Global Warming, 65 Million Years Ago

Scientists have evidence that global warming may have occurred more than 65 million years ago. How does this warming compare to modern data?

In this fascinating report, they state: {my emphasis in bold.}

The early part of the Cenozoic era, which started around 65.5 million years ago witnessed a series of transient global warming events called hyperthermals. The most severe of these was the PETM at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, around 56 million years ago. Over a period of around 20,000 years, a mere blink of the eye in geological terms, ocean temperatures rose globally by approximately 5°C. There is evidence that the concentration of atmospheric carbon oxide increased, but the phenomena that triggered the event remain controversial.

One possibility is that these hyperthermals were driven by cyclic variations in the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

So how does this compare to modern trends? Consider a recent report by NOAA (May 2011.) The graphic below indicates that the temperature swings are 5°C warmer or colder depending upon location. However, the time scale is vastly different. Compared to the ancient global warming documented, these changes occurred over 30 years compared to 20,000 years. As readers of this blog know, I believe that the term “global weirding” (coined by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times) is more accurate.

What are the implications of ancient global warming? Can we apply what we learned to current trends in temperature swings and extreme events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods?

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May 2011 Blended Land and Sea Surface
Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius

Source.

You can read the full paper here, published in Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems.

Comments

  1. #1 healthphysicist
    June 15, 2011

    One has to pay to retrieve the GGG article (and I’m a tightwad), so I’m not sure what was learned and how it could relate to present day.

    More generally, global warming means more energy is trapped within the Earth’s atmosphere. It has to manifest itself by imparting to matter. So, it becomes more LIKELY that there will be more frequent and more severe storms as a result.

  2. #2 Expert salesman
    June 15, 2011

    Global warming made the dinosaurs extinct. According to leading climate experts dinosaurs refused to heed the warning of of their dear leaders and kept on driving their SUVs and using real light bulbs and eating meat. It one day ended in castrophe as those carbon emissions (vital for life on earth) from lights bulbs and suvs and 5gallon flush toilets ended life as the dinosaurs once knew it. They should have listened to their government and did exactly what the government told the to do. If they had, they would still be alive today. May they all burn in hell and we free men watch. better yet, may the be locked in a room with 100 watt incandescent light bulbs burning forever and have to watch as people kill cows and eat steak and drive huge suvs with v10 engines. May the free man live forever, may the tyrant rot in agony for the crimes against humanity he has committed all in the name of human rights and the environment scam (wealth redsitribution bullshit).

    So, dear conservatives, please ignore the massive global government wealth redistribution world dictator power coming and just do what your leaders order you to do and they will let you live. The government can’t have its peasants getting too out of hand and abusing light bulb privledges and such.

    As you all could tell, this is sarcasm, but the left reminds me of brutal communist warlord dictators with all their rules and regulation put on us mere peasants who cannot think for ourselves. Too bad that most of us just tell you to **** off when you are not looking. Free men ignore fascism. Free men destroy tyrants. The far left is becoming a violent radical tyrrany far more dangerous than any army previously known to man. These people are the next nazis. And just think It all started with simple orders on light bulbs, meat and cars.

  3. #3 Dave X
    June 15, 2011

    Another way of comparing then to now would be that 5C over 20,000 years would be a trend of 0.00025C/yr compared to the 0.013C/yr we’ve seen over the last 30 years (per http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html#q3 )

    And that 0.013C/yr ain’t due to ENSO, Milankovitch cycles, sunspots, cosmic rays, urban heat islands, or pirates.

  4. #4 Vince whirlwind
    June 15, 2011

    The irony, “Expert Salesman”, is that you have fallen for the disinformation fed you by the fascists, and warlords, who want to keep getting rich from carbon-intensive industries and energy forms.

    True freedom from these fascists will come from widespread adoption of renewable energy – and they know it, hence the well-organised campaign against science, reality and facts.

    There is nothing “far left” about reality, or the facts.

  5. #5 healthphysicist
    June 16, 2011

    I’m not buying the pooh that the Expert Salesman is selling.

    And it’s not because I’m a tightwad.

