A new study has revealed that development of a huge mountain range in the middle of the ancient supercontinent, Pangea helped Earth to avoid huge rise in atmospheric CO2 last time.
Dr Yves Godderis said that the formation of these mountains meant that the rock weathering, which was threatening to slow to a walk through much of the supercontinent, was able to continue and the steep slopes of these Hercynian Mountains produced physical erosion occurring in a humid equatorial environment, this physical erosion promoted rock weathering and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
He further explained that the current atmospheric CO2 levels are around 400 ppm, which means that CO2 level would have gone around 17 times the current levels and it would obviously have had severe effects on the environment of that time but the formation of the mountains in fact contributed to the greatest fall in atmospheric CO2 in the last 500 million years.
Geochemists have established that the factors affecting atmospheric CO2 over geological periods of time are complex and they require a better understanding.
The work is presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Sacramento, California.
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