University of Southampton conducts research on volcanoes and the effects of climatic change

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Recent research suggests that extreme CO2 volcanic emission caused a severe global warming case that happened about 56 million years ago during the North Atlantic formation.

The research that was conducted by an international team of researchers, and was led by the University of Southampton. The researchers showed the relationship between Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and a rapid doubling of the CO2 in the atmosphere not more than 25,000 years using novel global climate modeling.

Most rapid global warming

In the last 66 million years, the PETM is recorded as the most extreme and rapid natural global warming cases. It occurred for about 150,000 years, and the temperature of the globe increased by 5C. The 5C rise in temperature can be compared with the projections of the recent climate till after the end of this century.

Suggestions have it that the PETM event was a result of the carbon injection into the atmosphere and ocean. However, it’s not clear the exact amount of the carbon, as well its source.

In a bid to determine the carbon source, the researchers studied the changes in the isotopic balances of boron in old marine fossils, known as foraminifera. Southampton is one of the outstanding locations in the world where such test can be conducted.

A professor at the University of Southampton, Professor Gavin Foster, said the way the ancient Earth reacted to the PETM carbon injection could give an insight on how the earth will react to the human-made climatic change.