Temperature of Earth Reaches Highest Level in 115,000 Years

Temperature earth
Sunset approaches in Los Angeles, Calafornia, August 25, 2012. A paper states that global fossil fuels emissions are continuing at an alarming rate leading to the temperature of the planet reaching its highest level in 115,000 years. Frederic J. Brown/Getty

The temperature of our planet has reached the highest level in 115,000 years.

A paper entitled “Young People's Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions” by James Hansen, a former senior NASA climate scientist, and 11 other experts, claims the global temperature has just reached a level similar to that in the interglacial (Eemian) period, 115,000 to 130,000 years ago, when Earth’s sea level was several meters higher than today.

As a result, glaciers and ice sheets are melting, the oceans are acidifying and rising seas will engulf coastal cities worldwide in the coming centuries.

“The assumption that young [people] will somehow figure out a way to undo the deeds of their forebears has crept into and spread like a cancer through United Nations climate scenarios,” the paper states.

Research shows that the rapid rise of global temperature—beginning in around 1975—continues at a rate of about 0.18°C per decade. The growth rate of climate change, due to human-caused greenhouse gases, increased over 20 percent in the past decade.

The paper states that as global fossil fuels emissions are continuing at a high rate, a burden is being placed on young people to undertake “massive technological CO2 extraction.”

Despite widespread recognition of the risks posed by climate change for decades, Hansen’s paper claims $104 trillion to $570 trillion will be required to combat the problem over the coming century.

The paper was submitted as a discussion paper to the Earth System Dynamics journal.

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