Science Articles

Carbon Dioxide Level Lower than Thought during Super Greenhouse Period

Concentration of carbon dioxide during an intense period of global warmth may have been as low as half the level previously suggested by scientists, according to a new Dartmouth College study.

Recently, a research has shown a dearth of the concentration of carbon dioxide during an acute period of global warmth as being reported by scientists. It has been established that the amount of carbon dioxide during the period of the Earth’s early Eocene period was less than 1000 parts per million. Therefore, it is quite antithetical to conclude that the parts per million of carbon dioxide were as high as 2000 during that specific time frame. The fact to be considered at the present moment is that the part per million of current levels of carbon dioxide is around 400.

According to Ying Cui, who is Obering Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth College, “This research provides important information about the planet’s climate past and adds an important chapter to the Earth’s history book.”

To understand the Earth’s response to the level of carbon dioxide, the early Eocene period which was a ‘super-greenhouse’ era is analysed. Climate researchers probe deep into earth’s reaction so as to make a proper climate projection. During that very period, the Arctic and the Antarctic lacked ice for the temperatures then ranged 10 degrees warmer than now. The Eocene period faced a massive increase in the temperatures from 52-56 million years ago, and the Earth too had its temperature raised 2 to 6 degree above the already raised temperature.

Despite the unavailability of cars or power plants somewhat 56 million years ago, the isotope, carbon-12, was released into the atmosphere and scientists still cannot get the source of it. How did it get infused in the air? What made it emerge and how come it raised the warmth of the atmosphere more than any other greenhouse gases? They were unable to grab the cause of this rise by studying ice cores which dated almost 800,000 years back. So, they involved in sorting out a new method.

Researchers, from the samples of terrestrial and deep-sea drilling sites, found out permafrost thaw to be the source. The analysis constructs the know-about of the Earth’s previous carbon dioxide concentration and to employ these geochemistry proxies in the best manner.

The present conditions of the Earth are suggested to be taken into account to form authentic sources although the past has been quite a helpful resource to understand environmental changes as it is marked by the researchers. Therefore, new techniques will ease the method of understanding the major role of carbon dioxide in Earth.