Finally, after decades of manipulation stemming from decades ago with the parties that were employed by Ronal Reagan to manipulate the masses during the Strategic Defense Initiative (The George C. Marshall Institute), more than half of Americans believe in climate change and that we are responsible for it.
But even though it helps, believing can’t really make things better. We’re currently experiencing climate change at a higher rate than we ever have in the planet’s history. According to a team of researchers from Hawaii, California, and the UK, Earth hasn’t seen so much carbon since the dinosaurs went extinct.
Window into the past
Some ten million years after the dinosaurs went extinct, our planet experienced the highest amount of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere until today. The event is called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. Nobody is sure what caused it, but some of the effects are very well documented.
Aside from Earth’s temperature rising by 41 degrees Fahrenheit (some five degrees Celsius) in a short period of time, many marine organisms died off because of ocean acidification. The worldwide warming event that followed lasted for more than 100,000 years. And we’re emitting carbon dioxide at a much faster level than during the PETM.
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum is actually the only analog we have regarding what is currently happening on the planet. Our blue space rock might actually get the last laugh, as we have no idea where else can we go seeing the amounts of carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere every year – some ten million tons a year, constantly increasing.
And that is a very big issue, since climate change predictions will soon have nothing to go on but supposition. The planet has never experienced something on this magnitude before. The PETM was similar, but higher quantities were released over a far greater period of time. Meanwhile, we’re approaching similar levels and we’ve only been at it for a couple of centuries.
Only three things can be predicted by climate change experts regarding what will soon happen – the ocean acidification will be far more severe, leading to a higher number of die-offs, a large number of ecosystems will be affected by the carbon emission rate, and the changes the planet will go through will most likely last more than 100,000 years and have a bigger impact than the one after the dinosaurs died.
Image source: Flickr