Determining how atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have changed during the history of the Earth

Marcus P S Badger, Rich D Pancost, Tim G Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

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Abstract

The reconstruction of ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is essential to understanding the history of the Earth and life. It is also an important guide to identifying the sensitivity of the Earth system to this greenhouse gas and, therefore, constraining its future impact on climate. However, determining the concentration of CO2 in ancient atmospheres is a challenging endeavour requiring the application of state-of-the-art analytical chemistry to geological materials, underpinned by an understanding of photosynthesis and biochemistry. It is truly an interdisciplinary challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalSchool Science Review
Volume93
Issue number343
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

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