Earth Will Boil Over: Scientists Say The Consequences Of Global Warming May Be Far Worse Than Anticipated
Scientists engaged in studying various aspects of climate change have since long predicted the possible consequences of global warming and its impact on the existence of life on Earth. However, recently conducted palaeontological studies predict that Earth will boil over soon and the time of impact of global warming will be even worse.
Experts say that Earth's past is a prologue of the contemporary rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and the resultant climate change. Though the reason may be different this time, it is certainly not the first time Earth will witness an upsurge in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
Expert paleo climatologist at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, Dana Royer said, "Each little slice in Earth's past is a replicated experiment," and studying them will help people understand "where we may be headed in the near future."
However, predicting and understanding the events that occurred millions of years ago based on study of fossils is not at all easy as it may seem. Palaeontologists across the world work relentlessly to innovate new tools and techniques, which will help them dig deep into the past and find out the changes in the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, its environmental impact and consequences of global warming, Science reported.
The recently developed fossil leaf gas exchange technique can help in making correct estimates of the relative levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide by studying the density, shape and size of stomata present on the surface of fossilized leaves. In addition, it will also analyze the carbon isotopes present in the organic residue of the fossilized leaves. This will help in tracking the ratio of the photosynthetically fixed CO2 present in the leaves with the atmospheric levels.
Peter Franks, Plant Physiologist at the University of Sydney, Australia, and pioneer researcher in the development of the technique, said that the recently conducted studies reveal that the CO2 levels were very low during the initial phase of ancient warmings, which then rose quickly with a climate sensitivity of around 3 to 4 degrees Celsius.
Scientists speculated that it may take centuries for this to happen, but these new historical findings say something different. It is now predicted that the rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will cause a steep increase in average ambient temperature within the next century. These predictions surpass all previous hypotheses regarding the possible consequences of global warming.