Geological Society of London Scientific Statement: what the geological record tells us about our present and future climate

Lear, Caroline H. and Anand, Pallavi and Blenkinsop, Tom and Foster, Gavin L. and Gagen, Mary and Hoogakker, Babette and Larter, Robert D. and Lunt, Daniel J. and McCave, I. Nicholas and McClymont, Erin and Pancost, Richard D. and Rickaby, Rosalind E.M. and Schultz, David M. and Summerhayes, Colin and Williams, Charles J.R. and Zalasiewicz, Jan (2021) Geological Society of London Scientific Statement: what the geological record tells us about our present and future climate. Journal of the Geological Society, 178 (1). jgs2020-239. ISSN 0016-7649 DOI https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2020-239

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2020-239

Abstract

Geology is the science of how the Earth functions and has evolved and, as such, it can contribute to our understanding of the climate system and how it responds to the addition of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere and oceans. Observations from the geological record show that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are now at their highest levels in at least the past 3 million years. Furthermore, the current speed of human-induced CO2 change and warming is nearly without precedent in the entire geological record, with the only known exception being the instantaneous, meteorite-induced event that caused the extinction of non-bird-like dinosaurs 66 million years ago. In short, whilst atmospheric CO2 concentrations have varied dramatically during the geological past due to natural processes, and have often been higher than today, the current rate of CO2 (and therefore temperature) change is unprecedented in almost the entire geological past.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2020AREP; IA77
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of the Geological Society
Volume: 178
Page Range: jgs2020-239
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2020-239
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2021 16:54
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2021 16:54
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/6019

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