Earth's Climate After 2030: Conditions Could Resemble Era 3 Million Years Ago, Scientists Predict

Earth’s Climate After 2030: Conditions Could Resemble Era 3 Million Years Ago, Scientists Predict

by Tim Radford, EcoWatch

Humankind, in two centuries, has transformed the climate. It has reversed a 50-million-year cooling trend.

Scientists conclude that the profligate combustion of fossil fuels could within three decades take planet Earth back to conditions that existed in the Pliocene three million years ago, an era almost ice-free and at least 1.8°C and possibly 3.6°C warmer than today.

But there is a much earlier warming precedent. The Eocene planet at its warmest 50 million years ago was perhaps 13°C warmer than it has been for almost all human history.

Its continents were differently configured, the Arctic was characterized by swampy forests that might have looked a little like the Louisiana bayous of the U.S., and the first mammals had begun to colonize the globe.

And then, steadily but unevenly, the globe began to cool towards a level comfortable for human evolution, and then much later to a level that permitted the birth of agriculture and the foundation of a civilization that fostered writing, music, poetry, scholarship and scientific skills capable of tracing the detailed history of the last 50 million years and at the same time projecting a changing future.

Read the full article here…

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