Scroll the page to the right to move forward in time.
Mouse over the second and third most recent events (far right) to read their descriptions (or see below).
SCALE: 1 pixel = 10,000 years.

Earth Climate History Timeline
410 mya          400 mya          390 mya          380 mya          370 mya          360 mya          350 mya          340 mya          330 mya          320 mya          310 mya          300 mya          290 mya          280 mya          270 mya          260 mya          250 mya          240 mya          230 mya          220 mya          210 mya          200 mya          190 mya          180 mya          170 mya          160 mya          150 mya          140 mya          130 mya          120 mya          110 mya          100 mya          90 mya          80 mya          70 mya          60 mya          50 mya          40 mya          30 mya          20 mya          10 mya         << PRESENT
About 410 million years ago (410 mya): The first vascular plants appeared.
  About 370 million years ago: The first trees appeared.
  360–300 million years ago: Coal was formed during the Carboniferous Period. Coal formation ended.
  "The current rate of ocean acidification has no precedent in 300 million years of Earth history." (SOURCE)
  230–65 million years ago: The Age of Dinosaurs 65 million years ago: Dinosaur extinction.
  About 65 million years ago: First placental mammals appeared. (SOURCE)
  At least 35 million years ago: The last time Earth's global average temperature was as warm as it is expected to be by 2100. (SOURCE)
  15 million years ago: Last time carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were this high. (SOURCE)
  3.7 million years ago: Australopithecus walked upright. (*)
  At least 1.9 million years ago (*)

3.7 million years ago: Australopithecus walked upright.
At least 1.9 million years ago: human ancestors were using fire for cooking food.
Atmospheric methane (CH4) hasn't been this high for at least the past 420,000 years
     (before which we have no ice-core data; indirect evidence
     suggests that atmospheric methane actually hasn't been as high
     as it is now in at least 55 million years).
     (SOURCE 1 & SOURCE 2)
195 thousand years ago: Homo sapiens arrived.

SPECIAL THANKS to Steve Rose, whose Evolution Timeline and Hominid Timeline inspired this timeline,
and to Joseph W. Bess, who did most of the work to make the HTML file work properly.
Any errors are purely my own. – David W. Fischer
(c) Copyright 2013