The present rate of greenhouse carbon dioxide emissions through fossil fuel burning is higher than that associated with an ancient episode of severe global warming, according to new research. The findings are published online this week by the journal Nature Geoscience.
Around 55.9 million years ago, the Earth experienced a period of intense global warming known as the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which lasted for around 170,000 years. During its main phase, average annual temperatures rose by around 5°C.
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