20,000 Years 10C variation

I like this chart because it shows our current inter-glacial period in its entirety. You can see how the temperature climbed out of the ice age and has been relatively stable for the past 11 thousand years.

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20 thousand years captures the warming period of the current glacial period called the inter-glacial.


Here is another look at the same period with some of the interesting events highlighted. This graph is taken from a paper by Prof. Don Easterbrook which you can find portions of HERE.

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The circled numbers on the graph refer to the sudden climate changes listed below:

(1) ~15,000 years ago—a sudden, intense climatic warming (~12° C) caused dramatic melting of huge Ice Age continental glaciers that covered vast areas in North America, Europe, and Asia.

(2) A few centuries later, temperatures again plummeted (~11°C) and glaciers readvanced.

(3) ~14,000 years ago—global temperatures rose rapidly (~4.5°C) and glaciers retreated. (4) ~13,400 years ago—global temperatures plunged (~8°C) and glaciers readvanced.

(5) ~13,200 years ago—global temperatures increased rapidly (~5°C) and glaciers retreated.

(6) 12,700 years ago—global temperatures plunged sharply (~8°C) and a 1000 year period of glacial readvance, the Younger Dryas, began.

(7) 11,500 years ago—global temperatures rose sharply (~12° C), marking the end of the Younger Dryas cold period.

(8) 8200 years ago—a sudden cooling interrupted the warm period of the past 10,000 years and was brought to a close by abrupt warming 150 years later. As shown on the graph, the temperature curve for almost all of the past 10,000 years lies above the level of present temperatures, indicating that most the past 10,000 years has been warmer than the present.

(9) 900–1300 AD—The Medieval Warm Period was a time of global warming when temperatures were slightly higher than present.

(10) 1300 AD to last century—The Little Ice Age was a time of cool climates during which glaciers expanded significantly and great famines swept Europe as a result of cold climate.


Next Post

Art of Reading Climate Graphs

Sat Sep 10 , 2016
The Art of Reading Climate Graphs About climate graphs …. I want to draw your attention to something else about this graphic that is important to the understanding of our current situation. Reading graphs is somewhat of an art, and a course or two in Statistics is standard fare for undergraduate training of all scientists. […]