New Research Suggests That Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Are Increasing 10 Times Faster Than At Any Other Time Over The Last 50,000 Years

Sven Taubert - - illustrative purposes only

A concerning new study conducted by researchers from Oregon State University has revealed that the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere is rising at an unprecedented rate in modern times.

In fact, after conducting a detailed chemical analysis of Antarctic ice, the study suggests that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are increasing 10 times faster than at any other time over the last 50,000 years.

“Studying the past teaches us how today is different. The rate of CO2 change today really is unprecedented,” said the study’s lead author, Kathleen Wendt.

“Our research identified the fastest rates of past natural CO2 rise ever observed, and the rate occurring today, largely driven by human emissions, is 10 times higher.”

While carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, when it accumulates, it contributes to the greenhouse effect, in which gases trap heat. So, rather than escaping into space, the heat is reflected back to Earth. This trapped heat then leads to further warming of the planet.

Historically, carbon dioxide levels have varied due to ice age cycles, as well as other natural events. However, current levels have reached never-before-seen heights in response to human-caused emissions.

To measure past carbon dioxide levels, scientists actually examine ancient ice slabs. Antarctic ice, which has accumulated over hundreds of thousands of years, has ancient atmospheric gases that are trapped in air bubbles.

So, for this study, the research team drilled ice core samples up to two miles deep in order to examine trace chemicals and reconstruct past climate activity records.

The last ice age concluded around 10,000 years ago, and past research on this event identified multiple periods when carbon dioxide levels spiked above average. Still, these measurements were not complete, and the cause of these increases could not be determined.

Sven Taubert – – illustrative purposes only

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