Andrew Dessler (@AndrewDessler): I made this plot to convey how humans are changing the climate. This plot shows 35,000 years. Future projections are from a SSP2-45-like trajectory.

The pink band shows the fossil fuel era, which will last just a few centuries — just a brief spark in the history of humanity.

Andrew Dessler (@AndrewDessler): Despite how brief the fossil fuel era will be, it will literally remake the face of the Earth for many tens of thousands of years.

I wrote about this here:

Andrew Dessler (@AndrewDessler): A few degrees Celsius doesn't sound like much, but it's a lot of warming. As the plot shows, future warming under this scenario is about 60% of the warming since the last ice age, a time when the planet looked completely different (e.g., sea levels were 300 feet lower).

Andrew Dessler (@AndrewDessler): I find it effective to express temperature changes in ice age units. Here is a plot of the 21st century: today's business-as-usual puts us on track for about 0.5 ice age units of warming in 2100.

Andrew Dessler (@AndrewDessler): And the warming we are now experiencing is incredibly rapid — much much more rapid than the warming coming out of the last ice age, which took place over 10,000 years. This is bad news for our ability to gracefully adapt.

Andrew Dessler (@AndrewDessler): But, of course, it gets worse. The temperature increase coming out of the last ice age caused sea level rise of about 300 feet. If we get 3°C of temperature increase in the future, we will have committed ourselves to many 10s of feet of sea level rise.

Prof Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann): @AndrewDessler Andy: Would be nice to see an alternative version using latest reconstruction:

Andrew Dessler (@AndrewDessler): @MichaelEMann Yes, I knew about this and should have used it. Here is the updated figure.

Andrew Dessler (@AndrewDessler): Updated using the most recent paleo reconstruction (Osman et al., 2021, 10.1038/s41586-021-03984-4). The main lesson is unchanged.

Prof Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann): @AndrewDessler cool. Thanks!!