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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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