Future CO2 and climate warming potentially unprecedented in 420 million years

April 4, 2017, University of Southampton
A living Ginkgo leaf (left) and fossil (right). Density of stomata in such leaves is proxy of atmospheric CO2 in past. Credit: Dana Royer

New research led by the University of Southampton suggests that, over the next 100 to 200 years, carbon dioxide concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere will head towards values not seen since the Triassic period, 200 million years ago. Furthermore, by the 23rd century, the climate could reach a warmth not seen in 420 million years.

The study, published in Nature Communications, compiled over 1200 estimates of ancient (CO2) concentrations to produce a continuous record dating back nearly half a billion years. It concludes that if humanity burns all available in the future, the levels of CO2 contained in the atmosphere may have no geologically-preserved equivalent during this 420 million year period.

The researchers examined published data on fossilised plants, the isotopic composition of carbon in soils and the oceans, and the boron isotopic composition of fossil shells. Gavin Foster, lead author and Professor of Isotope Geochemistry at the University of Southampton, explains: "We cannot directly measure CO2 concentrations from millions of years ago. Instead we rely on indirect 'proxies' in the rock record. In this study, we compiled all the available published data from several different types of proxy to produce a continuous record of ancient CO2 levels."

This wealth of data shows that CO2 concentrations have naturally fluctuated on multi-million year timescales over this period, from around 200-400 parts per million (ppm) during cold 'icehouse' periods to up to 3000 ppm during intervening warm 'greenhouse' periods. Although evidence tells us our has fluctuated greatly in the past (with the Earth currently in a colder period), it also shows the current speed of climate change is highly unusual.

Carbon dioxide is a and in the last 150 years humanity's fossil fuel use has increased its atmospheric concentration from 280 ppm in the pre-industrialisation era to nearly 405 ppm in 2016. However, it's not just CO2 that determines the climate of our planet, ultimately it is both the strength of the greenhouse effect and the amount of incoming sunlight that is important. Changes in either parameter are able to force climate change.

"Due to nuclear reactions in stars, like our sun, over time they become brighter," adds co-author Dan Lunt, Professor of Climate Science at the University of Bristol. "This means that, although were high hundreds of millions of years ago, the net warming effect of CO2 and sunlight was less. Our new CO2 compilation appears on average to have gradually declined over time by about 3-4 ppm per million years. This may not sound like much, but it is actually just about enough to cancel out the warming effect caused by the sun brightening through time, so in the long-term it appears the net effect of both was pretty much constant on average."

This interplay between and the sun's brightness has fascinating implications for the history of life on Earth. Co-author Professor Dana Royer, from Wesleyan University in the US, explains: "Up until now it's been a bit of a puzzle as to why, despite the sun's output having increased slowly over time, scant evidence exists for any similar long-term warming of the climate. Our finding of little change in the net climate forcing offers an explanation for why Earth's climate has remained relatively stable, and within the bounds suitable for life for all this time."

This long-term view also offers a valuable perspective on future climate change. It is well recognised that the climate today is changing at rates well above the geological norm. If humanity fails to tackle rising CO2 and burns all the readily available fossil fuel, by AD 2250 CO2 will be at around 2000 ppm - levels not seen since 200 million years ago.

Professor Foster adds: "However, because the Sun was dimmer back then, the net climate forcing 200 million years ago was lower than we would experience in such a high CO2 future. So not only will the resultant be faster than anything the Earth has seen for millions of years, the climate that will exist is likely to have no natural counterpart, as far as we can tell, in at least the last 420 million years."

Explore further: The science of carbon dioxide and climate

More information: Future climate forcing potentially without precedent in the last 420 million years, Nature Communications (2017). DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS14845

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gkam
Apr 04, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
EyeNStein
1.8 / 5 (25) Apr 04, 2017
Their past climate data may be valid; but to project 200 years into the future on current usage...
The oil would have all gone long before 200 years, and other energy sources would be commonplace by then.

