After many international summits with hardly any results and good intentions that were not carried out, we continue to cause a climate change that is pushing our planet to the limit and whose consequences are, to a large extent, unpredictable.
According to data from the POT the first months of 2016 have set all historical records on global warming. The temperature of the oceans rises and the melting of the poles continues to accelerate, causing significant increases in sea level.
The last precedents in which such a level of atmospheric contamination occurred do not reveal encouraging results. Up to two times there was a mass extinction that, among other living beings, he took with himdinosaurs.
The current level of pollution has already caused a sudden climate change
A new scientific study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows thatcurrent carbon emissions are the highest in the past 66 million years, when dinosaurs became extinct. To do this, they analyzed sediments from the New Jersey coast, looking at the Carbon-13 and Oxygen-18 isotopes. Both are stable versions of the carbon and oxygen that we find in nature and that provide information about the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the temperature that existed when these sediments formed.
The research group, led by Richard Zeebe of theUniversity of HawaiiIn addition, it found that the indicators of carbon emissions and global warming that we currently observe are only comparable with those that produced a sudden climate change known as the Eleocene Paleocene Thermal Maximum (PTEM). This took place 58 million years ago and caused a new mass extinction that affects, above all, marine species. It was produced due to intense volcanic activity, which released huge amounts of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere.
PTEM is a good benchmark because, according to scientists, it shares many characteristics with current climate change: rising planet temperatures, melting of the ice caps, and rising sea levels. Well, according to the calculations of Zeebe and his collaborators, in those times carbon emissions were around the metric ton per year. Currently, we dump 10 metric tons of CO2 annually, that is,ten more times.
Excess carbon in the atmosphere produces mass extinctions
We may not be able to foresee exactly what will happen if we maintain the industrial activity of today. However, what does seem clear are the serious consequences for life. Thus, the high levels of carbon in the atmosphere caused by high volcanic activity and by the collision of one or more giant meteorites caused, 66 million years ago, the disappearance of dinosaurs.
Several million years later, new natural emissions of greenhouse gases caused a climate change that especially affected marine plankton and corals, causing a new mass extinction. The trend leaves no doubt: the maximum victims of the breakdown of the balance of our planet are us, living beings.