Red dust blown in from Australia's parched interior blankets Sydney in 2009. Australia and its region are experiencing the hottest 60 years in a millennium, scientists have determined. Greg Wood / AFP / Getty

Study of tree rings, corals, and ice cores find unnatural spike in temperatures that lines up with manmade climate change

By Alison Rourke in Sydney, www.guardian.co.uk
17 May 2012

The last 60 years have been the hottest in Australasia for a millennium and cannot be explained by natural causes, according to a new report by scientists that supports the case for a reduction in manmade carbon emissions.

In the first major study of its kind in the region, scientists at the University of Melbourne used natural data from 27 climate indicators, including tree rings, corals and ice cores to map temperature trends over the past 1,000 years.

"Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1,000-year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region," said the study's lead researcher, Dr Joelle Gergis.

The climate reconstruction was done in 3,000 different ways and concluded with 95% accuracy that no other period in the past 1,000 years match or exceeded post-1950 warming in Australia.

The study, published in the Journal of Climate, will be part of Australia's contribution to the fifth Intergovernmetal Panel on Climate Change report, due in 2014. […]

Australasia has hottest 60 years in a millennium, scientists find

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