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Earth’s atmosphere before the age of dinosaurs
#1
Chemical Innovation

December 2000

Octave Levenspiel
Thomas J. Fitzgerald
Donald Pettit

EXCERPT:

An earlier article in Chemical Innovation (1) showed that if you believe that biology’s mouse-to-elephant curve also applies to the flying creatures of the past, and if you also trust aerodynamic theory (which applies equally to flying insects, birds, and airplanes), then the giant flying creatures of the dinosaur age could only fly if the atmospheric pressure was much higher than it is now: at least 3.7–5.0 bar.

If this is so, it raises several interesting questions. For example, how did the atmosphere get to that pressure 100–65 million years ago (Mya)? What was the pressure before that? And how did it drop down to today’s 1 bar? Although we have no definite answers to these questions, let us put forth reasonable possible explanations.

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It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
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#2
Some more interesting ideas here.

James Hansen’ view of the earth and Venus – some light-hearted thoughts
By the Rev Philip Foster

Quote:Around one billion years ago atmospheric CO2 was at 35% yet the earth plunged into ‘snowball earth’ where ice extended to the equator. This incidentally makes the claim that CO2 causes warming look rather absurd. After the Cambrian Explosion, life flourished drawing more and more CO2 down into the biosphere, sequestering much of it in the coal deposits. The removal of CO2 caused the atmospheric pressure to also drop, so that by the time of the dinosaurs atmospheric pressure was nearer three modern atmospheres: this enabled the pterosaurs to fly – something they could not do today. Now CO2 levels stand at 0.04%. This is nearly the lowest it has ever been and is potentially dangerously low – plants are beginning to ‘struggle for breath’. If plants die off – we die. The more CO2 that goes into the atmosphere the better for the planet’s ecology, including ourselves.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
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