SOURCE: The Guardian

DATE: February 12, 2017

SNIP: For the first time, researchers have developed a mathematical equation to describe the impact of human activity on the earth, finding people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces.

“In the equation, astronomical and geophysical forces tend to zero because of their slow nature or rarity, as do internal dynamics, for now. All these forces still exert pressure, but currently on orders of magnitude less than human impact.”

According to Steffen these forces have driven a rate of change of 0.01 degrees Celsius per century.

Greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans over the past 45 years, on the other hand, “have increased the rate of temperature rise to 1.7 degrees Celsius per century, dwarfing the natural background rate,” he said.

This represented a change to the climate that was 170 times faster than natural forces.

Link to original paper