Human-led carbon emissions ‘outpacing’ rate during rapid global warming event that sparked mass extinction, scientists warn

Researchers find ancient global warming event was likely caused by volcanic activity, writes Conrad Duncan

Monday 14 September 2020 21:45
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Researchers grew living foraminifera, a type of marine plankton, in a laboratory to reconstruct the climate more than 55 million years ago
Researchers grew living foraminifera, a type of marine plankton, in a laboratory to reconstruct the climate more than 55 million years ago

Increases in carbon emissions caused by human activity are “outpacing” the rate of CO2 emissions during an ancient global-warming event that sparked mass extinction, researchers have warned.

A study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that a rapid warming event which took place more than 55 million years ago and caused extinction in the deep sea saw carbon emissions rise at a much slower rate than today.

Researchers also found that the event known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was likely caused by major volcanic activity.

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