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The climate has been changing since the formation of Earth 4.5 billion years ago. Changes that we witness today are minimal compared to what has occurred throughout the Earth’s history. Consider the most recent glacial maximum that ended about 20,000 years ago. Glaciers covered most of North America all the way down to just south of the present-day border between Canada and the U.S.
There was about 3.3 km of ice over the land where Montreal now sits. That’s almost 5 and a half times the height of the CN Tower! Sea level was 120 m lower during the last glacial period than today, allowing people and animals to cross the Bering Land Bridge and enter North America. Current sea level changes pale in comparison to such massive upheavals.
It is also important to recognize that, during the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, there were no ice sheets, and high latitude regions contained forests. Indeed, dinosaurs also inhabited Antarctica. By recognizing the vast changes that have occurred in the past, we can better understand that what we observe today is natural and in no way catastrophic to life. To learn more about this and other topics in climate change, please visit