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WARNING: Sea Levels 6 to 9 Meters Higher the Last Time the Earth was This Warm

Jan 23, 2017 07:18 AM EST
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A new study from the Oregon State University revealed that the last time the Earth reached the temperature it's experiencing now were six to nine meters higher than in the past, where the planet experienced the same temperature.

The study, published in the journal Science, showed that the present ocean surface temperatures are comparable to what the ocean temperatures were during the last interglacial period about 125,000 years ago.

"The last interglacial is extremely interesting because it's the last time period in recent Earth history when global temperatures were a little bit higher and global sea level was about 6 to 9 meters higher -- but carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was roughly at what it was during the pre-industrial era," said Jeremy Hoffman, a doctoral student at Oregon State University and lead author of the study, in a report from Los Angeles Times.

For the study, the researchers analyzed 104 data sets of sea surface temperatures during the last interglacial period taken 83 marine sediments core sites. By analyzing these sets of data, the researchers were able to estimate sea surface temperature records in the last interglacial process that occurred some 129,000 to 116 years ago.

The researchers then compared their estimate with temperature measurements of two periods: 1870 to 1889 and 1995 to 2014. They found that the ocean temperature at the beginning of the last interglacial period was similar to the average of 1870 to 1889. It took 4,000 years later for the sea surface temperature during the last interglacial to reach the levels of 1995 to 2014.

Hoffman noted that the average temperature during the last interglacial period took several thousands of years to climb up. Currently, the temperature jump that occurred over a thousand years in the past occurred in barely over a century today.

With the increasing temperatures, climate scientists warn about the possibility of dramatic increase in the sea levels. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that the sea levels have already increased by eight inches since 1901, and is expected to climb up by one to three feet by the end of the century.

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