Fascinating and readable <article> in The Atlantic, by Peter Brannen, covering climate change events back to the earlier stages of the Cenozoic era. I hope you can access it. You may not be able to, unless you’re a subscriber to The Atlantic. The article is so good though, that you ought to subscribe. It’s the most intelligent climate change article I’ve ever read.
The sobering aspect is that, incomprehensibly remote in time though the Cenozoic era is, it’s still relatively recent in Earth’s approx 4 billion year history:
As Brannen points out:
“All of recorded human history—at only a few thousand years, a mere eyeblink in geologic time—has played out in perhaps the most stable climate window of the past 650,000 years. We have been shielded from the climate’s violence by our short civilizational memory, and our remarkably good fortune.”
Handy 2-minute refresher on earth’s timeline:
This simple <interactive version> is also useful (click the arrow rightwards to scroll through Earth’s history).
At one point in his article, Brannen notes, biblically:
” ‘Soon the Sahara would green again, Jericho would be born, and humans would start writing things down. They would do so with the assumption that the world they saw was the way it had always been. ‘We were born only yesterday and know nothing,’ ….”