Ancient Global Warming Sees Troubling Spike

The abundance and distribution of marine algae indicate the environment started to change and the ocean surface began to warm several thousand years before the large temperature spike.

Published: 09-Jan-2008

What started out as a moderate global warm-up about 55 million years ago triggered a massive injection of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that sent temperatures skyrocketing, a new study says.

The finding suggests that today's temperature rise may just be priming the planet for a carbon belch of epic proportions.

"You've got these feedbacks, these chain reactions of events in the atmosphere-ocean system," said Appy Sluijs, a paleoecologist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

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