By Marc Resnick:
Scientific American had a great article on Climate Change that should be of interest from an IE perspective. They compare the current situation to three changes from the geological past.
The earliest was the Cretaceous.Over millions of years, global temperature rose about 5 degrees Celsius. Because of the extended time, species could adapt and there were few extinctions.
The most recent was the Paleocene warming. Over a period of thousands of years, the global temp again increased about 5 degrees Celsius. As a result, there were a lot of species extinctions because thousands of years isn’t enough time for evolution to allow them to adapt.
In the current warming, it looks like global temperature will again rise about 5 degrees Celsius (as little as 3 and as much as 10 depending on what we do about it). The time will be decades to hundreds of years. This gives little time for species to adapt so there could be a lot of species extinctions. The only other time the global temperature has changed this fast was the asteroid impact that killed off all the dinosaurs. The silver lining is that this allowed mammals to take over the world. I wonder what will take over from humans? I just hope its not cockroaches. I hate cockroaches.