How have global temperatures changed in the past?

Article by Hazell Ransome.

The graph we’ve posted shows how the Earth’s temperature has changed over the last 65 million years, and how it is predicted to change in the future [1]. Notice that as you get closer to the present day the graph zooms into shorter timescales.

From looking at this, you would be forgiven for thinking that current climate change is no different from past increases in temperature.

However, can you see from the graph that if little climate action is taken in the future (the red line) [2,3,4] then by 2100 Earth’s average temperature will increase to roughly 4.5°C above the pre-industrial baseline [1,5,6]?

The last time the Earth was this warm was 5 million years ago [1]. Back then humans [7], and even mammoths [8], had not evolved yet!

References

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