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CO2 is by far the most damaging............... or is it?

  • Written by madhu
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When the whole world is behind the CO2 gas, either researching to capture it or planning different ways to reduce its disposal into atmosphere, results from a research team headed by the geochemist Jefferey Dorale from the United States have asked us to think twice when it comes to the question, “ Is it CO2? ”.




The underside of the Spanish island of Mallorca a very famous tourist destination is as perforated as Swiss cheese. The rising and falling ocean has worn hollow caves into a soft layer of calcium, and stalactites and stalagmites in these caves bear evidence of prehistoric sea levels. These mineral spikes, moreover, have collected deposits of calcite from the ocean, and these deposits give up secrets like rings in a tree. Dorale's team dated these deposits by measuring the radioactive decay of uranium traces, reconstructing sea levels with a high degree of precision. They claim the Mediterranean some 81,000 years ago stood a full meter higher than it does today. If the scientists are right a number of questions present themselves, in those days the atmosphere would not have contained so much carbon dioxide. So how important is CO2 in global warming?


The planet, as a rule, swings between frigid glacial periods and warmer "interglacial" periods. One cycle takes about 100,000 years. So 125,000 years ago the planet was extremely warm; 20,000 years ago, extremely cold. Between those two extremes as the glaciers grew and the polar caps gathered up seawater, the sea level dropped by 130 meters. As there was a sharp rise in sea level about 81,000 years ago, the fall of sea level would not have been steady, something must have caused it to rise which is apparently not CO2.    

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