What happened the last time global temperatures rose by 8 degrees Celsius?

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Look at the map of the Eocene world above.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Europe separated from Asia by a sea boundary.  Australia blissfully isolated.  Antarctica is looking lush.  South Americans will make their own jokes about the gulf in the north west of their continent; I’m unfamiliar with their rivalries.  The Muslim world is almost entirely submerged.  No sea appears between Mexico and the US, however.  You can’t have everything.

Anyway, world leaders have pledged to prevent average global temperatures rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius.  What would happen if temperatures went higher than this?

The last time we had a really hot spell was during Read More

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How The World Will Really End

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We have bigger problems than mass migration and our sex lives.  How are you enjoying the Holocene?  It’s the warm, interglacial period we’re currently experiencing.  It’s been going for about ten thousand years, or the totality of human civilization plus a bit.  I like it.  Crops are growing well, supporting huge cities.  An urban population leads to learning, professions and all the technology we have today.  Like scissors.

Don’t get too attached to all that, though.  Interglacial periods don’t always last so very long. Read More