Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png(600 × 436 pixels, file size: 26 KB, MIME type: image/png)

Summary

This figure shows the variations in concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere during the last 400 thousand years. Throughout most of the record, the largest changes can be related to glacial/interglacial cycles within the current ice age. Although the glacial cycles are most directly caused by changes in the Earth's orbit (i.e. Milankovitch cycles), these changes also influence the carbon cycle, which in turn feeds back into the glacial system.

Since the Industrial Revolution, circa 1900, the burning of fossil fuels has caused a dramatic increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, reaching levels unprecedented in the last 400 thousand years. This increase has been implicated as a primary cause of global warming.

The spacing of carbon dioxide samples varies through time. At the present, the atmosphere is sampled routinely (at least daily) and complete annual averages are available. From the four ice cores presented on this plot the sampling varies from as rapid as one point every few years (recent parts of the Law Dome record) to as sparse as one sample every few thousand years (oldest parts of the Vostok record). In principle, the sparse sampling in the oldest parts of the record could hide abrupt excursions; however, isotopic measurements of ice cores (which are made continuously along the entire core) and our current understanding of the rates of natural processes for creating and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere make it unlikely that any positive excursions in carbon dioxide comparable to the Industrial Revolution have happened during the interval presented above.


Converted to SVG.svg
This graph image could be recreated using vector graphics as an SVG file. This has several advantages; see Commons:Media for cleanup for more information. If an SVG form of this image is available, please upload it and afterwards replace this template with {{vector version available|new image name}}. It is recommended to name the SVG file "Carbon Dioxide 400kyr.svg" - then the template Vector version available (or Vva) does not need the new image name parameter.

Copyright

This figure was prepared by Robert A. Rohde from publicly available data and is incorporated into the Global Warming Art project.

Image from Global Warming Art
This image is an original work created for Global Warming Art. Please refer to the image description page for more information.
GNU head Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.
w:en:Creative Commons
attribution share alike
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
You are free:
  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
  • attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • share alike – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same or compatible license as the original.
This licensing tag was added to this file as part of the GFDL licensing update.


Data Sources

  1. (blue) Vostok ice core: Fischer, H., M. Wahlen, J. Smith, D. Mastroianni, and B. Deck (1999). "Ice core records of Atmospheric CO2 around the last three glacial terminations". Science 283: 1712-1714.
  2. (green) EPICA ice core: Monnin, E., E.J. Steig, U. Siegenthaler, K. Kawamura, J. Schwander, B. Stauffer, T.F. Stocker, D.L. Morse, J.-M. Barnola, B. Bellier, D. Raynaud, and H. Fischer (2004). "Evidence for substantial accumulation rate variability in Antarctica during the Holocene, through synchronization of CO2 in the Taylor Dome, Dome C and DML ice cores". Earth and Planetary Science Letters 224: 45-54. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2004.05.007
  3. (red) Law Dome ice core: D.M. Etheridge, L.P. Steele, R.L. Langenfelds, R.J. Francey, J.-M. Barnola and V.I. Morgan (1998) "Historical CO2 records from the Law Dome DE08, DE08-2, and DSS ice cores" in Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A.
  4. (cyan) Siple Dome ice core: Neftel, A., H. Friedli, E. Moor, H. Lötscher, H. Oeschger, U. Siegenthaler, and B. Stauffer (1994) "Historical CO2 record from the Siple Station ice core" in Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A.
  5. (black) Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii: Keeling, C.D. and T.P. Whorf (2004) "Atmospheric CO2 records from sites in the SIO air sampling network" in Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A.

Related images

Other language

File history

Click on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time.

Date/TimeThumbnailDimensionsUserComment
current19:40, 21 December 2009Thumbnail for version as of 19:40, 21 December 2009600 × 436 (26 KB)Dragons flightavoid stupid emphasis on physically unobtainable zero
16:34, 23 November 2009Thumbnail for version as of 16:34, 23 November 2009605 × 734 (28 KB)MPFSet vertical scale origin to zero for clarity; sentence case capitalisation for text
17:46, 22 September 2006Thumbnail for version as of 17:46, 22 September 2006600 × 436 (26 KB)Nils Simon
06:38, 10 April 2006Thumbnail for version as of 06:38, 10 April 2006512 × 380 (22 KB)Pflatau__NOTOC__ == Description == This figure shows the variations in concentration of carbon dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>) in the atmosphere during the last 400 thousand years. Throughout most of the record, the largest changes can be

Global file usage

The following other wikis use this file:

Metadata