A scientific conference, organized by the Geological Society in London, was held earlier this week to discuss and look on how Earth coped with climate change in the past. Yes, the climate has changed before. And no, that doesn't disprove anything.
During the conference the Geological Society in London warned in a statement that in the absence of mitigation measures it could take Earth 100,000 years or more to recover:
â€œThe geological evidence from the 55 million year event and from earlier warming episodes suggests that such an addition [a massive increase in greenhouse gases caused by the activities of mankind] is likely to raise average global temperatures by at least 5 to 6C, and possibly more, and that recovery of the Earthâ€™s climate in the absence of mitigation measures could take 100,000 years or more. Numerical models of the climate system support such an interpretation. In the light of the evidence presented here it is reasonable to conclude that emitting further large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over time is likely to be unwise, uncomfortable though that fact may be.â€
Professor Jim Zachos, from the University of California, said that if we humans continue to pump out greenhouse gases into the atmosphere we could cause "mass extinction of species":
â€œProf Zachos said that if the world continues to pump out greenhouse gases at the current rate, around 5,000 gigatons of greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere over a few hundred years.
He said this will cause a more rapid temperature rise that at any other time in history and could cause â€œmass extinction of speciesâ€.
â€œThe impacts will be pretty severe compared to 55 million years ago in terms of evolution of this planet,â€ he said.â€
Read more about this story over at the Telegraph. Also check out this Green Blog post: NOAA study shows climate change â€œlargely irreversible for 1000 yearsâ€