Awareness of the global warming effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) is relatively recent, but the greenhouse gas has been playing a critical role in warming our planet for billions of years, according to University of Maryland geologist Jay Kaufman and Virginia Polytechnic Institute geologist Shuhai Xiao.
The microfossil that indicates high amounts of ancient CO2; in this image, it looks strangely like a human face.
Photo Credit: Shuhai Xiao at Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Their results, which provide the best evidence to date of the age of the Calvin cycle—the photosynthetic cycle by which plants convert light energy and CO2 into cellular tissue—will be published in the September 18 issue of the journal Nature.
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, and by NASA.
Cheryl Dybas | NSF
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