Consensus

Geologists: Climate Recovery Could Take 100,000 Years or More

Geological Society

UK Geological Society Releases New Statement on Climate Change


It is not possible to relate the Earth’s warming since 1970 to anything recognisable as having a geological cause (such as volcanic activity, continental displacement, or changes in the energy received from the sun).

– Geological Society of London, November 1, 2010


The Geological Society of London has released a definitive statement on the human impact to the global climate from the continual and increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from industrial activities. Released in advance of a week-long conference, the statement is “based on analysis of geological evidence, and not on analysis of recent temperature or satellite data, or climate model projections.” Examining past climate change events in the geologic record, particularly large changes from 55, 120, and 183 million years ago, the Society concluded that ongoing emissions that could reach levels similarly to those from 55 million years ago “is likely to raise average global temperatures by at least 5-6ºC, and possibly more, and that recovery of the Earth’s climate in the absence of any mitigation measures could take 100,000 years or more.”

Noting that past large-scale climate shifts have often been accompanied by “extinctions and major redistribution of species”, the Society offered that “emitting further large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere over time is likely to be unwise.” An understatement if ever there was one.

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173 professional scientific organizations (and counting) around the world acknowledge the global impact of rising emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities

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