Life at 400ppm: catching up with a Pliocene atmosphere

With global atmospheric carbon dioxide bumping along just under 400ppm, and sure to break through to higher levels in the near future, it’s worth taking a long hard look at what the climate system was like the last time CO2 was at these levels — the Pliocene period 3-5 million years ago. Professor Maureen Raymo of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is a paleoclimate expert, and in this new video by Peter Sinclair for the Yale Climate Forum she explains how we can find out what might be in store when the planet finally catches up with its atmosphere. Not good news, especially if you consider that we’re certain to blow well past 400 ppm in coming decades, unless dramatic action is taken to reduce carbon emissions.

4 thoughts on “Life at 400ppm: catching up with a Pliocene atmosphere”

  1. Our own Tim Naish did a piece on this after the Andrill project and he said that the sea level was twenty meters higher. The exact height may be a bit vague but that is what we have locked in. The uncertain part is the timing as little is known about Antarctica and Greenland is melting fast but so far they have not put a figure on it.
    It is not at all good.

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