Surprising glacial and nearly ice-free periods in last 66 million years.
New research by Rutgers scientists reaffirms that modern sea-level rise is linked to human activities and not to changes in Earth’s orbit.
Surprisingly, the Earth had nearly ice-free conditions with carbon dioxide levels not much higher than today and had glacial periods in times previously believed to be ice-free over the last 66 million years, according to a paper published in the journal Science Advances.
“Our team showed that the Earth’s history of glaciation was more complex than previously thought,” said lead author Kenneth G. Miller, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “Although carbon dioxide levels had an important influence on ice-free periods, minor variations in the Earth’s orbit were the dominant factor in terms of ice volume and sea-level changes – until modern times.”
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