Global warming 56 million years ago holds lessons for climate change today

December 15, 2014 10:09 PM

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Global warming 56 million years ago holds lessons for climate change today

A new study has found that atmospheric conditions on Earth about 56 million years ago were similar in many ways to increasing warming that is seen today. The good news is that most species back then survived the hotter conditions, when temperatures rose by 5 to 8 degrees Celsius (9 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit). The bad news? It took the planet millennia to recover.

"There is a positive note in that the world persisted, it did not go down in flames, it has a way of self-correcting and righting itself," said University of Utah geochemist Gabe Bowen, the lead author of the study published today in the journal Nature Geoscience. "However, in this event it took alm...

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