CYCLES OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
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GRAPH ON CARBON DIOXIDE DURING GEOLOGICAL ERAS

In prehistoric times, during the Permian, in the Palaeozoic Era, for example, the concentration of Carbon Dioxide dropped below 210 ppmV. Throughout the Permian Period plant and animal species diverged and diversified as never before. Dinosaurs prospered and predominated over all the other orders of vertebrates. Coniferous plants first appeared in the Permian. The change of atmospheric temperature at the time of the Permian was around 10 °C. By comparison, the current change of global temperature is only 0.52 °C while the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is 385 ppmV. If the global temperature is dependent on CO2, then the change of temperature at present would be around 10 °C or higher, as it was during the Permian Period.

From the early Triassic to the middle Cretaceous, the concentration of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide was similar to its current density. From the late cretaceous to the early Miocene, the concentration climbed above 210 ppmV. During the Holocene period, the concentration has oscillated from 210 ppmV to 385 ppmV.

It is possible that the concentration of atmospheric CO2 will increase normally in the course of the next 50 million years to 1050 ppmV or 2500 ppmV.

We have also observed that the concentration of atmospheric CO2 increases several centuries after glaciations. Perhaps this is due to the fact that most plants perish at sub-zero temperatures, and plants are organisms that capture Carbon Dioxide from their surroundings to make food.

Scientists have also observed that the concentration of atmospheric CO2 increases during periods of warming. However, an increase in temperature always precedes an increase in carbon dioxide, which generally occurs decades or centuries after any change of temperature. We have not observed an increase in the concentration of Carbon Dioxide to have preceded a period of warming. This latter phenomenon occurs because when oceans absorb more heat from an increase in the amount of direct solar irradiance incident upon the Earth's surface, they release more Carbon Dioxide molecules into the atmosphere. Nevertheless, most drastic increases in CO2 concentration occur decades or centuries after the oceans have warmed up. For example, the present increase of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide was caused by an extraordinary increase in solar activity in 1998 which warmed up the El Niño South Atlantic Oceanic Oscillation.

These increases in concentration of atmospheric CO2 offer optimal conditions for the development and evolution of living beings on Earth. Human beings should adapt to these natural changes by means of science and technology.

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Author: Nasif Nahle. Date of publication: © March 14, 2007 by Biology Cabinet. Updated on 11 July 2009.
REMARK: Some graphs contained errors in the tracing of the variability of temperature; those errors have been strictly corrected.
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Quoting this article:

Nasif Nahle. 2007. Cycles of Global Climate Change. Biology Cabinet Journal Online. Article no. 295. http://www.biocab.org/Climate_Geologic_Timescale.html, and
http://www.biocab.org/Carbon_Dioxide_Geological_Timescale.html. Accessed: (Day, Month, Year)

Geologic Global Climate Changes
Author: Nasif Nahle
Scientific Research Director-Biology Cabinet
(Additional editing of this English text by TS)

ABSTRACT

Scientific studies have shown that atmospheric Carbon Dioxide in past eras reached concentrations that were 20 times higher than the current concentration. Recent investigations have shown that the current change of climate is part of a larger cycle known as climatic lowstand phase which precedes a sequential warming period known as transgression phase. The purpose of this evaluation is to demonstrate that the Earth is actually cooling, in the context of the total geological timescale, and that the current change is equivalent to a serial climate phase known as lowstand.

INTRODUCTION

In the last 20 years, public interest in climate phenomena has grown, especially since the UN-IPCC began its campaign warning of catastrophic climate changes ahead. At Biology Cabinet, we maintain that the changes that we have observed since 1985 have been natural and that human beings cannot delay or stop the advance of these changes, but can only adapt to them. In addition, we have shown that the changes that we observe at present are the result of natural cycles which have occurred many times before.

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CONTINENTAL FLOODED AREA ON THE GEOLOGIC TIMESCALE

In this graph we notice that higher sea levels generally correspond with periods of warming while lower sea levels marry generally with periods of cooling. The lower sea levels are explained by a reduction of sea water as the oceans ice up at the poles. We notice also that the sea level response is sometimes negative with respect to warming or cooling of the atmosphere. For example, at the end of the Silurian Period the warming remained stable while the continental flooded area (CFA) diminished. During the Carboniferous Period, i.e. during the Mississippian Epoch, the Earth suffered an Ice Age while the CFA diminished, not in a linear trend however. From the Pennsylvanian Epoch to the Middle Jurassic Period, the CFA remained relatively stable with a small increase in the Triassic while the temperature reached a level higher than during the Silurian Period. Negative feedback is evidenced from the Latter Jurassic to the Middle Cretaceous when the temperature dropped to another ice age while sea level increased. It is important to note that  sea levels have fallen through time and that geological CFA phases are not possible nowadays because the Earth is cooling, not warming.

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CONCENTRATION OF ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE AND CHANGE OF SEA LEVEL

In this graph we can clearly see that increases of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide always follow drops in sea level. Since the drops in sea level are caused by oceans cooling, the load of carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere is much smaller than the load released to the atmosphere when oceans are warming.

Something else worth considering in this comparison is that the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has decreased as the oceans have cooled over geological time. The correlation between both phenomena —decrease of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and lowering of the sea level— is supporting evidence that the oceans are the secondary driver of the Earth’s climate. Certainly, the Sun is the primary driver of climate on our planet.

CONCLUSION

On this assessment, the evidence points to a current natural climate change which happens sequentially in two main climate periods, icehouse and warmhouse.

It also reveals the succession of four natural climate phases known as transgression, highstand, regression and lowstand. The transgression phase consists of a rising Sea Level, flooding continental areas. Highstand is a phase where the marine level remains relatively stable but oscillating into the transgression phase. The regression phase consists of a gradual diminution of the marine level, leaving a greater area of the continents uncovered. The phase of Lowstand consists of a permanence of low marine level. Currently, the Earth is passing through a lowstand phase, which will revert to Transgression phase. The succession of these phases show the Earth is cooling.

At the moment, the area of continental flood is almost 7%; according to climatic succession, we expect the area of continental flood to increase to almost 10%, but never so massive that it will put human populations in danger, as the IPCC has taken to suggesting almost every day. Allow me to clarify that most of the claims regarding catastrophic climate change filling the newspapers are overblown and based on data that is being arbitrarily exaggerated to blame humanity for climatic changes which are absolutely natural.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Analysis of the Temperature Oscillations in Geological Eras by Dr. C. R. Scotese © 2002.

Ruddiman, W. F. 2001. Earth's Climate: past and future. W. H. Freeman & Sons. New York, NY.

Mark Pagani et all. Marked Decline in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentrations During the Paleocene. Science; Vol. 309, No. 5734; pp. 600-603. 22 July 2005.

Drew T. Shindell et al. Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimum. Science, Vol. 294, Issue 5549, 2149-2152, 7 December 2001.

Prothero, Donald, R. Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology-Second Edition. 2004. McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

Ronov, A. B. 1994. Phanerozoic Transgressions and Regressions on the Continents: A Quantitative Approach Based on Areas Flooded by the Sea and Areas of Marine and Continental Deposition. American Journal of Science 294:777–801.

Source for Nomenclature and Ages: © 1999, The Geological Society of America. Product Code CTS004. Compilers: A. R. Palmer and John Geissman.

David Jablonski, Douglas H. Erwin, Jere H. Lipps. Evolutionary Paleobiology. 1996. The University of Chicago; Chicago, Illinois.

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