2.000 years of climate history of CO2

2.000 years of climate history of CO2


If one looks at changes of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere during the last 2000 years, one thing is particularly striking: The amount of CO2 was relatively constant for a long time and it was around 280 ppm.

Data is from Antarctica ice cores, see references

After the year 1000 AD, a phase of slightly increased values ​​begins. This phase coincides with the so-called medieval warm period. You can also see that after 1600 AD the values ​​are lower than on average. This phase coincides with one of the little ice ages.

CO2 increase after 1850 AD

The really big change began after 1850. It was by then that an unprecedented rise in CO2 in the atmosphere started. The value of approx. 280 ppm that had been an absolute maximum for hundreds of thousands of years was clearly exceeded.

It is the era when the industrialization began. At the same time, the increasingly and massive burning of fossil fuels began. First, the burning of coal (steam engine) was dominant, later crude oil and natural gas were increasingly burned.

Most of the increase did not take place in the 19th, but in the 20th and in the 21st centuries. Around 1900 the CO2 was just under 300 ppm. Within 120 years the value increased to 420 ppm (2021).

So humans have massively intervened in the atmosphere since the beginning of industrialization. This changed the atmosphere in an unprecedented way nothing even close to this increase could be seen in the past 800,000 years (see also: https://bolius.net/en/800-000-years-of-co2-climate-history/ ).


Online_Resource: http://ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/study/17975
Original_Source_URL: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/antarctica2015co2composite.txt
Study_Name: Antarctic Ice Cores Revised 800KYr CO2 Data
Investigators: Bereiter, B.; Eggleston, S.; Schmitt, J.; Nehrbass-Ahles, C.; Stocker, T.F.; Fischer, H.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Chappellaz, J.



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