4 April 2012 Last updated at 13:16 ET
Ice core records from Antarctica had suggested the CO2 increase lagged behind temperature rise
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- ‘New frontier’ of Antarctic lake exploration
- ‘Ghost mountains mystery solved’
- The climate change sceptics
A new, detailed record of past climate change provides compelling evidence that the last ice age was ended by a rise in temperature driven by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The finding is based on a very broad range of data, including even the shells of ancient tiny ocean animals.
A paper describing the research appears in this week’s edition of Nature.
The team behind the study says its work further strengthens ideas about global warming.
“At the end of the last ice age, CO2 rose from about 180 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere to about 260; and today we’re at 392,” explained lead author Dr Jeremy Shakun.
“So, in the last 100 years we’ve gone up about 100 ppm – about the same as at the end of the last ice age, which I think puts it into perspective because it’s not a small amount. Rising CO2 at the end of the ice age had a huge effect on global climate.” …(more).