Around 56 million years ago, the Atlantic Ocean had not fully opened

UPSC Critical Reading

Around 56 million years ago, the Atlantic Ocean had not fully opened and animals, perhaps including our primate ancestors, could walk from Asia to North America through Europe and across Greenland. Earth was warmer than it is today, but as the Palaeocene epoch gave way to Eocene, it was about to get much warmer still - rapidly and radically. The cause was a massive geologically sudden release of carbon. During this period called Palaeocene - Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM, the carbon injected into the atmosphere was roughly the amount that Would be injected today if humans burned all the Earth's reserves of coal, oil and natural gas. The PETM lasted for about 1,50,000 years, until the excess carbon was reabsorbed. It brought on drought, floods, insect plagues and a few extinctions. Life on Earth survived - indeed, it prospered - but it was drastically different.

Based on the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

  1. Global warming has a bearing on the planet's biological evolution.
  2. Separation of land masses causes the release of huge quantities of carbon into the atmosphere.
  3. Increased warming of Earth's atmosphere can change the composition of its flora and fauna.
  4. The present man-made global warming will finally lead to conditions similar to those which happened 56 million years ago.

Which of the assumptions given above are valid?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 3 and 4
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 2 and 4


The correct option is C.