History: First real evidence for abrupt climate change

1969 Greenland ice cores provide convincingly accurately timed evidence for abrupt major changes in Earth temperatures and global warming.

Wally Broecker, shown here in 1997, proposed that the shutdown of a major ocean circulation pattern could lead to abrupt climate change. Jean-Louis Atlan/Paris Match via Getty Images / from the Article

by Alexandra Witze, 29/03/2022 in Science News

Wally Broecker divined how the climate could suddenly shift: The shutdown of an ocean conveyor belt could cause abrupt climate change

It was the mid-1980s, at a meeting in Switzerland, when Wally Broecker’s ears perked up. Scientist Hans Oeschger was describing an ice core drilled at a military radar station in southern Greenland. Layer by layer, the 2-kilometer-long core revealed what the climate there was like thousands of years ago. Climate shifts, inferred from the amounts of carbon dioxide and of a form of oxygen in the core, played out surprisingly quickly — within just a few decades. It seemed almost too fast to be true.

Read the complete article….

Editor’s note: See Broecker’s 1975 paper, Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming? in Science, that gave us early warning 47 years ago on what might be happening. How different our future might have been if humanity took that warning seriously.

Leland_McInnes at en.wikipedia(red) GRIP data: http://www.glaciology.gfy.ku.dk/data/grip-ss09sea-cl-50yr.stp (blue) NGRIP data:http://www.glaciology.gfy.ku.dk/data/NGRIP_d18O_50yrs.txt / License: CC BY-SA 3.0

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