NYT: Global Warming Happened Already, Before Humans

Earth Was 'Ice Free' Before Man

A New York Times article on recently released climate change research may have inadvertently undermined its own premise by providing some pre-historic context. 

Citing research that says "some giant glaciers had passed the point of no return," the article declares that "centuries from now, a large swath of the West Antarctic ice sheet is likely to be gone," which will result in a "four-foot rise in already swollen seas."

But at the end of the article, Science writer Kenneth Chang admits that, while much scientific concern exists today about the "inevitable" damaging rise of the seas due to melting glacial ice, in fact there has already been a time in which the glaciers may have totally melted that cannot be blamed on man:

During recent ice ages, glaciers expanded from the poles and covered nearly a third of the continents. And in the distant past there were episodes known as Snowball Earth, when the entire planet froze over. At the other extreme, a warm period near the end of the age of dinosaurs may have left the earth ice-free. Today the amount of ice is modest — 10 percent of land areas, nearly all of that in Greenland and Antarctica.