Some climate researchers from Texas think that our planet stayed in a low-carbon dioxide environment, just until the mid-1960s. Texas A&M University College of Geosciences has published a study, in which they suggested that the CO2 levels did not increase above 320 parts for every million. This is something that we have not seen in the past two and a half million years. Nowadays, the CO2 levels from the atmosphere are above 410 parts for every million. This study was published in the journal Nature Communications on the 25th of September.
Yige Zhang, a professor who co-authored the study, said that, as per this research, from the very first human being, which first appeared 2.1 million years ago, and up until 1960, we have lived in an environment of low-carbon dioxide. This means that the concentrations were less than 320 parts for every million. This environment was an experiment for the climate, and for ourselves.
The professor, together with the team, studied the CO2 found in the history of the planet for more than 3 million years.
If we are to look back at the Pleistocene era (that ended about 11,700 years ago), the atmospheric CO2 levels were at 230 parts for every million. That’s about half of what we are dealing with today.
The team had drawn its conclusions when they studied the geological samples that they got from the Loess Plateau, from central China.
There’s only one way to find out the truth
Professor Zhang also said that they are still drilling ice cores from Antarctica. However, these ice cores have been here for about 800.000 years. They wanted to analyze the carbonates from the old soil samples in order to re-build the Pleistocene climate of Earth.
As you probably know, carbon dioxide is known to be a greenhouse gas – the concentrations of CO2 from the atmosphere are actually heating our planet.