Friday, 10 June 2011
Dr Deacon says that by determining the temperature and carbon dioxide levels at which fossils first formed, "we see that actually the patterns that have occurred in the distant past are not really any different from what's happening now."
Unlike many environmental scientists who look back hundreds of years, Dr Deacon's research goes back hundreds of millions of years.
"Our earliest atmosphere had no oxygen in it and actually had carbon dioxide levels of about 10%," he says of Cambrian times some 600 million years ago.
Today's current carbon dioxide levels are at 0.038 %, "in geological terms the lowest level that we've actually had of carbon dioxide in earth's history."