Experts from the University of Bristol have studied the decrease in carbon dioxide levels in our planet’s atmosphere. The scientists said the decrease in atmospheric CO2 has a huge impact on climate change. One of the key points of the study is that the decrease in the concentrations of CO2 scattered through the atmosphere contributed to the transformation of the prehistoric earth 34 million years ago.
Prehistoric cooling of the earth from greenhouse to ice house by CO2
(Photo: Francesco Ungaro from Pexels)
The Earth’s transition involves the drastic change in the planet’s climate from an extremely warm greenhouse sphere to an intensely cold snowball during the Eocene to the Oligocene. Unfortunately, scientists suspect that because of man-made carbon emissions, this cycle would repeat itself incessantly day in and day out.
The earth’s climate changed massively 40 to 34 million years ago. This shift was the most significant climate change in the history of the planet. The records show that the Antarctic continent was initially covered by forests before it was transformed into the largest continental ice sheet. Although the planet’s shift from warm to cold extremities has been evident, due to the lack of data, the scientific community is still in the process of identifying the main cause of the significant changes in the Arctic.
Experts from the University of Bristol, led by Vittoria Lauretano and David Naafs, have gathered to determine the factors that could explain Earth’s climate change. The research team reconstructed the planet’s land temperature during the transition using the ancient coals that contained molecular fossils. The results of the study were published in the journal Natural geosciences, titled “Eocene to Oligocene terrestrial cooling of the southern hemisphere caused by falling pCO2.”
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Coal deposits, preserved bacteria and atmospheric CO2 answer the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet
The Earth’s prehistoric climate change has been explained by the bacterial lipids collected, preserved in wetland deposits and left untouched. The harvest of these prehistoric objects was part of The Greenhouse Earth System’s ongoing project.
University of Bristol expert in organic geochemistry and co-author of the study Richard Pancost said in a PhysOrg report that the membranes collected included the preserved bacterial cell membranes that existed in the prehistoric wetlands millions of years ago. Using the pristine motifs, Pancost and her team reconstructed the ecological variables that were recorded during the prehistoric planet.
The reconstruction of the temperature transition of the earth from the greenhouse to the ice house was processed by a new approach, which consists of the collection of coal deposits of the Australian Gippsland basin. The deposits date back to 10 million years ago and have been carefully studied by the paleobiologists at the University of Melbourne and study co-authors Malcolm Wallace and Vera Korasidis.
The reconstruction of the earth’s prehistoric climatic conditions showed that land temperatures were up 3 degrees Celsius. Carbon dioxide emissions were also examined in the study, as the experts believe that the decrease in CO2 was a factor in the steady decrease in temperature. The atmospheric CO2 records were evident in the excavated old coals. The simulation concludes that carbon emissions from the prehistoric atmosphere played a major role in changing the planet from a greenhouse to an ice house and in the formation of the giant ice sheet on the Antarctic continent.
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