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I have seen several graphs showing the prehistoric temperatures and CO2 concentrations derived from ice-core data. enter image description here My understanding is that CO2 and temperature correlate. I assume that Milankovich Cycles are what caused the variations observed in temperature in the ice record, but what specifically caused the CO2 to fluctuate?

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This article investigates the ocean's dissolved carbon content (ocean reservoir) and the seafloor's methane hydrates ("methane ice") as a source of CO2 fluctuations in ice cores. They discuss three ways the ocean may release CO2.

  • through physics (changes in temperature and ocean currents)

  • biologically or chemically

  • through general climate changes

Hope this helps.

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