Who We Are | Friends of NOAA
the Oceans, near Outer Space, and Antarctica have been recognized in explicit legal recognition of the Earth's Atmosphere as an enduring trust for present and Relational Responsibility,” in which she states “Humanity's relationship to the. Earth Processes, Structures and Extreme Weather study of Ocean,atmosphere and coastal systems. to the flying creatures of the past, and if you also trust aerodynamic theory ( which applies These carbonates had to come from the atmosphere, by way of the oceans, so we CO2 dissolves in water according to the equilibrium relationship.
This is equivalent to a CO2 atmospheric pressure of 38 bar.
If we add the carbonates found on the ocean floor, the equivalent CO2 atmospheric pressure rises to 55 bar. Integrating the values plotted in Figure 5 gives the progressive depletion of CO2 from the atmosphere Figure 6. Thus, CO2 is recycled: Figure 5 verifies the earlier statement that the present oceans are relatively young because they contain limestone not older than million years. The geological evidence is consistent with and lends support to the physiological and aerodynamic arguments 1 that the atmospheric pressure was definitely higher in the age of dinosaurs than it is today.
These values represent the range of five estimates. With frozen oceans covering our planet, how could life have established itself and thrived under these inhospitable conditions? Hydrogen and hydrogen-containing compounds combined with oxygen to form the water that became oceans, while the carbon-containing compounds, principally CO and CH4, combined with oxygen to form CO2 at high pressure.
Photosynthesis had not yet been invented by plant life. After about a billion years of additional experimentation, life came up with its most important invention, photosynthesis, and so learned to live off the abundant CO2 of the atmosphere plus sunlight and thereby invade the landmasses. Because the atmosphere was rich in CO2, but very poor in oxygen, dead plant material did not decompose rapidly, so layer upon layer of it was laid down in thick blankets that would transform over time to coal.
Such a thick layer of decaying matter is something that we do not see anywhere today.
Tropical forests today only support a very thin layer of decaying matter because of rapid oxidation. Thus, m-thick layers can only occur if the atmosphere discourages oxidation. This is additional strong evidence that the atmosphere in those distant times was rich in CO2, but poor in oxygen.
With time, the concentration of CO2 steadily decreased, primarily because of the formation and deposition of limestone and other carbonaceous materials. CO2 was also lost by photosynthesis followed by the deposition of carbonaceous substances such as coal, petroleum, peat, oil shale, and tar sands; however, this loss was quite minor. At the same time, the concentration of oxygen slowly rose. These two changes, the decrease in CO2 and the rise in oxygen, thinned the forests and the dead material began to be oxidized more rapidly, so that dense layers of dead organics were no longer deposited.
Evidence of this change in atmospheric conditions is that we cannot find any massive coal deposits younger than 65 million years. Earth's proposed atmospheric history.
- Dynamics of ocean atmosphere exchange
- Middle atmosphere in sync with the ocean
Animal life found this changed atmosphere to its liking, so mammals and dinosaurs flourished, first as very small creatures but then increasing in size as a result of evolutionary competition. This led to the giant flying creatures close to the end of the dinosaur age. It could be that these creatures died out as the total pressure of the atmosphere dropped below their sustainable level Figure 7. Limestone caves There are many limestone caves throughout the world, some of which are several kilometers long.
Earths atmosphere before the age of dinosaurs
This tells us something about our atmosphere as well. Because of its high concentration in the atmosphere, CO2 dissolved in rainwater and groundwater, and the reaction was driven to the right. When the atmosphere becomes lean in CO2, the reaction shifts to the left. The fact that the limestone caves were formed relatively recently indicates that the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was very high long ago, leading to the deposits of limestone, but became very low recently, allowing limestone to dissolve.
Learning from the Past: Earth's atmosphere before the age of dinosaurs
In high-CO2 atmospheres and other hostile environments, life forms can take advantage of free energy in an amazing range of environments: On a more familiar level, the microbe that produces champagne bubbles operates at pressures up to 7 bar of CO2. Other estimates of CO2 concentrations Researchers have speculated that the CO2 concentration may have been somewhat higher in the past than it is today.
Studying carbon exchange between mantle and crust, Des Marais suggests that Mya, the atmosphere contained at least times as much CO2 or 0. Many other such proposals have been put forth. Plant growth at high CO2 concentrations It is pertinent to ask whether any experiments have been performed to suggest whether life could thrive at higher CO2 concentrations.
We put this proposal to the test by growing plants in 32 sealed containers 1- and 2-L plastic soda bottles containing weighed amounts of CO2 at pressures from 2 to 10 bar.
In general, however, plant growth was considerably slower than at 1 bar. Mosses, ferns, and flowering plants died within a month at these high CO2 levels.
The poor growth observed in these experiments is most likely due to the buildup of product gases in the sealed containers, rather than high CO2 pressure, and therefore these results could be flawed. We would expect that vigorous growth would be observed in a continually rejuvenated atmosphere.
How did the flying creatures from the age of dinosaurs have enough energy to fly when physiology, biology, and aeronautics say that this was impossible?
How could life have developed on Earth when astronomy says that Earth was too cold to sustain life? This picture of high CO2 concentration and high pressure in the past also explains why most massive coal seams are older than 65 million years and why most limestone caves are younger than million years.
Although we do not know the values for the atmospheric pressure in those early times, and although each of the arguments in this paper only leads to suggestions, when taken together, the evidence from these various sources leads to the same conclusion: The atmospheric pressure was higher in the past than it is today and consisted primarily of CO2.
This hypothesis presents a picture of our evolving planet that should be examined and that could have interesting consequences.Ocean & Atmospheric Interactions
Map; National Geographic, April Origin of Continents and Oceans; Biram, J. Now scientists of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, together with a colleague from Bergen Norwaywere able to demonstrate for the first time that natural fluctuations in water temperatures of the Pacific - which occur on decadal timescales - are directly related to the temperature of the tropical tropopause. However, it seems that natural variability is still the dominating factor," says Dr.
For their study, the researchers used observations for the period and also climate models. The model allows us to easily look at both human and natural influences and to separate their impacts from each other," explains Prof.
The PDO influences the climate and ecosystems in the Pacific region and also the global mean temperature of the Earth. The model simulations show that the fluctuations in water temperatures also affect the wind systems over the tropical and subtropical Pacific. This in turn also alters the air transport between the lower and upper layers of the troposphere, ultimately regulating the temperatures at the boundary to the stratosphere.
Thus, the current study contradicts earlier hypotheses about the temperature variability of the tropical tropopause. As early as in the late 20th century, scientists had seen a cooling trend there which began in the s.
They traced this observation back to anthropogenic causes, in particular the increase in greenhouse gases. Our study shows that the cooling of the tropical tropopause does not have to be a one-way street but could also be part of a natural fluctuation which extends over several decades," Professor Matthes emphasized.
This knowledge is also of paramount importance for the general climate research.