Researchers from the University of California at Santa Cruz have managed to record, in high fidelity, the climate on the planet in the last 66 million years and confirmed that yes, man is responsible for the current climate changes, which will lead the planet to no longer have polar caps and be 14 ° C hotter.
Changes in Earth’s orbit can influence climatic states on the planet; however, “as we reconstructed the previous climates, we captured the natural variability of the climate and found that the projected anthropogenic warming will be much greater”, explained UC Santa Cruz planetary scientist James Zachos, co-author of the work.
The study revealed, during the survey period, four distinct climatic states, named as Hothouse, Warmhouse, Coolhouse and Icehouse.
Hot as there are two ages
Each of them lasted up to tens of millions of years, always causing variations in the climate corresponding to the translation movement. The changes generated in the planet’s temperatures were relatively small, compared to the difference between the four states reported.
For the past 3 million years, we have lived in the Icehouse (alternating glacial and interglacial periods), but greenhouse gas emissions are pushing the planet into the states of Warmhouse and Hothouse – as in the Eocene period, 50 million years ago, when there were no polar caps and the average global temperatures were up to 14 ° C higher.
“If nothing is done, the projections for 2300 show that the global temperature will be as it has not been seen for 50 million years – a world experiencing an extreme greenhouse effect and without ice,” explained the researcher.