Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Deep sea algae connect ancient climate, carbon dioxide and vegetation

23.06.2005


Assistant Professor Mark Pagani in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale and his colleagues mapped the first detailed history of atmospheric carbon dioxide between 45 - 25 million years ago based on stable isotopes of carbon in a National Science Foundation study reported in Science Express.



"Through the energy we consume, each of us makes a contribution to increasing greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, in the Earth’s atmosphere," said Pagani. "To understand the implications of these actions for the future, scientists look to the past to gain a better understanding of Earth’s climate system under high greenhouse gas conditions." The findings were based on calibration of carbon-containing compounds produced by ancient sea surface algae that were recently isolated in deep sea drill cores.

The data indicates that between 45 - 34 million years ago the atmospheric carbon dioxide level was up to five times greater than today, with a sharp decrease and then stabilization to near modern day levels between 34 - 25 million years ago.


During the early part of the Paleogene Period, from 65 - 34 million years ago, global climates were much warmer than today with very little ice present at the poles. The boundary of the Oligocene and Eocene Epochs 33.7 million years ago was marked by rapid global cooling and the formation of large continental ice sheets on the Antarctic.

"Before this study, the relationship between the global climate and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the late Eocene and Oligocene was largely unknown," said Pagani, who is recognized for his reconstruction of past atmospheric carbon dioxide levels between 25 million and eight million years ago.

They also present intriguing evidence that the sharp drop in carbon dioxide level, between 33 - 25 million years ago, prompted the origin of economically important land plants that are sensitive to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, such as corn and sugarcane.

"The onset and stabilization of ice sheets at the same time as a decline in carbon dioxide illustrates the importance of atmospheric carbon dioxide as an agent of both climate and biological change," Pagani said.

Collaborators were Brett Tipple from Yale, James C. Zachos and Stephen Bohaty at University of California, Santa Cruz and Katherine Freeman at Pennsylvania State.

Janet Rettig Emanuel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle
25.04.2017 | Rice University

nachricht New atlas provides highest-resolution imagery of the Polar Regions seafloor
25.04.2017 | British Antarctic Survey

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>