2018 was apparently the hottest year ever recorded for the world’s oceans.
Carbon dioxide emissions – the greenhouse gas that is most responsible for global warming – could soar to levels not seen at 56 million years in the middle of the next century, scientists warned in a new study Wednesday.
Although it will not happen in our lives, it may well happen in the lives of our grandchildren or grandchildren.
“You and I will not be here in 2159, but it is only about four generations away,” studying author Philip Gingerich, a paleo-climate researcher from the University of Michigan.
He said people are now pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate of nine to ten times higher than it was during a natural global warming event about 56 million years ago.
That time, known by scientists as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), was the world’s hottest period since the eradication of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. According to the study, during that period the poles were ice-free and the Arctic was home to palm trees and crocodiles.
Combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal releases carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere, which means that the planet is heated to levels that cannot be explained by natural variation . (Photo11: United Nations)