Magazine article Geographical

C[O.Sub.2] at Highest Level for 14 Million Years

Magazine article Geographical

C[O.Sub.2] at Highest Level for 14 Million Years

Article excerpt

C[O.sub.2] at highest level for 14 million years: The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the highest it has been since a period more than ten million years ago that was associated with high sea levels and temperatures, according to new research published in Science.

The study used new techniques to produce a detailed record of atmospheric changes dating back 20 million years. Previously, ice cores from Antarctica had only provided historical records of atmospheric C[O.sub.2] and climate for the past 800,000 years.

Researchers led by Aradhna Tripati, from the University of California, Los Angeles, studied the ratios of boron and calcium in the fossilised shells of tiny marine organisms known as foraminifera. From this, they determined the pH of the sea water at the time the foraminifera were alive; because increased C[O.sub.2] makes the ocean more acidic, the pH allowed them to estimate the levels of C[O. …

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