This article is just clickbait for the global warming trolls.
Captain Stumpy
4.4 / 5 (21) Apr 04, 2017
Their past climate data may be valid; but to project 200 years into the future on current usage...
@not-eyeNstein
not click bait if you read only the science

also - if you knew even half of why studying the past is relevant to prediction of the future, you would not have posted the above drivel: http://www.pnas.o...162.full

Projections of future climate depend critically on refined estimates of climate sensitivity.
gkam
3.7 / 5 (18) Apr 04, 2017
If you do not mind, I would like to keep the climate we have now.

Thanks.
Captain Stumpy
4.4 / 5 (20) Apr 04, 2017
@idiotToo
Any dissension or disagreement with the establishment AGW cult is regarded hostile
actually, no
if there is dissension with valid science then it becomes about the science and validation

point is - like every one of your posts, your argument is from opinion and political rhetoric, not science

much like the following
then mankind will also adapt and diversify
this is called a fearmongering strawman based upon incomplete knowledge and delusional beliefs

all life continues to evolve

no one is claiming all life will cease to exist
- but the probability that life as we know it will experience a mass extinction with considerable adaptation and evolution is a most likely scenario if things are left as is to exacerbate the climate as we are now doing

feel free to argue with science -but you really should take some time to learn a little first
gkam
3.7 / 5 (19) Apr 04, 2017
" the climate is ALWAYS changing."
----------------------------
Yeah, and we have had mass extinctions before, so what is the worry?

It is not usually changing this fast.

And once again, I like this climate.
gkam
Apr 04, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
tblakely1357
2.1 / 5 (19) Apr 04, 2017
Fearmongering is profitable.
gkam
3.7 / 5 (18) Apr 04, 2017
Yeah, and folk like you fell for "WMD!", didn't you?

Not me, I knew better, and know better here, too. I trust science over politicians.

Did you not learn your lessons?
HeloMenelo
4.8 / 5 (17) Apr 04, 2017
If you do not mind, I would like to keep the climate we have now.

Thanks.

Yes, but... the climate is ALWAYS changing.

Sorry.

Captain Clumpy, I am saving my bandwidth and minimizing scrolling by ignoring your anemic retorts. Get used to it.

:)

Aaaaaah i heard the branches crackling and the baboon chest thumping becoming louder halfway through reading this topic, i knew earthling aka (monkey antigoracle sockpuppet) was fiercely on his way here to post the dumbest comments known to him.

We don't care who or what you ignore Bonobo, your posts are infinitely irrelevant, there's a reason why your posts get ranked One out of Five Everytime throughout the decades you've been bafooning about on this site, but hey, it's good to let the world know how dumb your comments are... ;)
HeloMenelo
4.4 / 5 (13) Apr 04, 2017
Fearmongering is profitable.


Another Antigoracle Sock, fracking, drilling, polluting the earth through fossil fuels relentlessly poisoning our ocean and fresh air, now that monkey goon is profitable, selfish, careless and wreckless to name Only but a few.
max_bean
5 / 5 (16) Apr 04, 2017
Speaking of extinctions, I'm kind of freaking out about the CO2 and methane spike showing up at stations near the arctic over the last couple of weeks.

Here is the data:

https://www.esrl....code=brw

click on carbon cycle gasses
click on time series
select gas to plot and click submit

It shows Barrow Alaska, Tikisi Russia and a station in Ireland now have CO2 at 420ppm and Methane at 2050ppb.
guptm
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 04, 2017
So-called developed countries are responsible for this tragedy, and they don't acknowledge it!
Edenlegaia
5 / 5 (5) Apr 04, 2017
So-called developed countries are responsible for this tragedy, and they don't acknowledge it!


They're developed and you know it. They just have to develop even further, but differently.
Out of many possibility, that one was the most likely to happen. We just have to make sure we can minimize what's happening without sacrificing too much. The masses are not really against the change. They just don't like how leaders asks them for the efforts while they're the one who can and should the most.
Captain Stumpy
4.7 / 5 (14) Apr 04, 2017
@idiot too
Captain Clumpy, I am saving my bandwidth and minimizing scrolling by ignoring your anemic retorts. Get used to it.
considering the last time you attempted to share your opinion it was decimated by reams of evidence showing you had absolutely no scientific knowledge whatsoever, i can understand why you would not want to repeat that mistake...

i don't take it personal, just like i don't care what BS does

i will still share the science that you can't understand and show why your personal beliefs are invalidated by evidence

and i will continue to out your denier delusions as well

so....
did you ever bother reading those studies i linked?

or did you just bury your head again hoping no one will notice?

