Climate change may be worse than believed: Study
The current period of climate change may be unparallelled over the last 100 million years, warn scientists who discovered a flaw in the way past ocean temperatures have been estimated up to now.
According to the methodology widely used by the scientific community, the temperature of the ocean depths and that of the surface of the polar ocean 100 million years ago were around 15 degrees higher than current readings.
However, researchers, including those from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), have found that ocean temperatures may in fact have remained relatively stable throughout this period, raising serious concerns about current levels of climate change.
“If we are right, our study challenges decades of paleoclimate research,” said Anders Meibom, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).
For over 50 years, the scientific community based its estimates on what they learned from foraminifera, which are the fossils of tiny marine organisms found in sediment cores taken from the ocean floor.
The foraminifera form calcareous shells called tests in which the content of oxygen-18 depends on the temperature of the water in which they live.
Changes in the ocean’s temperature over time were therefore calculated on the basis of the oxygen-18 content of …read more