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Review
. 2002 Apr 15;360(1793):609-32.
doi: 10.1098/rsta.2001.0959.

The alkenone-CO2 Proxy and Ancient Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

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Review

The alkenone-CO2 Proxy and Ancient Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Mark Pagani. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. .

Abstract

Cenozoic climates have varied across a variety of time-scales, including slow, unidirectional change over tens of millions of years, as well as severe, geologically abrupt shifts in Earth's climatic state. Establishing the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide is critical in prioritizing the factors responsible for past climatic events, and integral in positioning future climate change within a geological context. One approach in this pursuit uses the stable carbon isotopic composition of marine organic molecules known as alkenones. The following report represents a summary of the factors affecting alkenone carbon isotopic compositions, the underlying assumptions and accuracy of short- and long-term CO(2) records established from these sedimentary molecules, and their implications for the controls on the evolution of Cenozoic climates.

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