(rhetorical - everyone already knows the answer)
Shootist
1.5 / 5 (17) Apr 04, 2017
If you do not mind, I would like to keep the climate we have now.

Thanks.


The climate changes. Always.
gkam
Apr 04, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (12) Apr 05, 2017
Speaking of extinctions, I'm kind of freaking out about the CO2 and methane spike showing up at stations near the arctic over the last couple of weeks.

Here is the data:

https://www.esrl....code=brw

click on carbon cycle gasses
click on time series
select gas to plot and click submit

It shows Barrow Alaska, Tikisi Russia and a station in Ireland now have CO2 at 420ppm and Methane at 2050ppb.

It's the methane I'd be most worried about...
And - once it ignites - game over...
EyeNStein
1.7 / 5 (11) Apr 05, 2017
Looking at the steady increase of CO2 from 1971 to today (Thanks @WG for link) and the larger than I remembered oil reserves in years (link below). Perhaps 100 years is a reasonable timescale to project mankind's tendency to burn the cheapest fuel available and its effect on our environment. Even as we develop new power sources: Someone, somewhere, will burn the oil if its cheaper and turns them a faster dollar.

https://en.wikipe..._country
Anonym
1.3 / 5 (14) Apr 05, 2017
The University of Southhampton: writing some of the best tunes for the Mighty Wurlizter since 1992.

They are paid to scare the living hell out of people. Be afraid, be very afraid.

SteveS
5 / 5 (14) Apr 05, 2017
The University of Southhampton: writing some of the best tunes for the Mighty Wurlizter since 1992.

They are paid to scare the living hell out of people. Be afraid, be very afraid.


Bold claims. I'm sure you won't mind answering a few questions to back them up.

Who do you think they are being paid by?

Where's your evidence?

If they have been lying since 1992 why haven't any other scientists called them out on their lies?

Do you believe in many conspiracy theories?
gkam
3.5 / 5 (16) Apr 05, 2017
"Do you believe in many conspiracy theories?"
----------------------------------

Well, . . . there ARE those little items of proof showing Putin and the Republicans worked together to get into office.

Looks like treason to me.

But to assume 97%of all the world scientists are lying about climate change is really off the chart.
HeloMenelo
5 / 5 (12) Apr 05, 2017
If you do not mind, I would like to keep the climate we have now.

Thanks.


The climate changes. Always.

So does your sockpuppets antigoracle sock, exposed everytime, can't say we're complaining, makes for great publicity and humor exposing your stupidity ;)
Davy_Crockett
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2017
I laughed when I was a kid at stories about past elderly religious leaders ranting against engines and power machinery being the "work of the devil."

Now I wonder…?

What if there were a metaphysical conflict between agents of good and evil - between order and chaos. What if as the Bible suggests, the light bearer Lucifer tempted mankind's agents with the offer of physical power and dominion over all the earth including a long term supreme reign and wealth, but ultimately at the forfeit of an everlasting life (as a species on earth). What if mankind tacitly agreed?

It would be absolutely chilling if it turned out to be true.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (9) Apr 06, 2017
The climate changes. Always.

That's the most stupid comment of 2017, hands down.

1) The SPEED of climate change is unprecedented
2) Humans aren't viable under all climates

So until you start getting some education, stay out of discussions for grown-ups.
hskiprob
1 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2017
What was interesting most about this article is that it seems to have been written by itself, well at least no one claims to be the author. Obviously, one of the tell tail signs of a propaganda piece.

I always enjoy reading the spin Democratic socialists and Republican fascists do in their articles. Some of the author's conclusions and assumptions are also adorable.
humy
5 / 5 (7) Apr 06, 2017
If you do not mind, I would like to keep the climate we have now.

Thanks.


The climate changes. Always.

