Featured publication: Back to the future of climate: hot and humid
CASP worker Simon Passey has teamed up with researchers from ETH Zürich and Pennsylvania State University to reconstruct the climate that prevailed at the end of the Paleocene and in the early Eocene (between 57 and 55 million years ago). They did this by using a new method called clumped isotope thermometry determined on tiny siderite minerals (Photo) in soil samples taken from former swamps.
At that time in the Paleocene and Eocene, the atmosphere contained much higher levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (1,400 ppm to 4,000 ppm), compared with today (412 ppm). The climate in that era provides researchers with an indication as to how today’s climate might develop as scientists believe that human activity could drive this figure up to 1,000 ppm by the end of the century.
The findings of the study are now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, and indicate that along with increased temperatures, the global moisture content in the atmosphere was much higher in the Paleocene and Eocene eras than it is today.
26 October 2020