The study, published in the journal Science Advances , found that the rate of warming increased dramatically as carbon dioxide levels rose, a finding with far-reaching implications for Earth's future Climate.
Another way of stating this result is that the climate of the Early Eocene became increasingly sensitive to additional carbon dioxide as the planet warmed.
The Early Eocene was a time of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and surface temperatures at least 14 degrees Celsius warmer, on average, than today.
If nothing is done to limit carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, CO2 levels could once again reach 1,000 ppm by the year 2100, according to climate scientists, they said.
Until now, climate models have been unable to simulate the extreme surface warmth of the Early Eocene -- including the sudden and dramatic temperature spikes of the PETM -- by relying solely on atmospheric CO2 levels.
"For decades, the models have underestimated these temperatures, and the community has long assumed that the problem was with the geological data, or that there was a warming mechanism that hadn't been recognized," he said.
- Return of 'ancient heatwaves' could see average global temperatures soar 'at least 14C' by the end of the century ...Daily Mail
- Study of Ancient Climate Suggests Warming Could Accelerate as CO2 Levels RiseUANews (press release)
- A new model of the Earth's climate 50 million years ago is revealing worrisome clues about what our future could look likeBusiness Insider
- Study of ancient climate suggests future warming could acceleratePhys.Org
- A World of Searing Heat and Melted Ice Caps: Climate Model of Early Eocene is 'Scary Finding' for Earth's FutureNewsweek
- Climate Change Conspiracists Get DebunkedScience Times
- Climate Models of Earth's Hottest Period Offer Frightening Glimpse Into FutureCourthouse News Service
- New Model of Earth's Ancient Climate Is Painting a Worrying Picture About Our FutureScienceAlert
- Studying past climate change offers a glimpse into the futureEarth.com