Paper:
A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common Era

Publication:
Scientific Data, vol. 4(170088). Published 11 July 2017.
https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2017.88

Link to Press Releases and FAQs:
http://www.pastglobalchanges.org/products/highlights/10535-2k-temp-database-sci-data-17

Description:

A large international team of scientists, the PAGES 2k Consortium, released a new version of a dataset used to track Earth’s temperature over the Common Era, 1 AD to the present. The database, along with new and openly available computerized tools to analyze it, will enable climate scientists to more accurately study the pattern and causes of surface temperature changes than was previously possible. The database gathers information on past temperature based on evidence from a number of distinct sources including tree rings, corals, glacier ice, and marine and lake sediments. The database gathered data from 98 regional experts from 22 countries, for a total of 692 records from 648 locations that reflect temperature changes through various biological and physical processes.

Feb-17

QUIGS

Authors:
P. C. Tzedakis, M. Crucifix, T. Mitsui & E. W. Wolff

Paper:
A simple rule to determine which insolation cycles lead to interglacials

Publication:
Nature, vol. 542, pp. 427-432. Published 23 February 2017.
https://doi.org/10.1038/nature21364

Link to author's Press Release:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/journal-articles/7540-simple-rule-intergl-quigs-17

Description:

Members of the PAGES-PMIP Working Group on Quaternary Interglacials (QUIGS) published their findings on how astronomical forces lead to interglacials. Authors discusses the use of a statistical model that correctly predicts every complete deglaciation of the past million years. They propose that the appearance of larger ice sheets was a consequence of an increase in the deglaciation threshold and in the number of skipped insolation peaks.

Oct-16

Varves Working Group

Authors:
Jean-Philippe Jenny, Alexandre Normandeau, Pierre Francus, Zofia Ecaterina Taranu, Irene Gregory-Eaves, François Lapointe, Josue Jautzy, Antti E. K. Ojala, Jean-Marcel Dorioz, Arndt Schimmelmann & Bernd Zolitschka

Paper:
Urban point sources of nutrients were the leading cause for the historical spread of hypoxia across European lakes

Publication:
PNAS, vol. 113(45), pp. 12655-12660. Published 24 October 2016.
https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1605480113

Link to Press Release:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/journal-articles/7157-urb-source-cause-sprd-hypox-euro

Description:

This new study from the PAGES-endorsed Varves Working Group identifies urban expansion as the reason for low-oxygen rates in European lakes beginning in 1850. It uses a compilation of data from 1500 European watersheds to identify the relative role of different drivers in initiating hypolimnetic hypoxia, a critical indicator of lake health. The authors also discovered a significant acceleration in the spread of lacustrine hypoxia in the 1900s - well before the general use of commercial fertilizers in the mid-20th century and the onset of supraregional climate warming in the 1970s.

Aug-16

2k Network

Authors:
Nerilie J. Abram, Helen V. McGregor, Jessica E. Tierney, Michael N. Evans, Nicholas P. McKay, Darrell S. Kaufman & the PAGES 2k Consortium

Paper:
Early onset of industrial-era warming across the oceans and continents

Publication:
Nature Vol. 536, pp. 411–418. Published online 24 August 2016.
https://doi.org/10.1038/nature19082

Link to Press Release and FAQs:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/highlights/7036-early-onset-indust-warm-oceans

Description:
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 this new study authored by the PAGES 2k Network. 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.

Jul-16

Euro-Med2k

Authors:
Mary H. Gagen, Eduardo Zorita, Danny McCarroll, Matthias Zahn, Giles H. F. Young & Iain Robertson

Paper:
North Atlantic summer storm tracks over Europe dominated by internal variability over the past millennium

Publication:
Nature Geoscience Vol. 9, pp. 630–635. Published online 4 July 2016.
https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2752

Link to Press Release:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/journal-articles/7009-natlant-summ-storms-nature-geo

Description:
Certain large, sustained anomalies in European temperatures in the past millennium are probably the result of internal variation. Such internal variations can modulate regional temperatures away from the expected response to greenhouse gas forcing. Here we assess the causes of European summer temperature variability over the past millennium using temperature observations, simulations and reconstructions.

Apr-16

2k Network

Authors:
Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist, Paul J. Krusic, Hanna S. Sundqvist, Eduardo Zorita, Gudrun Brattström & David Frank

Paper:
Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries

Publication:
Nature Vol. 532, pp. 94–98. Published online 6 April 2016.
https://doi.org/10.1038/nature17418

Link to Press Release and FAQs:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/highlights/7008-nth-hemi-hydro-nature-2016

Description:
Our article presents the first Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate multi-proxy reconstruction extending more than a millennium back in time. Secondly, our study shows that there have been larger long-term changes in hydroclimate anomalies during earlier centuries of the past twelve than during the 20th century. We also reveal that the natural long-term variability of hydroclimate is larger than often previously assumed. Our most significant result, however, is likely the finding that state-of-the-art climate model simulations tend to overestimate the increase of wet and dry anomalies during the 20th century compared to what we find in the reconstruction.

