Earth has been warmer than today for hundreds of millions of years

Two weekends ago I attended the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas and posted a photo of this chart showing Average Global Temperature over the past 630 million years. It shows that temperatures have been far warmer than today for millions – no, hundreds of millions – of years. Several dissenters have pooh-poohed the graph, so I thought you might like to see author Gregory Fegel’s supportive response.

Average Global Temperature – Chart courtesy the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

As you can see, average global temperature is now lower – LOWER! – than during most of the last 630 million years.

When someone yells at you that humans are causing a climate emergency, hold onto your wallet.

I used to say it was a ‘hoax,’ but now I think its much more dangerous than that. As far as I’m concerned, the global warming zealots are perpetrating an outright fraud.

Here is Gregory Fegel’s comment:

The graph accompanying the article shows the Earth’s global mean temperature in Fahrenheit, from 625 million years ago to the present.

The global mean temperature (GMT) is currently about 58°F. The natural global warming period called the Eocene Optimum peaked at about 49 million years ago. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states that during the Early Eocene the GMT was about 9 to 14°C (16 to 25°F) higher than today. So the GMT during the Early Eocene was about 74 to 83°F.

During the Eocene Optimum, little to no ice was present on the Earth. Forests covered most of the Earth, including palm trees growing in Alaska. The warmer temperatures facilitated the intercontinental migration of animals.

The Eocene was a boom time for plants and animals, and it would have been a boom time for humans, had they existed then. Yet the climate alarmists claim that a rise of the GMT of 2 or 3°C will cause a catastrophic mass extinction for life on Earth.

Thank you, Gregory Fegel.


13 thoughts on “Earth has been warmer than today for hundreds of millions of years”

  1. So then what was the situation like at 300, 550 and 570 million years ago? These periods seem comparable to the present at least in the sense of temperature. Perhaps more discussion of those times would be of interest?

    Why was the temperature so low? Reduced solar temperature, different atmospheric composition, different galactic environment? Also why are such low temperatures so rare in the historical record? Across the broad span of Earth’s history for 630 million years there are only four or five such periods including our own.

  2. I keep hearing that the ice ages were a lot longer than the interglacial warm periods.

    This graph seems to suggest the opposite. I’m confused.

    • The ice ages typically discussed are just the past couple million years. Before that, the Earth was MUCH warmer MOST of the time. If you look at fossils you’ll see most of the plant fossils are of plants that liked warm weather. Actually, I’m starting to doubt that the ice ages even existed since now there is new evidence showing there was not an ice sheet (LIS) over central Canada after all, at least during the past 100,000 years or so. Turns out there was a forest there.
      “Our radiocarbon data set constrains the extent of LIS. Central Saskatchewan was not covered by LIS throughout the Upper Pleistocene.”
      There is ample evidence; however, that GIANT beavers covered the USA and also near Alaska in the Pleistocene, so there was obviously a huge amount of water here in the form of lakes and rivers. The beavers were found to consume mostly water plants. Based on the beaver teeth, one article even showed that the climate was warmer then than it is today. Fun!

  3. The chart makes no sense to me. Nice chart, but where did the data come from? Sure doesn’t look like Ice Core data to me as the earth is mostly an ice planet 85% or more of the time.

    Perhaps I need to know how the Earth’s global mean temperature is calculated, measured or derived. More Info Please.

    Doing some searching here is the following:
    To calculate a global average temperature, scientists begin with temperature measurements taken at locations around the globe. Because their goal is to track changes in temperature, measurements are converted from absolute temperature readings to temperature anomalies—the difference between the observed temperature and the long-term average temperature for each location and date.

    OK, so if you need temperatures to make the calculation, how would one do that 400 million years ago?

    Can some one educate me?

  4. The low temperatures were always a fact when one of the continents is at the pole.

    Continents drift apart and merge in a supercontinent in 100-300 milion year cycles.

  5. James, the explanation I’ve seen is that at certain times in the last 600 million years, continental land masses have blocked most of the flow of ocean currents around the equatorial belt, causing much lower temperatures, although I’m not sure what the mechanism is that causes the cooling when that occurs.

    Our present cool period apparently began when the continents of North and South America joined together in the Isthmus of Panama, greatly restricting the flow of ocean currents between the Atlantic and Pacific. Geologists seem to have a pretty good grasp of when and where the various continents and supercontinents (like Gondwana and Pangaea) were at specific times in the past — or at least think they know.

    • Our present cool period began with the separation of South America and Antarctica (Drake Passage), which allowed development of the circumpolar current. This current prevented warmer equatorial currents from reaching the Antarctic coast, with progressive cooling and ice built-up on and around Antarctica. Antarctica increasingly caused/is causing progressive global cooling. This will lead to “Snowball Earth”, but the effect is retarded by submarine volcanism, which adds heat to the oceans.

  6. Low Temps are not uncommon at all in the historical record.. A return of even the Little Ice Age.. Five periods between 1250 and 1820, i.e. during the Little Ice Age, were particularly cold – and if occurring again – would have a major impact upon the world’s food supply and more.. As would the possibly worse cold events from 535 to 539 AD.. And the cold climate prior to the Medieval Warming period (before c.800 AD) – was also v. cold.. which forced movements of peoples.. Reduced Solar Irradiation reaching Earth’s Surface is one of the reasons.

  7. Makes sense, if they believe carbon drives it, then that carbon didn’t come from nowhere. There are alternative views of course.

  8. Sorry but this chart is a very rough graph and it only gives a general idea not an accurate diagnosis of key climate concerns that can form the basis of economic policy for TODAY in which the best we can manage is a hopefully well thought out 5 year plan.
    Over the next 100 years say, I am certain that we will see just as much calamity as we did over the past 100 years and it is impossible to prepare. We’ll get lots of snowstorms, heatwaves, recessions, depressions, wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, political and social upheavals, the works.
    Some describe what I just related as ‘business as usual’ LOL. I just pour myself another glass of whisky and play the eccentric armchair philosopher LOL.
    Cheers !

  9. It’s certainly very cold today compared to the Eocene Optimum. With two poles constantly ice covered year round, we technically are already in an ice age for a long time already.

  10. The oceans covered Kansas in those days as sea levels were 350 feet higher than today. I guess I would take “coastal flood warnings” a bit more seriously back then if NOAA had existed LOL

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