Study identifies 10 fold faster rise in rate of carbon dioxide emission seen during Ice Age : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Study identifies 10 fold faster rise in rate of carbon dioxide emission seen during Ice Age

Analysing ice samples from Antarctica, researchers find that the largest increase in CO2 levels occurring naturally is by about 14 parts per million

Study identifies 10 fold faster rise in rate of carbon dioxide emission seen during Ice Age

Photo for representation. iStock



PTI

New Delhi, May 14

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is being released in the air at rates up to 10 times faster than at any other point in the past 50,000 years, including the Ice Age, according to a new research.

These rates could outweigh the rates at which the Southern Ocean can absorb human-released CO2, the study found. The Southern Ocean is a known carbon sink, studied to absorb significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere every year.

Analysing ice samples from Antarctica, researchers found that the largest increase in CO2 levels occurring naturally was by about 14 parts per million, spread over a duration of 55 years.

The increase was found to have happened during the Heinrich Stadial-4, the fourth of five cold intervals, known as Heinrich Events, associated with abrupt climate shifts around the world. The cold intervals were observed during the Ice Age, a colloquial term referring to the Last Glacial Period spanning 1,15,000 years ago to 11,700 years ago.

In this study, led by Oregon State University in the US, the researchers found that while such large jumps in CO2 levels used to occur about once every 7,000 years, such jumps take only 5-6 years at the current rates of CO2 being released, primarily coming from human emissions.

“Studying the past teaches us how today is different. The rate of CO2 change today really is unprecedented,” said Kathleen Wendt, an assistant professor in Oregon State University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

“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,” said Wendt, lead author of the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While previous studies have shown several periods during the Ice Age when CO2 levels jumped much higher than the average ones, the researchers said those measurements were not detailed enough to reveal the “full nature of the rapid changes,” thereby limiting scientists’ understanding of what was happening.

In this study, the team investigated what was happening in those periods using samples from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core.

They discerned patterns showing that CO2 levels spiked alongside North Atlantic cold intervals, or Heinrich Events.

“These Heinrich Events are truly remarkable,” said co-author Christo Buizert, an associate professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

“We think they are caused by a dramatic collapse of the North American ice sheet. This sets into motion a chain reaction that involves changes to the tropical monsoons, the Southern hemisphere westerly winds and these large burps of CO2 coming out of the oceans,” explained Buizert.


Top News

6 more die of suspected heat stroke as mercury soars to 49 degrees Celsius in Rajasthan

Met issues 'red' warning for Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh; Phalodi in Rajasthan sizzles at 49 degrees Celsius

The extreme heat will continue in parts of Delhi, Rajasthan,...

Pune car crash: Juvenile's father, 5 others sent in judicial custody

Attempt made to show teen was not driving Porsche, says Pune top cop, admits to probe lapses

2 police officials suspended for lapses committed during the...

Court convicts activist Medha Patkar in defamation case filed by Delhi L-G VK Saxena

23 years after Delhi L-G VK Saxena’s complaint, activist Medha Patkar convicted in defamation case

Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate Raghav Sharma posts the matter...

Sunrisers Hyderabad post 175-9 against Rajasthan Royals in IPL Qualifier 2

IPL 2024: Royal 'harakiri' puts Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL final, to face KKR

Apart from Boult (3/45) and Avesh Khan (3/27), Sandeep Sharm...


Cities

View All