Wednesday, February 02, 2022

If Life Gives You Peaches ...

 A graph from the Smithsonian:


The graph shows that while global temperature is currently rising, it is still well below what it was for almost all of the past two hundred and fifty million years and would have to rise by  another 13°C to get back to the peak level of about sixty million years ago. 

The headline of the news story I found it in:

A 500-million-year survey of Earth's climate reveals dire warning for humanity

If life gives you peaches, make cyanide from the pits.


Anonymous said...

Not sure if it's just my device, but the image appears to be cut off.

Anonymous said...

Disregard my last comment. It appears to have been an issue on my end.

I'm no climate doomer, but I'm struggling to understand what you're eluding to with this particular finding.

David Friedman said...

A lot of the talk around climate change implies that it is making Earth dangerously hot. What the graph shows is that Earth has been considerably warmer for most of the past several hundred million years. Current warming is starting from a global temperature that is unusually cold, the coldest in the past five hundred million years if the graph is correct.

People often put the argument as "it's warmer than it has been in the time of human civilization," but that's irrelevant.

Ben Hackett said...

I would think the "dangerously hot" implication is in reference to causing the extinction of current organisms in certain places that cannot handle the heat or the knock-on effects the heat would bring to its present habitat. Perhaps that's giving alarmists too much credit, and they do actually believe everything and everyone is going to burn up and die as the Earth turns into Venus overnight.

The rate of change is the only thing that moderately concerns me with respect to climate change. Will the effects of a rapidly changing climate be too fast for humans to respond to?

Jonathan said...

I think what people are worried about are principally the direct and indirect effects on humans, which are kind of relevant if you're a human.

David Friedman said...


The rate of change is pretty slow by human standards, about 2°C by the end of the century relative to present temperature under SSPS 7. That's about the current difference between Michigan and Minnesota. Sea level rise less than a meter, which is about half the average distance between high tide and low tide.

I think the only real worry about rate of change is the effect on other species that affect humans. Trees have long generations and so evolve slowly, and they shift their range slowly as well.

@IdeoPrax said...

related to Jonathan's reply:

The global temp. is unusually low even taking humans' 300,000 years of existence into account. We have as a species survived through at least 3, maybe 4 periods of 'extreme climate' on the top end, and at least 3 ice-ages at the other.

On top of which, our predecessor species also made their way through their mulitple climate catastrophes, obviously without undue difficulty.