In this study the global average surface temperature over the past 2 million years has been derived from deep sea cores. The results reveal that global cooling occurred about 300,000 years before the rapid ice sheet growth and the development of the first 100,000-year glacial/deglacial cycle about 800,000 years ago.
Oxygen is fundamental to oceanic biological processes and its decline can cause major changes in ocean productivity and biodiversity. Over the past 50 years low oxygen zones in the open oceans have expanded by an area equivalent to half the size of Canada and hundreds of coastal sites now have low oxygen concentrations that limit the distribution and abundance of animal populations.
Evidence from Antarctic ice cores have revealed a close correlation between surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration for the past 800,000 years (excluding the immediate present.) A recent analysis of Antarctic blue ice has found that the close correlation between temperature CO2 extends to 1.5 million years ago during the time when the glacial/interglacial period was 40,000 years.
In 2009 a widely used dataset indicated that the average temperature of the Earth’s surface may have stopped warming, or that it was warming at a lower rate than the long term average. A new analysis shows that the trend for 1998–2012 is indistinguishable from the best estimate of the long trend for 1951–2012.