  6. #6 Sanity
    June 16, 2011

    Dear Expert Salesman, people with your mind set scare me.

  7. #7 Expert Salesman
    June 16, 2011

    What scares me is population control fanatics willing to kill off large numbers of humans in order to “save the environment”.

    What scares me is the intentional destruction of this nation and the economy by far left radical satan lovers. Too bad karl marx could not have been wacked before his satanic ideals infiltrated humanity. Same goes for darwin, che, and the rest of the group commie ****.

    I would love very much to have a zero emissions car. not a fake (electric) car, but a real car. A company called Genepax has built a real car that runs on WATER! You do not need to go to a station or buy your hydrogen from stores or from government. You add WATER and it makes its own hydrogen.

    Now, any true environut would be doing everything in his power to push this, but environuts are not becuase it still presents that pesky problem that liberals hate so much – INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM! Sure this car would sort of help your precious environment I suppose, but it would also solve the problem of high gas prices since we could use our own water source and the engine is still a real engine, not a stupid pissy little electric motor, so the range is still great, horsepower is greater, and the car is cheaper to run and cleaner. What elese could acommie loving neonazi envirofascist want out of a car?

    But, like I said if everyone had cars that runs on water and presented zero emission the liberal criminals would still be pissed off becuase individuals would still be free men and not be dependent on them. Besides, a car that runs on water and has virtally zero emissions presents one more idea – I could run my house off this technology and not have to pay an electric bill or pay for gas for my car. Not only that government would get less of MY hard eanerd dollars becuase I would be pumping water from the creek and filtering it myself.

    Nothing screams freedom like a man who is self sufficient. Now, if we could get 100 million more people doing it, we could turn thius nation back into the great free country it sed to be before the dopeheads and swindlers and perverts and communists took over. The 1960s killed this country. All the homofreaks and the dopeheads and the communist traitors taht we hoped would die from a acid overdose back then are now running things. Well, I guess that explains why things are as bad as they are. When acid brain damaged commie traitor homoperverts runs the world, bullshit is bound to happen. If I only had a time machine. Karl marx would cease to become the lazy traitor **** that he was and perhaps acid lords pervs and commies in the 1960s would have never been.

  8. #8 Chris O'Neill
    June 16, 2011

    “Expert salesman”:

    What scares me

    I was going to ask does this nutcase ever give up but then he answered the question.

  9. #9 kaity
    June 17, 2011

    The PETM was 4-5 million years ago, not 56 million years ago.

  10. #10 Wow
    June 17, 2011

    “Nothing screams freedom like a man who is self sufficient.”

    Funny. If people were self sufficient, Expert Salesmen would be out of a job.

  11. #11 Robin Saunders
    June 18, 2011

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  12. #12 Jeff
    June 18, 2011

    That troll has been banned as of today.

  13. #13 David Marjanović
    June 20, 2011

    There is nothing “far left” about reality, or the facts.

    “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

    The PETM was 4-5 million years ago, not 56 million years ago.

    What? Where did you get that from?

  14. #14 Neil Craig
    June 20, 2011

    Not merely 65 million years ago either. The 13rg C was warmer and the Climate Optimum (5-9,000 BC, named before the present scare) was as much as 4 C warmer. Cave painitings in the middle of the Sahara show an abundance of fauna which does not suggest hardship.

  15. #15 kermit
    June 25, 2011

    Hi, Neil. You are ineducable (I’ve read too many of your other posts), but not everybody is. The Halocene Climate Optimal, about 9000-5000 years BP, is referenced on the web in many places. Wikipedia says:
    “In terms of the global average, temperatures were probably colder than present day (depending on estimates of latitude dependence and seasonality in response patterns). While temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were warmer than average during the summers, the tropics and areas of the Southern Hemisphere were colder than average which comprised an average global temperature still overall lower than present day temperatures”

    “At some locations, climate changes associated with this event may have begun as early as 11,000 years ago, or persisted until 4,000 years before present. As noted above, the warmest interval in the far south significantly preceded warming in the North.”

    We are facing a great extinction more extensive than any since the KT boundary.