A team of researchers has managed to create an incredibly accurate report which explores the climate of our planet and the way in which it changed over more than 66 million years, revealing unprecedented information related to climate changes.
There are four major climate states that have been identified: Houthose, Warmhouse, Coolhouse, and Icehouse, each of them lasting for several million years and reacting in different ways to orbital variations. As the name may infer, there are major temperature differences between climate states.
The main obstacle faced by the researchers was the need to develop a time scale which could take into account variables tied to orbital variation. Previous research inferred that glacial and interglacial cycles could be affected by changes ted to the orbit of the planet. These changes can modify the number of sun rays that are able to reach the surface.
While working on the history of past climate, the researchers also took into account long-term changes and the role played by them during the different climate states, with critical information being obtained from the link between rhythmic variability and orbital variations.
During the last 3 million years, the climate of Earth has been in an Icehouse state, which features alternating glacial and interglacial periods. The development of modern industry and greenhouse gas emissions have pushed the climate towards the Warmhouse and Hothouse states, which haven’t been present since the Eocene period enter more than 34 million years ago.
It was observed that many of the major climate transitions which took place in the last 66 million years could be traced to greenhouse gas levels and the way in which they varied. The findings will also provide an important reference framework that will be quite useful for future research.
The paper has been published in a scientific journal.