Scientists warn that climate change made by man could turn Antarctica into a green land, melting the ice sheets and making way to plants and forests. Moreover, the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have gone way up to 400 parts per million (ppm). Those levels of carbon dioxide were that high during the Pliocene period, three million years ago.
Could the Pliocene Era Help Us Learn About the Future?
Indeed experts believe that looking at the Pliocene era could provide them some clues about our future, and to help us, humans, to understand what we could face. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were at 400 ppm for the first time in 2015.
Also, Professor Martin Siegert, the co-director of the Grantham Institute, says that the actual effects won’t hit immediately; the process comes with a lag. The clues from three million years ago are that the temperatures were between 2C and 3.5C warmer than the present, and the sea levels were around 15 meters higher.
Climate Change Might Transform Antarctica Into a Green Land
The significance of climate change is that if we have 400 ppm now and way back in the past, we had 400 ppm, then maybe history is repeating itself. Also, if we look back at the industrial revolution in 1850, we had 280 ppm carbon dioxide levels. Since then the temperature increased with 1C, and by the end of this century, we could have another 1C growth.
Moreover, if the carbon dioxide emissions will continue to grow at this rate, by 2100, we will have 1000 ppm. If we want to recreate the Cretaceous period, 100 million years ago, with the carbon dioxide levels the same, for sure Antarctica was a green land and dinosaurs roamed all over the place. Finally, we must take a global action to reduce the carbon dioxide levels and not to destroy our future.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.