According to a study conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Québec-INRS, It has revealed that the Atlantic ocean has seen the highest temperature spike in nearly 3000 years.
In a research paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the experts explain that Temperatures have steadily increased since the 15th-century minimum; the rate and magnitude of warming over the last few centuries are unprecedented in the entire record.
“Our unique data set constitutes the first reconstruction of Atlantic sea surface temperatures spanning the last 3,000 years and this will allow climatologists to better understand the mechanisms behind long-term changes in the behavior of the Atlantic Ocean,” author Pierre Francus from the University of Québec-INRS said in a statement.
“Climate warming in the Arctic is now twice or three times faster than the rest of the planet because of greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels,” the statement said. “Warming can be amplified or dampened by natural climate variability, such as changes in the surface temperature of the North Atlantic, which appear to vary over cycles of about 60-80 years.”
Co team lead Francois Lapointe and Raymond Bradley from UMass Amherst, looked at “perfectly preserved” layers of sediment from the bottom of Sawtooth Lake in the Canadian High Arctic, according to a statement released by UMass Amherst.
Using samples from South Sawtooth Lake in the Canadian Arctic, a lake that is critically impacted by changes in Atlantic sea surface temperatures, scientists studied thermometer data along with ice and sediment cores drilled from ice sheets and the sea bed.
By examining the titanium in the residue cores, scientists were given a chance to look into the past 2,900 years in the Atlantic’s temperatures. There were relatively warm conditions from 100BC to AD420, while the longest and continuous drop in temperatures was during the ‘Little Ice Age’ between about 1300 and 1870.
The surface waters of the Atlantic have been constantly warm since 1995, Bradley said, and scientists don’t know if conditions will shift to be cooler any time soon, which would provide some sort of relief for the “accelerated Arctic warming.”
If that change doesn’t come soon, conditions that led to this melting of ice caps and ice sheets could continue. Especially the Greenland’s ice sheet, which lost a record 500 billion tons of mass in 2019.