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Carbon dioxide emissions are now 10x higher than when arctic had crocodiles and palms

At about the time when our grandchildren's children have their own children, we will probably have broken a climate record that has been undeniable for 56 million years. New research has shown that people pump almost 10 times more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than was emitted during the Earth's last major heating event, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). If carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise in the future, mathematical models predict that within the next hundred years we may face another PETM-like event. In other words, in the near future, the earth could resemble its distant past: a time when the Arctic was ice-free, inhabited by crocodiles and dotted with palm trees. "You and I won't be here in 21 59, but it's only about four generations away," warns the Palaeoclimatic scientist Philip Gingerich of the University of Michigan. "When you start thinking about your children and your grandchildren and your grandchildren, you are there." PETM is often used as a benchmark for the current global warming. During this time, rapid climate change saw the landscape transformed, the oceans were acidified and burnt-out extinctions triggered. It took more than 150,000 years for the world to recover, but what happened has nothing to do with what is happening now. Global temperatures during PETM peaked at about 7 degrees Celsius (13 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than today's average, and we quickly reach these heights. The new study suggests that if nothing changes within 140 years, people can pump out the same…

At about the time when our grandchildren’s children have their own children, we will probably have broken a climate record that has been undeniable for 56 million years.

New research has shown that people pump almost 10 times more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than was emitted during the Earth’s last major heating event, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

If carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise in the future, mathematical models predict that within the next hundred years we may face another PETM-like event.

In other words, in the near future, the earth could resemble its distant past: a time when the Arctic was ice-free, inhabited by crocodiles and dotted with palm trees.

“You and I won’t be here in 21

59, but it’s only about four generations away,” warns the Palaeoclimatic scientist Philip Gingerich of the University of Michigan.

“When you start thinking about your children and your grandchildren and your grandchildren, you are there.”

PETM is often used as a benchmark for the current global warming. During this time, rapid climate change saw the landscape transformed, the oceans were acidified and burnt-out extinctions triggered.

It took more than 150,000 years for the world to recover, but what happened has nothing to do with what is happening now.

Global temperatures during PETM peaked at about 7 degrees Celsius (13 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than today’s average, and we quickly reach these heights.

The new study suggests that if nothing changes within 140 years, people can pump out the same amount of greenhouse gases released throughout PETM.

“The fact that we can reach heat that corresponds to PETM very quickly, within the next hundred years, is frightening,” said Larisa DeSantis, a palaeontologist at Vanderbilt University, who was not linked to the new study. [19659002] The reason why it is scary is that we are on our way from the road map. Climate scientists today use PETM as a case study for how global warming can do for our planet and when these changes can be expected.

But as useful as this has been today we live in another world. While PETM is considered to have occurred from a comet or a volcano, our current climate catastrophe is primarily driven by humans, at a rate not seen in the Earth’s climate record.

It also happens in the middle of what should be a cooling trend, at a time when the world is full of different ecosystems and species.

With all these variable factors, the new research suggests that the use of PETM as a meter for current heating may not be so useful in the future.

“Given a future business assumption, carbon dioxide emissions that are happening today are extremely immutable, even in the context of an event like PETM,” said Gabriel Bowen, a geophysicist at the University of Utah, who was not connected to the new The study.

“We do not have much in the way of geological examples to deduce from understanding how the world responds to this type of disturbance.”

It seems that our descendants are alone.

This study has published in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology.

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Faela