Feb-16

Euro-Med2k

Authors:
Büntgen U, Myglan VS, Charpentier Ljungqvist F, McCormick M, Di Cosmo N, Sigl M, Jungclaus J, Wagner S, Krusic PJ, Esper J, Kaplan JO, de Vaan MAC, Luterbacher J, Wacker L, Tegel W & Kirdyanov AV

Paper:
Cooling and societal change during the Late Antique Little Ice Age from 536 to around 660 CE

Publication:
Nature Geoscience 9, pp. 231-236. Published online 8 February 2016.
https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2652

Link to Press Release and FAQs:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/highlights/6950-cooling-and-societal-change-during-the-late-antique-little-ice-age-from-536-to-around-660-ad

Description:
New research suggests links between a century-long deep freeze across Europe and central Asia with famine, large-scale migration, a plague pandemic that ripped through the Eastern Roman Empire, and the expansion of the Arab Empire.

Jan-16

Euro-Med2k

Authors:
Luterbacher J et. Al

Paper:
European summer temperatures since Roman times

Publication:
Environmental Research Letters Vol 11, No.2.
https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/11/2/024001

Link to Press Release and FAQs:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/highlights/6947-european-summer-temperatures-since-roman-times

Description:
Recent summer temperatures in Europe are likely the warmest of the last two millennia. Most of Europe has experienced strong summer warming over the course of the past several decades, accompanied by severe heat waves in 2003, 2010 and 2015. New research now puts the current warmth in a 2100-year historical context using tree-ring information and historical documentary evidence to derive a new European summer temperature reconstruction.

Aug-15

Ocean2k

Authors:
McGregor H et al.

Paper:
Robust global ocean cooling trend for the pre-industrial Common Era

Publication:
Nature Geoscience 8, pp. 671-677. Published online 17 August 2015.
https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2510

Link to Press Releases and FAQs:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/highlights/6841-robust-global-ocean-cooling-trend-for-the-pre-industrial-common-era

Description:
Frequent volcanic eruptions likely cause of long‐term ocean cooling. Researchers found an 1800 year‐long cooling trend in the surface layer of the Earth’s oceans, and that volcanic eruptions were the likely cause of this cooling from 801 to 1800 AD.

Jul-15

PALSEA2

Authors:
Dutton A, Carlson AE, Long AJ, Milne GA, Clark PU, DeConto R, Horton BP, Rahmstorf S & Raymo ME

Paper:
Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods

Publication:
Science, Vol 349, Issue 6244. Published 10 July 2015.
https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa4019

Link to Press Releases and FAQs:
http://www.pastglobalchanges.org/products/6836-sea-level-rise-polar-ice-sheet

Description:
Present temperature targets may commit Earth to at least 6 metres sea-level rise. Three times in the recent geological past, sea levels were at least 6 metres higher than current levels when global average temperatures were similar to today, according to research in the journal Science . The researchers, part of the international Past Global Changes project, analysed sea levels during several warm periods in Earth’s recent history when global average temperatures were similar to or slightly warmer than today – about 1 °C above pre industrial temperatures.

Jun-13

NICOPP

Authors:
Galbraith ED, Kienast M and NICOPP working group members

Paper:
The acceleration of oceanic denitrification during deglacial warming

Publication:
Nature Geoscience. Published online 2 June 2013.
https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1832

Link to Press Releases and FAQs:
http://pastglobalchanges.org/products/journal-articles/1784-the-acceleration-of-oceanic-denitrification-during-deglacial-warming

Description:
Paleo nitrogen-cycle shifts may shed light on current oceanic changes. As Earth started warming after the peak of the last ice age, 18,000 years ago, the ocean's nitrogen cycle began speeding up, eventually stabilizing 10,000 years later at a faster rate, say an international team of forty researchers in the journal Nature Geoscience. The result confirms the ocean is an effective self-regulator with respect to nitrogen, a major nutrient, but reaching equilibrium after a disturbance can take hundreds or thousands of years, a concern given the scale and speed of current anthropogenic change.

Apr-13

2k Network

Authors:
PAGES 2k consortium

Paper:
Continental-scale Temperature Variability During the Past Two Millennia

Publication:
Nature Geoscience 6, 339–346. Published 21 April 2013; Corrected 27 Nov 2015
https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1797

Link to Press Release and FAQs:
http://www.pastglobalchanges.org/products/journal-articles/1131-continental-scale-temperature-variability-during-the-past-two-millennia

Description:
First 2000-year temperature reconstructions for individual continents published. An international team of 78 researchers has published the most comprehensive reconstruction of past temperature changes at the continental scale. The research confirms an overall cooling trend across nearly all continents during the last one to two thousand years. This trend was reversed by distinct warming, beginning in some regions at the end of the 19th century.

Category: Press Releases