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Among the climate-based records we've shattered so far? The warmest spring ever recorded at the Greenland ice sheet; the 13 hottest months ever recorded in a row; a remarkably severe El Niño; and the extinction of the first mammal due to human-caused climate change. The newest terrifying milestone is a doozy: carbon dioxide levels that Antarctica (and the Earth) hasn't seen in 4 million years were just recorded, making it the last place on the planet to register the astounding concentration of the greenhouse gas. The South Pole Observatory recorded a carbon dioxide concentration of 400 parts per million on May 23. The last time carbon dioxide was at those levels, modern humans were but a wink in our ancestors' eyes. "The increase of carbon dioxide is everywhere, even as far away as you can get from civilization," climatologist Pieter Tans told Scientific American.
Back in the Pliocene, the climate was warmer and wetter. Both poles were about 18 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they are today, and the Arctic was covered in forests instead of barren tundra. The rest of the world was 5 degrees or hotter on average, and sea levels were 16 to 131 feet higher than at present.
Reaching those levels by 2100, or even 2200, would be catastrophic for the roughly 44% of humanity that live in coastal communities.
Even more disturbing, NASA predicts that while carbon dioxide levels will see short-lived fluctuations, the concentration is expected to rise even higher, to 450 ppm, by 2040.
In this case, returning to humanity's roots is going to be a deadly prospect.
I think it was because: fear mongering
originally posted by: schuyler
More CO2 means more plant life--larger bracken ferns, a bountiful yield for vegans. It may be inconvenient for humans, but it won't "harm" the Earth, which has been there before.
originally posted by: DonVoigt
a reply to: lostbook
No, I don't think we should worry. We know that the planet does this and it's gonna do it with it without our consent. It does this in cycles so like other mammals on this planet, we will adapt or die. Not to mention all the acreage that will lose its permafrost and become useful land again like it has done in the past. So fire up your SUVs and diesel engines and do your part in defrosting the planet.
originally posted by: Teikiatsu
a reply to: lostbook
The Medieval Warming period was a time on earth when civilization thrived. It was warm enough for grapes to grow in Britain and for Viking settlers to land on Greenland and mine what is now under ice.
The Little Ice Age gave us the Black Death and Dark Ages.
Note that this was all before modern medicine.
I'll take the warmer over the colder... and I'm a winter person.
originally posted by: Orionx2
The question is "is it really a bad thing?" Sure we may loose some ocean front property, that is already over priced, but what happens if there is millions of acres of new useable land and we can have shorter shipping lanes? Humans will adapt.