The study of the climate of the Earth has just made a nice jump back from 210.000 years ago.
Thanks to the analysis of the last core of ice collected in Antarctica, at Dome C, researchers from the European EPICA project go back even further and now know the content of the greenhouse gas atmosphere on the 650.000 last years.
The tiny air bubbles trapped in the ice contain valuable information about the evolution of methane or carbon dioxide levels during cycles.
By combining the data from the EPICA and Vostok glacial drilling, the researchers added two complete ice cycles to their time scale. Several analyzes are published today in the journal Science. They support the idea of a close relationship between climate and the cycles of methane and carbon dioxide. They also show that natural irregularities are strong.
One of the published studies points out that the concentration of CO2 is constantly increasing and that it is currently at a 27% higher than the maximum recorded over the 650.000 years.