In a new study, scientists insist that since the Earth’s highest biomass and biodiversity exist in the warmest regions, “higher temperatures than currently existing on Earth” and a “higher water content (absolute humidity) in the atmosphere” seem to be “more favorable” to the planet’s inhabitants.
Until a few thousand years ago, when mammoths and wild horses ate exposed grass year-round along the coasts of the Arctic Ocean, the Sahara was grass- and lake-covered, teeming with fish and megafauna and even ancient civilizations. These much-warmer periods were obviously more hospitable to plants, animals, and humans.
Image Source: LiveScience
In addition to being several degrees warmer, the Earth’s climate was also much more humid and rainforest-like during the Early Holocene, or up until about 5,000 years ago. Rainforests have far more biodiversity than cooler climates do, of course. This is likely why this period is referred to as the “Humidity Optimum” by geologists (Ramos-Roman et al., 2018).
Image Source: Ramos-Roman et al., 2018
In a new study (Schulze-Makuch et al., 2020), scientists acknowledge that the “highest biomass and biodiversity is present in tropical rainforests, and the least in cold polar regions.” Therefore, higher temperatures – about 5°C warmer than today – would be more “favorable” and “provide more habitable conditions.”
Unfortunately, we humans have not demonstrated we have the capacity to significantly affect the climate in recent decades, and thus we will continue to stand idly by as the Earth’s climate changes without us.