Shootist

Yes, but not at this huge and damaging high rate as it is now. That high rate is man made which means we are the cause and it is up to us to do something about it. It would be totally irresponsible for us to do nothing about it for future generations.
Captain Stumpy
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2017
What was interesting most about this article is that it seems to have been written by itself, well at least no one claims to be the author. Obviously, one of the tell tail signs of a propaganda piece
@hskiprob
what was interesting about your post is that you don't comprehend that phys.org is a news aggregate site and is not the original source -or that the original source was mentioned above

the author is listed on the Southampton site:
Professor Gavin Foster BSc, PhD
Professor of Isotope Geochemistry
http://www.southa...ate.page

PO is mostly automated - so it doesn't always pick up all sections of a news article depending on the original format and submission practices

so this isn't a tell tale sign of propaganda so much as it's a sign of inconsistent submission practices or non-standard sharing practices between companies

your conspiracist ideation BS isn't even original
hskiprob
1 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2017
@Captain Stumpy - Thanks for the heads up on the author issue. I thought is was odd but I have seen this before in lamestream media articles.

1. What conspiracist ideation are you specially referring to? and 2. Few things today are really original so that could quality as possibly a logical fallacy and/or just you flat out trying to belittle what I wrote, which is one of the typical tools used by those who are intellectually dishonest or just mean spirited. It is not for me to judge.

I will say that it is oftentimes difficult to discern what scientists and other academics say and write in their respective fields, as they do not write in laymen's terms. What is always interesting to me, is to read the assumptions that they say they are utilizing in their research and conclusions. I also noticed a number of comments had incorrect facts like the 97% claim.

On first read, I believe this article to be misleading.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2017
Thanks for the heads up on the author issue
@hskiprob
you're welcome
What conspiracist ideation are you specially referring to?
this:
...one of the tell tail signs of a propaganda piece
...
I will say that it is oftentimes difficult to discern what scientists and other academics say and write in their respective fields, as they do not write in laymen's terms
i suggest contacting the author as they're usually willing to expound on the data or study you're inquiring about
I also noticed a number of comments had incorrect facts like the 97% claim
there is no 97% claim in the article

and the study explains their 97.5 percentile use under "methods" - see the following quote in the study: standardize reported uncertainties

if you wish to discuss any other 97% it would help to be specific, quote it, then provide evidence for your point or against said argument quoted
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2017
@hskiprob cont'd
but I have seen this before in lamestream media articles
this is common practice in all automated news aggregates - regardless of your political or other orientation
On first read, I believe this article to be misleading
ok... so?
why?

i suggest sticking to the study as the article is simply the opinion of the author, regardless of the topic

the study, however, is far, far different and contains empirical evidence supporting a claim dealing with the topic under examination

if you disagree with the study, or believe it to be misleading, then it suggest you have some empirical evidence that directly contradicts the science

given that you've not produced anything then one would wonder why you even posted the suggestion

however, if you have challenging or refuting science then it should be shared as this is how science works

science is apathetic to the beliefs of anyone

hskiprob
1.9 / 5 (8) Apr 06, 2017
This article say they believe the sun has been getting warmer. Could the additional heat be affecting the brains of some people who think mankind is causing global warming?

"This may not sound like much, but it is actually just about enough to cancel out the warming effect caused by the sun brightening through time, so in the long-term it appears the net effect of both was pretty much constant on average."

So really, a human being is that smart to be able to know this? A lot of conjecture.

FYI: 400 ppm is miniscule compared to previous levels. 100% increase of nothing is nothing.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2017
"Could the additional heat be affecting the brains of some people who think mankind is causing global warming?"
-------------------------------------

Please stop it. I earned a Master of Science in this field in 1982, and have had to listen to the Ignorati vent their uneducated opinions as things got worse and worse.

