U.S. researchers use fossilized algae to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide

LOS ANGELES. October 12. KAZINFORM The level of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere has not been this high for at least 1.5 million years, a new study suggests; Kazinform refers to Xinhua.

The current carbon dioxide level is 387 parts per million, above the level of about 280 parts per million that existed without exception for 1.6 million years until the dawn of the Industrial Age, according to the study by researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).

    The researchers came to the conclusion by analyzing fossilized algae, said the study appearing in Oct. online edition of the journal Science.

    Current measurement techniques have used measurements of gases in trapped bubbles of air in Antarctic ice. But that has allowed scientists to measure historic atmospheric carbon dioxide levels back only 800,000 years.

    The researchers were able to prove that single-celled creatures living in oceans have differing proportions of the elements of boron and calcium in their shells.

    By measuring those elements in fossils, the researchers are able to deduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the ancient atmosphere; Kazinform cites Xinhua.

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