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Researchers use minerals from ancient soils to reconstruct past climate

When the  Paleocene ended and the Eocene began nearly 56 million years ago, Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels ranged between 1,400 and 4,000 parts per million (ppm). These carbon dioxide levels gave rise to sauna-like conditions across the planet, which scientists can now measure using tiny minerals called siderites.

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Researchers Joep van Dijk (left) and Alvaro Fernandez look for siderite minerals in the soils