Solarpunk Presents

Podcasts about creating the future we'd like to live in

2.8: 50 Million Years of Climate Change – with Christina!

Episode cover for 2.8. A picture of an iceberg floating on water in the foreground with icy peaks in the background. The title "50 Million Years of Climate Change" is top centre in black text; bottom left reads "With Christina De La Rocha" in white text, and the Solarpunk Presents logo is on the bottom right hand corner

Have you ever thought about how dinosaurs lived on a warm, swampy Earth and how we live on one that’s cold enough to keep pretty much the entirety of Greenland and Antarctica buried under kilometers-thick sheets of solid ice and wondered, hmm, how did we get from there to here? The short answer is that it took 50 million years of declining atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and dropping temperatures, not to mention building an ice sheet or two. 

For the longer story of the last 50 million years of climate change, including some of the reasons why, catch this episode of our podcast with Dr De La Rocha! You’ll hear about plate tectonics and continental drift, silicate weathering, carbonate sedimentation, and the spectacular effects the growth of Earth’s ice sheets have had on Earth’s climate. There are also lessons here for where anthropogenic global warming is going and whether or not its effects have permanently disrupted the climate system. 

Fun fact: the total amount of climate change between 50 million years ago and now dwarfs what we’re driving by burning fossil fuels, and yet, what we’re doing is more terrifying, in that it’s unfolding millions of times faster. Listen to this episode here.

Bonus content: If you want to see sketches and plots of the data discussed in this episode, you can find them on our blog here.

!!Nerd alert!! 

If you’re interested in the primary scientific literature on the subject, these four papers are a great place to start.

Don’t forget, dear listener, we need your support! So, recommend us to a friend and/or sign up for our Patreon!

Connect with Solarpunk Presents Podcast on Twitter, Mastodon, or at our blog.

Connect with Ariel at her blog, on Twitter at @arielletje, and on Mastodon.

Connect with Christina at her blog, on Twitter, and on Mastodon

Support the show on Patreon or make a one-time donation via PayPal.

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