(ORDO NEWS) — Despite the fact that scientists are increasingly talking about the incredibly large amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, this situation has already happened in the history of our planet. Experts believe that the level we are approaching for the last time could be 3.3 million years ago and, perhaps, no type of progressive primates has ever encountered such living conditions.
At the current rate of CO2 production over the next five years, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will exceed 427 ppm, which was most likely peak during the warming period of the Pliocene. Then the temperature was higher by 3C – 4C degrees, and the ocean level was 20 meters higher than today.
These conclusions were made by scientists from the University of Southampton. For their study, they constructed a special model for CO2 recording in the Pliocene, using data obtained from boron levels in tiny fossils collected from deep-sea sediments of the Caribbean.
The simulation confirmed the trends previously observed in the ice cores, and also made it possible to more accurately estimate the CO2 range in the geological era, when the levels of solar radiation were the same as today.
“The striking result we found was that the warmest Pliocene period in the atmosphere had from 380 to 420 ppm CO2,” said Thomas Mel, one of the authors. “This is similar to today’s value of about 415 ppm, which means that we are already at levels that in the past were associated with temperature and sea level much higher than today.” CO2 is currently growing at around 2.5 ppm per year.
The authors stated that studying the past provided an understanding of what will happen in the future, which means we have a chance to realize what is happening and to minimize the risks of a future disaster.
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