The scientists were able to calculate the temperature was on the planet during the last ice age that occurred 20 thousand years ago. "Retrospective forecast" - that is how the climatologists at the University of Arizona called their research. Having received the results on the state of the temperature background of that time on the Earth, they believe that they will be able to make forecasts for the future climate.
Temperature differences across the planet let the science to identify the relationship between rising levels of carbon dioxide that is considered as the main greenhouse gas, and the global average temperature. The scientists consider the last glacial maximum to be the coldest period of the Earth.
Glacial areas covered about half of North and South America, Europe, and part of Asia. At the same time, the flora and fauna turned out to be adapted to such temperatures. Jessica Tierney, who is an assistant professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona, notes that the science is gaining a lot of new information about the period of the planet, because it has been studying it for a long time.
But one question constantly worried the scientists: what was the average air temperature at that time? It turns out that it was only 6 degrees Celsius lower than today. And the average global temperature in the 20th century, according to the scientists, was 14 degrees.
Most ordinary people from personal experience can conclude that the temperature difference is insignificant, but in fact it is not. The scientists created special maps that illustrated the measurement of temperature differences in different regions of the planet. For example, North America was covered in ice. The northern territories of Europe were in the same condition.
The most severe cold snap is considered to be a change in the temperature background in the Arctic, where it was 14 degrees colder than today. The researchers' findings are consistent with the scientific understanding of how the Earth's poles respond to temperature changes.
The created models of climate and its changes showed that warming occurred faster at high latitudes than at low latitudes. Thanks to the forecast of the past, it becomes possible to give a preliminary assessment of the climate of the future. The scientists have not yet expanded the topic, but briefly make it clear: it will be very hot.