Pliocene and Eocene provide best analogs for near-future climates | PNAS
The expected departure of future climates from those experienced in human history challenges efforts to adapt. Possible analogs to climates from deep in Earth’s geological past have been suggested but not formally assessed. We compare climates of the coming decades with climates drawn from six geological and historical periods spanning the past 50 My. Our study suggests that climates like those of the Pliocene will prevail as soon as 2030 CE and persist under climate stabilisation scenarios. Unmitigated scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions produce climates like those of the Eocene, which suggests that we are effectively rewinding the climate clock by approximately 50 Million years, reversing a multimillion year cooling trend in less than two centuries.