Scientists from Germany have been able to reconstruct climate change over the past 50 million years. They concluded that the Earth in the past 10 million years has not warmed up as fast as it is now.
Scientists have completed one of the most comprehensive studies of the history of Earth’s climate. They came to the conclusion that the planet could warm up to a level that it has not reached in at least 34 million years. They also noticed that the planet hasn’t warmed up that fast in the last 10 million years.
Researchers led by Thomas Westerhold of the University of Bremen, Germany, built the datasets using chemical analyzes of ancient sediments they excavated from the ocean floor. These deposits, some 66 million years old, are filled with the surviving shells of tiny organisms that can tell scientists about the temperature and chemical composition of the ocean when they formed.
Sedimentary rock collected from all over the world over the years has allowed scientists to reconstruct the history of the Earth’s climate, dating back to the mass extinction that killed three-quarters of the planet’s species, including dinosaurs. They found that the planet went through four different climatic phases.
The transition from one state to another, as a rule, depended on changes in the level of greenhouse gases, often caused by volcanic eruptions and other natural processes, as well as shifts in the Earth’s orbit, which affected the amount of solar energy entering the planet.
During the hottest periods, more than 50 million years ago, the temperature on Earth was more than 10 degrees Celsius hotter than today. But it’s important to note that it took the planet thousands or even millions of years to reach these levels, and that was long before humans appeared on Earth. Scientists estimate that at the current rate of warming, the planet has reached its most intense warming over the past 10 million years.