Tag Archives: past

In last great age of warmth, CO2 at work — but hardly alone

Warming patterns during Earth’s last period of prolonged global warmth differed dramatically from modern temperature patterns, according to new research by a Yale University scientist and colleagues. Cloud feedbacks, ocean mixing, or other dynamic factors must have played a greater role in Pliocene warming than commonly recognized, the scientists argue, and these must be accounted for in order to make meaningful predictions about Earth’s future climate.

In a paper published April 4 in the journal Nature, Yale climate scientist Alexey Fedorov and colleagues compile records of sea surface temperatures going back five million years, to the early Pliocene. These records reveal a world with fairly uniform warm temperatures in the whole of the Tropics prior to 4 million years ago — a significant scenario that typical climate model simulations fail to show. (more…)

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Daniel Block and The ‘Feel of Not to Feel It’

The History Channel and other outlets insist that knowing about the past is not enough: It must come alive and we must feel it. But are our emotions and sentiments a reliable guide to historical understanding? Daniel Block finds that Wordsworth, Keats, and other British Romantic writers may have something new to offer about the use and value of our affective experience.

It is certainly familiar turf for Baby Boomers, this persistent effort to figure out the ’60s or ’70s. Can history be parsed — actual occurrences considered apart from emotion-laden memories? And can a reliable picture of the whole be teased out, something that might be enriching, informative, or useful?

Daniel Block has been studying writers of the British Romantic era — the poets Keats and Wordsworth, the historical novelist Walter Scott and others. It’s a great, rich body of writing that speaks to the formation of historical feeling. (more…)

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Earth’s Hot Past: Prologue to Future Climate?

*Study of Earth’s deep past leads to look into the future*

 The magnitude of climate change during Earth’s deep past suggests that future temperatures may eventually rise far more than projected if society continues its pace of emitting greenhouse gases, a new analysis concludes.

The study, by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Jeffrey Kiehl, will appear as a “Perspectives” article in this week’s issue of the journal Science. (more…)

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