Home | About | Donate

The Last Time Earth Was This Hot Hippos Lived in Britain (That’s 130,000 Years Ago)


The Last Time Earth Was This Hot Hippos Lived in Britain (That’s 130,000 Years Ago)

Emma Stone, Alex Farnsworth

It’s official: 2015 was the warmest year on record. But those global temperature records only date back to 1850 and become increasingly uncertain the further back you go. Beyond then, we’re reliant on signs left behind in tree rings, ice cores or rocks. So when was the Earth last warmer than the present?


Well, the Chinese documented the same warm period...so there's that.


Yes, Fla. was a reef during the Eemian IG. It will be one again in the later part of the next century. The really big difference between all those periods and today is the speed of the rise of CO2 & CH4 and the rate were adding it. An abrupt change in the climate is underway and along with it for many other reasons a mass extinction. All of this largely due to US.


Scientists seem to be having trouble explaining complex things to people in a simple manner. At least they are trying though but how do we explain to people who don't want to hear what you have to say even if it is true? I liked this article because it didn't treat me like an idiot who has a hard time drooling while scratching his head (call that multitasking). But then I don't try to insist that the world is only 6,000 years old either.

As Seadog says ... Climate change is due to us. That is the fact. The scientific explanations may be complex when taken individually but when when taken together they all point directly back to us. Climate change is our fault.

To paraphrase Pogo...

We have met climate change and it is us


The world should work on eradicating pollution, overpopulation & malnutrition. Everyone knows those things are manmade including people that deny climate change exists or is manmade. Hippos lived in Britain at that time. If they evolved to adjust to cooler climates, they would exist all over the world.


You got that right. Those are 'inevitable solution' problems... Problems that will have to be solved no matter what. Solutions that must inevitably happen eventually.

About the hippos...

"The past cannot be the future" - Wereflea


The gov'ts of the world are working on the over population of the planet. Now, It's just called austerity, though. Ms. Klein's next blockbuster could be titled " The Culling Doctrine ", perhaps? Or, WWIII, maybe?


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


I assume that the appropriate hippo fossils have been found in the appropriate rocks in Britain. Being on the wr ng side in the American rebellion; we Brits were were just trying to stop very wealthy British tax dodgers from dodging paying their extremely low due taxes. Slavery was alive and well in the western hemisphere when Britons were running around in blue paint and being turned into slves by the Roman oppressors. French Revolution; what a bloody mess that was and it led directly to a megalomaniac corporal in the French army trying to take over the world and causing untlod misery in doing so.


Interesting. So the earth was at least this warm in the past. Without SUVs or coal plants. So what caused such disastrous warming?


"What kept things warm, if not CO2? We still don’t know exactly"

They have no idea.


It's more of a conditioned reflex by the scientific community after being ignored if not attacked by right wing radio and Fox News type deniers that they shy away from the bald truth and attempt to popularize complex data instead of telling it like it is straight out. Because so much of science is not black or white or simple contrasts, any ambiguity or lack of certainty in speculating on ongoing research was often seized upon by the right for attack by climate change deniers and so called skeptics which left many scientists reluctant to expose themselves to such virulent attacks so they learned to be overly cautious about what they say. Because of efforts to subvert climate change research by the fossil fuel industry and others like the Saudis, the campaign to deny climate change has left scars in the scientific community.

The result has been a tendency to avoid scientific speculation based on extrapolated data (a necessary mainstay of scientific discourse) and excessively play it safe reliance only on data that was unassailable and easily proven. Facts that could not be questioned are actually hard to find when science is still learning about something as it has been learning about global warming. It took many years to refine models and incorporate the data from satellites and research programs in the field. The data had also needed time to be tabulated and correlated. That time of uncertainty (while yet the data still needed to be 'digested') has more or less ended and clear unambiguous data has begun to enter the mainstream. However the scars from the attacks of earlier years remain and scientists are leery of of offering themselves up to attacks by people who do not want to know the truth nor want others to know the truth.

So as in this case, there is yet an apologetic and overly cautious note as yet among the scientific community where they are quite aware of just how bad it is but aren't quite sure as to whether they want to be the ones to say so because of prior attacks on their integrity and careers.

So the "The end is nigh" ends up coming out sounding like the "The end may be really close but since we can't actually prove it absolutely, we don't want to say that. However we want you to know that we are really very worried about it just the same."

The latter isn't very catchy but that is what we get after years of climate change denial and attacking the scientists.


