Climate Change Landmark of 400 PPM of CO2: More Evidence From 3 Million Years Ago

Yes, it’s going to get warmer
Science • Views: 27,378

In these days of continually streaming propaganda over nearly any politically sensitive issue, the subject of climate change has become so entangled with local and national political interests that it is good to step back and look at what the science is really saying, again.

Today Science magazine published a paper that presented analyses of lake sediments from a north-east Russian lake:

More: Pliocene Warmth, Polar Amplification, and Stepped Pleistocene Cooling Recorded in NE Arctic Russia

Understanding the evolution of Arctic polar climate from the protracted warmth of the middle Pliocene into the earliest glacial cycles in the Northern Hemisphere has been hindered by the lack of continuous, highly resolved Arctic time series. Evidence from Lake El’gygytgyn, NE Arctic Russia, shows that 3.6-3.4 million years ago, summer temperatures were ~8°C warmer than today when pCO2 was ~400 ppm. Multiproxy evidence suggests extreme warmth and polar amplification during the middle Pliocene, sudden stepped cooling events during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition, and warmer than present Arctic summers until ~2.2 Ma, after the onset of Northern Hemispheric glaciation. Our data are consistent with sea-level records and other proxies indicating that Arctic cooling was insufficient to support large-scale ice sheets until the early Pleistocene.

From the press release:

The Arctic was very warm during a period roughly 3.5 to 2 million years ago—a time when research suggests that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was roughly comparable to today’s—leading to the conclusion that relatively small fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels can have a major influence on Arctic climate, according to a new analysis of the longest terrestrial sediment core ever collected in the Arctic.

“One of our major findings is that the Arctic was very warm in the middle Pliocene and Early Pleistocene—roughly 3.6 to 2.2 million years ago—when others have suggested atmospheric carbon dioxide was not much higher than levels we see today,” said Julie Brigham-Grette, of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

[…]

She added that “this could tell us where we are going in the near future. In other words, the Earth system response to small changes in carbon dioxide is bigger than suggested by earlier climate models.”

[…]

The lake being examined is north of the Arctic Circle.

It is important to remember the phrase Polar Amplification. This lake evidence is just one more in a long list that indicates that the climate will change more significantly towards the poles of the planet. This is why an island in the Pacific, say Hawaii, will experience much less temperature change than the north side of Greenland.

As noted in today’s article in Scientific American, 400 PPM: Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere Reaches Prehistoric Levels:

[…]

The last time CO2 levels at Mauna Loa were this high [400 ppm], Homo sapiens did not live there. In fact, the last time CO2 levels are thought to have been this high was more than 2.5 million years ago, an era known as the Pliocene, when the Canadian Arctic boasted forests instead of icy wastes. The land bridge connecting North America and South America had recently formed. The globe’s temperature averaged about 3 degrees C warmer, and sea level lapped coasts 5 meters or more higher.

While the Science paper is behind a pay-wall, the supplemental material is not. Among the information that impressed me was the graph of vegetation changes (from pollen):

In that diagram we can see how the transition from the warmer Pliocene (on the right of the diagram) to the Pleistocene (the “Ice Age”, on the left of the diagram) was accompanied by a change in vegetation. There is no doubt that climate change does indeed change the biome.

Whether we are discussing changes in ecosystems or sea level, it is important to remember that we humans have such a short life and even shorter attention span that large changes are often just overlooked if we rely upon casual glances at the world around us. As common in all areas of science, only careful and systematic observations and analyses can take us out of our biases and “common sense” to gain a greater knowledge of the world around us.

That appears, though, by looking at our popular press and current political environment, to be quite a challenge for us today. There has been no substantive change in the production of CO2 in our modern industrialized world. Growth in CO2 output continues with only modest slowing during the deepest of economic recessions.

What will it take to change our way?

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Trump Administration’s Aggressive Incompetencecnn.com (CNN)The United States Permanent Representative to NATO, Amb. Kay Bailey Hutchison, warned Tuesday that the US could "take out" Russian missiles that are perceived to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty should Moscow continue to violate ...
Rocky-in-Connecticut
1 hour, 35 minutes ago
Views: 43 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
E-Cig Co. Put Viagra, Cialis in Vape Liquids—the FDA Is Throbbing Mad The US Food and Drug Administration made clear on Thursday, October 11 that it has a major bone to pick with an electronic-cigarette vendor that illegally pumped prescription erectile dysfunction drugs into unapproved e-liquid products intended for vaping. The ...
Thanos
5 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 293 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Answering Voter Guide Questions as a Candidate So, my county newspaper, the Bridgeport, NE News-Blade sent me a questionnaire to create a voter guide for village voters asking my positions on issues in my town. I suppose I could expound on those for many pages, but ...
Anymouse 🌹
1 week, 4 days ago
Views: 757 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Marvel’s Daredevil: Season 3 - Meet BullsEye See the origin story of Bullseye in Marvel's Daredevil Season 3, premiering exclusively on Netflix October 19, 2018. Watch Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix: netflix.com #Netflix #MarvelsDaredevil #CharlieCoxSUBSCRIBE: bit.ly About Netflix:Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 130 ...
Thanos
2 weeks ago
Views: 856 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
St. Vincent - Slow Slow Disco (Audio)Songs are living things. They grow, they evolve, they change their moods and personalities over time. The latest version of 'Slow Disco' originally found on MASSEDUCTION. Upcoming Live Shows: ilovestvincent.com Connect with St. Vincent:instagram.com@st_vincentfacebook.com
Thanos
2 weeks, 4 days ago
Views: 990 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Sarah Palin’s Son Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges Sarah Palin's oldest son, Track Palin, was arrested Friday on domestic violence charges, Alaska State Troopers said. Troopers responded to his home in Wasilla at 10:37 p.m. after a report of a disturbance. Palin allegedly assaulted an acquaintance, then ...
Thanos
2 weeks, 6 days ago
Views: 973 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0