Get educated.
hskiprob
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 06, 2017
@Captain Stumpy-once again sorry. I did not specify, I meant in the comment section, not in the article, someone wrote the erroneous yet highly publicize 97% claim. The study, as you probably know, said 32%+/- of the scientists surveys believed in global warming and of those, 97% thought it was manmade. If you want me to pull the research I will try and find it. I have been thinking that both sides of the proverbial isle try to manipulate the facts to prove their positions and often times it is not done intentionally and sometimes is is done maliciously. Weeding out the truth from fiction is something we all need to work on.
I am a good friend of two social democrats and I, a libertarian are often baffled by what I see as a naivety in their ability to discern truth from fiction. I'm pretty sure they look at my acumen in the same light. My area of expertise, I like to call socioeconomic, society, law and money with sociology, psychology and economics the prominent disciplines.
hskiprob
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 06, 2017
@gkam - I think it is pretty naive to believe conclusively that mankind has the ability to determine if mankind is causing global warming. If it is true, you and those who believe in manmade global warming need to do a better job at proving it. FYI: I and many others don't believe it can be done.

Arrogance is just as debilitating to the social welfare as ignorance.

Education is a lifelong pursuit. At 64, I'm still getting educated. But I prefer not to take the advice of somebody who already knows it all.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2017
"Arrogance is just as debilitating to the social welfare as ignorance. "
-------------------------------------

Thank you for your admission.

At age 72, I can appreciate it.

The "Proof" is our extinction.

Are you waiting for that?

Will it be enough?
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 07, 2017
Could the additional heat be affecting the brains of some people who think mankind is causing global warming?
...I think it is pretty naive to believe conclusively that mankind has the ability to determine if mankind is causing global warming. If it is true, you and those who believe in manmade global warming need to do a better job at proving it
@hskiprob
nonsensical comment based upon ignorance and or lack of understanding

if you are getting your information from political, religious or similar sites, i can see why you believe this

-however-
if you get your information from science journals, with peer reviewed studies which are all based on evidence... then that above comment is completely nonsensical as there is considerable evidence

so skip google and go straight to google scholar (because you don't want biased idiocy, you want facts)

...

there is a site coming that will help you understand if you're interested - stay tuned

2bcont'd
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 07, 2017
@hskiprob cont'd
If you want me to pull the research I will try and find it
not necessary
however, when discussing a study at all, you should bring equivalent evidence to bear against the claims in the study

instead of making claims about said study, bring a study that provides the same level of evidence as refute or show where there is a retraction and or correction

otherwise it's your word against the evidence in a peer reviewed study
Weeding out the truth from fiction is something we all need to work on
this is true - and if you're going to discuss science then it is far better you provide equivalent source material and evidence

that is how science works - not because some politician says so, or because it's a common belief
that is religion

science requires evidence, hence my downrating of your post and the above comment about your nonsensical comment

2Bcont'd
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Apr 07, 2017
@hskiprob cont'd
My area of expertise, I like to call socioeconomic, society, law and money with sociology, psychology and economics the prominent disciplines
therein lies some of the problem IMHO

there is a lot about those mentioned above that are highly subjective
that is one thing that is weeded out of hard science (like: psychology)
things like climate change are based on physics and other similar fairly well known hard sciences

i added the "fairly" simply because the climate is also highly complex and not all interactions are known

before you jump at that, consider the human body:
it is also highly complex and not all interactions are known - however that doesn't invalidate medicine in any way. and like climate science, source material matters. you don't go to a local voodoo practitioner to treat a mitral valve prolapse, nor will you seek a tarot reader for a pericardial (or cardiac) tamponade

Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 07, 2017
@hskiprob last
you said the following to gkam
Education is a lifelong pursuit. At 64, I'm still getting educated. But I prefer not to take the advice of somebody who already knows it all
smart

another thing to consider: never take anyone's comment as valid unless they can provide validation for their claims (relevant: http://www.auburn...ion.html )

forgot to add this above - evidence for AGW (simplified): https://climate.n...vidence/

there are links and references in the above
if you want to challenge it with science, feel free... but understand that a political argument should be left for a political debate

scientists don't know everything and will freely admit this
they do know some things though, and those things they typically know very well because of the scientific method, evidence and validation

it is why we know as much as we do - and there is nothing wrong with saying you don't know
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Apr 07, 2017
Please stop it. I earned a Master of Science in this field in 1982, and have had to listen to the Ignorati vent their uneducated opinions as things got worse and worse
Please stop it. You bought a Master of Science in the field of 'life experiences' in 1982 that required no coursework or participation, and we have had to listen to your Ignorant uneducated opinions as your bullshit lies and made-up facts got worse and worse since youve been here.

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