Dr Eleanor John has contributed her research in one of the leading International Journals.
Dr Eleanor John was one of the authors in the article ‘Changing atmospheric CO2 concentration was the primary driver of early Cenozoic climate’in the‘Nature Journal’ which was recently published.
‘Nature’is a weekly international journal, publishing the finest peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and technology on the basis of its originality, importance, interdisciplinary interest, timeliness, accessibility, elegance and surprising conclusions.
The research article reports the results of Dr John and other contributing authors’ investigation into the causes of dramatic climate change in the past, specifically during an epoch called the Eocene (56-34 million years ago).
During the early Eocene, the Earth was said to be in a 'greenhouse state' with global average temperatures about 10 Degrees Celsius higher than present and lush forest at very high latitudes.
By the end of the Eocene, the Earth had shifted to what is called an 'icehouse' state, such as the present, with ice caps at the poles.
As such, the authors investigated whether this dramatic cooling was linked to a decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and, if so, what this tells about earth climate sensitivity during this time.
“Obviously, we cannot directly measure atmospheric carbon dioxide levels for the Eocene but we measured boron isotope ratios in the fossil shells of marine micro plankton called 'foraminifera' and these data were converted to atmospheric carbon dioxide,” Dr John said.
The results suggested that it was indeed long-term changes in carbon dioxide that drove climate change during this interval.
As this project progressed, Dr John said that her team of researchers realised that the significance of the results could be major. Therefore, they wanted to submit the article to as high an impact journal as possible to reach the maximum audience. She added that the editor for Nature Journal also strongly encouraged them to submit their findings.
Dr John highlighted that the results of her research could be used to develop and improve modern climate models which can also be used to make projections for Pacific climates.
According to Professor Boehmer, Nature Journal is the second highest ranking scientific journal. Publications at that level, he said, will always be an exceptional achievement at any research institution.
Professor Boehmer said that Dr John’s contribution to the Nature Journal is a considerable achievement as it puts Earth Science at USP as a research institution in the spotlight of highest profile research.
The project was part of a multi-million pound research project entitled ‘Evolution of Life and Planet’.
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