Ice age occurred when CO2 levels were 800 percent higher than now

Ahhh. Now they can have it both ways. High CO2 levels cause both global warming and ice ages.

New study shows that the climate cooled and glaciations occurred during the Ordovician period 450 million years ago when the carbon dioxide level in Earth’s atmosphere was approximately 800 percent higher than it is today.

Moss on rock - Courtesy Stockholm University
Moss on rock – Courtesy Stockholm University

Falling temperatures during times of high carbon dioxide

When non-vascular plants, such as mosses, hornworts and liverwort, attached to rocks such as granite, they began a chemical weathering process that drew down carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Streams and rivers eventually transported the CO2 to the oceans where it was buried as carbonate rock.


See entire article in Nature Communications.
“Weathering of rocks by mosses may explain climate effects during the Late Ordovician”

Thanks to Climate Change Weekly for this link

12 thoughts on “Ice age occurred when CO2 levels were 800 percent higher than now”

  1. Or they can say ((see,we made a mistake. Even with our mistake the C02 isn’t high enough for us to enter an Ice age. So we are correct it’s going to get warmer.))

  2. Yes, they will use CO2 as an excuse because the idiots haven’t understood that CO2 follows heat, not the other way around.

  3. “the Ordovician glaciations are hard to explain, since they started under conditions of eight times higher atmospheric CO2 than today.”

    Ha ha ha. So if glaciations _started_ during such high CO2 levels, how was falling CO2 the cause of glaciation? It’s pretty much a universal requirement that cause precedes effect.

    I don’t suppose there might have been SOME OTHER cause, like, oh, the Sun having a quiet period?

      • There is some solar activity going on despite the diminishing sunspots. NOAA has reported level one geomagnetic storms and level one radio blackouts. This activity is caused by Earth passing through a fast moving stream of solar wind. Also, two very strong flares occurred a couple of days ago – the strongest of the year. Get ready for another Carrington Event. 🙁

    • TerraHertz, “450” million years ago there was “no” Sun, only large interstellar Hydrogen Gas regions existed, and then Jupiter formed, and then came the dinosaurs, then Jupiter split into “2”, and from that the Sun and the Earth formed, and then came Global Warming, which spewed over on to Venus causing a CO2 explosion making Venus uninhabitable, but Mars was okay !

      The End

  4. The study says this: “During the weathering process CO2 dissolves in water as acid, and is then transported to the ocean where the carbon is buried as carbonate rock.” However, atmospheric CO2 is primarily not chemically present as carbonic acid, or H2CO3-, but good ol’ CO2. The mechanism of transforming a given quantity of CO2 to H2CO3- and then carbonate to an insoluble form like CaCO3 is slow. It would take an immense amount of both time and acid weathering from non-vascular plants to lower CO2 levels sufficiently to cause an abrupt ice age despite carbon dioxide levels 8x that of today. All of this makes little sense to me as a scientist, as other data shows the greatly elevated levels of CO2 which presumably coincide with the ice age, so either there was a mechanism for a much more rapid and global CO2 depletion, or the methodology of measuring both ice ages and CO2 content is suspect.

  5. The author of the article is using the usual double speak. He talks about the plants drawing down the CO2 . True, but it would be released back into the atmosphere when they died and decomposed. Then he talks about the CO2 being in the water of the rivers and ending in the ocean. Also true but this was going on prior to, during and after the “moss” first showed up continuing to today. The two have nothing to do with each other.
    He further talks about weathering of “silicate rocks” . True. And somehow according to him, this leads to CO2 being buried as “carbonate rock”. Silica does not turn into Calcium, at least not today. It must be stone age alchemy.

    Some small amount of Calcium and Magnesium are found in granite ~2.5% …………..See

  6. The experts may eventually use the dodge for determining when climate change is occurring that a US Supreme Court justice once used for pornography; “I can’t exactly say what it is, but I know it when I see it.” Maybe they just know climate change caused by CO2 when they see it.

  7. Anyone interested in the best estimate of atmospheric CO2 levels over time should look of Geocarb III. This page presents several other models in comparison:

    The reality is that atmospheric CO2 appears to have been descending since the Cambrian (650 Mya). The Ordovician has a location on the descending trend but really doesn’t stand out. By 250 Mya the planet had buried most of the free atmospheric carbon and the atmosphere looked much as it does today. Then came the Permian extinction. Atmospheric carbon _recovers_ over the next 100 My reaching about half of the early Phanerozoic level before resuming its downward trend to the present. There literally no significant correlation of temperature and CO2 over the Phanerozoic. Temperatures seem to plateau with abrupt descents and recoveries that may or may not fall near changes in CO2 trends. The present planetary state most closely resembles the later Permian – immediately prior to the largest extinct event in the geological record. The most parsimonious explanation of that event is that biological systems had placed so great a demand on carbon that its availability became so fraught that entire ecosystems collapsed for want of carbon. Carbon, it’s what keeps you alive.

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