Source: The Christian Science Monitor, Environmental Health News, Date: , 2009
Fifty-five million years ago,what scientists call Eocene in Earth's history, the world was a much warmer place. The poles were ice-free year-round. This was also the dawn of the age of mammals.
The beginning of this age is of special interest to climatologists .What is already in their knowledge is that there was a great spike in carbon dioxide associated with rapid climate change thus kick-starting the "Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum" (PETM). PETM may hold the most relevant lessons for where the world’s climate is headed today.
The scientists ae now trying to address the question what happens after atmospheric CO2 increases beyond an unknown threshold. At some point, rising CO2 may trigger something else that further warms the climate. In other words, we may have significantly underestimated the effects of the CO2 now being released into the atmosphere.