NOAA Website on Climate: Earth’s Hottest Period Occurred Before Man Existed

The global climate change agreement adopted at the United Nation’s conference in Paris is making headlines, but a federal government website dedicated to weather makes the case that the warmest time on Earth happened before mankind existed, and in fact, it was at one time so hot that crocodiles lived among palm trees in the Arctic Circle.

An Aug. 12, 2014 article posted on climate.gov and titled, “What’s The Hottest The Earth’s Ever Been,” stated, “Earth’s hottest periods—the Hadean, the late Neoproterozoic, the PETM—occurred before humans existed.” It added, “Those ancient climates would have been like nothing our species has ever seen.”

The article noted that the Arctic Circle was once a tropical hot spot:

“Stretching from about 66-34 million years ago, the Paleocene and Eocene were the first geologic epochs following the end of the Mesozoic Era. (The Mesozoic—the age of dinosaurs—was itself an era punctuated by ‘hothouse’ conditions.)