Would you opt to see the future or decipher the past? | Science News


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Would you opt to see the future or decipher the past?

3:45pm, November 29, 2017

Wouldn’t it be brilliant if every scientist had a crystal ball? It’s a question that came to me while reading Alexandra Witze’s story “What the Pliocene epoch can teach us about future warming on Earth.” Witze discusses how scientists are studying a warming period some 3 million years ago to try to understand how Earth will handle rising temperatures. The geologic epoch, known as the Pliocene, isn’t a perfect crystal ball, she notes. But paleoceanographer Heather Ford says, “It’s our closest analog for future climate change.”

A true crystal ball could answer many climate change questions: Which cities might be underwater in the future? Which regions will be suitable for

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