In about twelve years the Earth's climate will resemble that of the Middle Pliocene, a period whose origin can be traced back more than 3 million years, according to a new study by American and British scientists.
In particular, the report warns that if humanity does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2150, the Earth's climate can be compared to that of the Eocene period 50 million years ago when the temperature was 13 degrees higher and almost no ice.
"We are moving towards very dramatic changes in an extremely short period, reversal of trend planetary cooling for centuries, "warns John Jack Williams, professor of geography at Wisconsin-Madison University, USA." If we think about the future in terms of the past, we are turning to unknown territory for human society, "he adds.
Increase from 13 degrees to 2150?
The researcher and colleagues studied the similarities between them future climate forecasts as described in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and various periods of geological history such as the Early Eocene, the Middle Pliocene, the last interpersonal relationship (129,000-116,000 years ago), the Middle Holocene (6,000 years ago), the post-industrial age (before 1850) and early 20th century.
They also use the "representative concentration route 8.5" (RCP8.5), which is a future climate scenario in which we do not mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as RCP4.5 – a scenario in which mankind moderately reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
In both projections, the earth's climate is more like the Pliocene in 2030 (according to RCP8.5) or 2040 (under RCP4.5). However, over a longer period of time and under the RCP8.5 scenario, the weather continues to warm until it begins to resemble Eocene in 2100,achieving greater similarities with this period of the year 2150,
In Pliocene the temperatures were between them 1.8 and 3.6 degrees higher than at present, while during Eocene the temperatures were average up to 13 degreesScientists also point out that all species of the Earth had a predecessor surviving Eocene and Pliocene, although it remains to be seen whether humans, flora and fauna will adapt to these rapid changes.