New research has found that the release of forest emissions and smoke from wildfires had a far greater impact on global warming than carbon dioxide 3 million years ago.
Dynamic atmospheric chemistry played an important role in the warm climates of the Pliocene period. These findings help to explain why the Pliocene was 2-3C warmer than the pre-industrial era despite having carbon dioxide levels approximately the same as today.
The results also showed that increase in global vegetation was the dominant driver behind the increase in emissions, and, consequently, the changing climate. It’s an important study to help understand climate change throughout the Earth’s history.