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 Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior
23.05.2017 | University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

nachricht How is climate change affecting fauna in the Arctic?
22.05.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>