In combating climate change, we need the same solution as to combat pollution, over population and malnutrition (as blue dolphin_9 mentioned) which is namely the spread of democracy. The problem is too many humans on our planet don't recognize the importance of a strong and enlightened government to achieve this. In all countries that have a somewhat democratic system (and I can't include the corporate controlled U.S. at this time), pollution and malnutrition have been drastically reduced, negative population growth has occurred and acceptance of the dangers of global warming are mainstream narratives. But unless we can bring democracy to places such as China and the U.S., we will be unable to combat the wave of unchecked investor capitalism that undermines democracy at every turn. The propaganda necessary to reinforce the status quo is unchecked as society rejects all forms of religion in favour our the ideology of consumerism and endless growth. Religion at its roots after all embraced concepts such as empathy for our fellow human beings, charity and the eradication of violence which all contradict the mechanisms necessary to perpetuate the idea that we're all responsible for our collective misery and that success should be measured by how much we accumulate during our short time on the planet.
Science is an enemy of consumerism only when it challenges the fundamentals of consumerism such as the yard sticks we use to measure the health of a society like the GDP. If humanity cannot unite to replace this corporate inspired ideology with a collective and democratic response to our seemingly imminent collapse, our failure to do so will lead to yet another mass extinction on our tiny planet.


You don't have direct access to truth. You have beliefs, and you think your beliefs are reasonable. But people with different beliefs feel the same way about their beliefs and some might even be asking the question you pose about you.

When it comes to rejecting mainstream science as some sort of conspiracy, accepting dubious fringe studies or scientifically implausible theories from a small retinue of cranks, I see strong parallels between climate deniers and anti-nukes--even to the point of both sides dismissing Hansen's studies as being mere models based on assumptions--the only difference being the particular studies being dismissed.

Where I do see a difference is between change-deniers, who are opposed to a theory, and anti-nukes, who are opposed to a technology. It is not difficult to get climate change deniers to embrace non-fossil alternatives so long as you do it in ways consistent with their ideology. Texas became a leading producer of wind power all under initiatives passed under Republican legislatures and governors, and even Republican Georgetown Texas is now lauded by greens for buying all of their electricity from renewable sources. And all of that was accomplished on business grounds without any need to invoke climate change. But Republicans are also generally accepting of nuclear power, and, like Hansen, support the development of better forms of nuclear power. In that regard, they are more supportive of efforts which would have the effect of displacing fossil fuels than are anti-nuke climate activists. So when it comes to effective climate solutions, anti-nuke greens appear to be more the enemy than the change deniers they think are the enemy. They just haven't had their Pogo epiphany yet.

At the very least, they undermine the credibility of their cause. On the one hand they say this is an emergency crisis all-hands-on-deck situation and on the other they say we don't need to develop one of our largest sources of low carbon power, and they would even prefer that we shut it all down completely. And then they wonder how to get people to take them seriously.


Yeah sure. Meanwhile you do not factor in solar and wind and at best minimize their capability. You come from an agenda and are not objective.


Exactly what climate change deniers say about "warmists".


Fine, you can pretend that the facts are in dispute - in effect debating politics rather than science. Maybe you can pretend that a melting north polar ice cap is no big deal or that adding extra carbon to our environment from fossil fuels for two centuries doesn't have a cause and effect bill that needs be paid. In fact maybe you can blithely dismiss the disposal problems and the health risks from ,Fukishima type accidents and the extraordinary costs inherent in a heavily subsidized nuclear industry and then claim it is cheap energy but I cannot.

How many times must we go down this same road btw? Just asking.


"Fine, you can pretend that the facts are in dispute"

It is the anti-nukes who are borrowing from the climate change denier playbook by disputing the consensus of mainstream science.

"in effect debating politics rather than science."

It is anti-nukes who have to concoct conspiracies to explain why the science is at odds with their position.

"Maybe you can pretend that a melting north polar ice cap is no big deal"

I think it's a very big deal. I'm not the one going against scientific consensus.

"or that adding extra carbon to our environment from fossil fuels for two centuries doesn't have a cause and effect bill that needs be paid."

I think you've utterly lost the thread. I'm accusing anti-nukes of being as anti-science as warming deniers. Absolutely nothing about that suggests I agree with warming deniers.

"In fact maybe you can blithely dismiss the disposal problems and the health risks from ,Fukishima type accidents"

  1. I'm not advocating for more Fukushima-type reactors. In fact, one of the reasons I want to see better reactors is to speed up the retirement of the kinds of reactors we have now. 2. When anti-nukes get all screamy about contamination and supposed epidemic of health problems and extinction level events from Fukushima which are every bit as out of mainstream science as the change deniers, showing such claims don't have a scientific basis isn't a dismissal of all problems.

"and the extraordinary costs inherent in a heavily subsidized nuclear industry"

Anti-nukes don't have a problem with energy-subsidies per se. They just want them directed to their own preferred sources. And that's a subject for legitimate discussion, but it should be informed by sound science. Not hysteria.

"and then claim it is cheap energy"

I've never claimed it was cheap. I think it is a lot more expensive than it needs to be, though. But even if there are things about the anti-nuke position which are not contradicted by mainstream science, that doesn't negate all the parts which do conflict. Not everything that warming deniers say is contradicted by science either, even if they sometimes have to do a little cherry-picking to find the bits of science they agree with.

"How many times must we go down this same road btw? Just asking."

Climate change deniers ask the same thing about warmists. So are you going to let the climate change issue go just because they are tired of hearing about it?