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Coupling of CO2 and ice sheet stability over major climate transitions of the last 20 million years
Tripati, A.K.; Roberts, C.D.; Eagle, R.A. (2009). Coupling of CO2 and ice sheet stability over major climate transitions of the last 20 million years. Science (Wash.) 326(5958): 1394-1397. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1126/science.1178296
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075; e-ISSN 1095-9203, meer
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  • Tripati, A.K.
  • Roberts, C.D.
  • Eagle, R.A.

Abstract
    The carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere has varied cyclically between similar to 180 and similar to 280 parts per million by volume over the past 800,000 years, closely coupled with temperature and sea level. For earlier periods in Earth's history, the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO(2)) is much less certain, and the relation between pCO(2) and climate remains poorly constrained. We use boron/calcium ratios in foraminifera to estimate pCO(2) during major climate transitions of the past 20 million years. During the Middle Miocene, when temperatures were similar to 3 degrees to 6 degrees C warmer and sea level was 25 to 40 meters higher than at present, pCO(2) appears to have been similar to modern levels. Decreases in pCO(2) were apparently synchronous with major episodes of glacial expansion during the Middle Miocene (similar to 14 to 10 million years ago) and Late Pliocene (similar to 3.3 to 2.4 million years ago).

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