The findings suggest much higher CO2 levels than had been estimated in previous studies conducted in the 1980s and 1990s.That research had been based on indirect data from sea-level variations."Especially in the Jurassic Period, major differences were seen between the old and the new estimates." "The higher CO2 levels [must] have [had] significant effects on the planet's climate, and its flora and fauna," he said.
Since then, scientists' understanding of Earth has improved significantly, and researchers already had begun to suspect that the old estimates were imperfect.
"They were fundamentally flawed in hindsight," said van der Meer.
Dinosaurs that roamed the Earth 250 million years ago knew a world with five times more carbon dioxide than is present on Earth today, researchers say, and new techniques for estimating the amount of carbon dioxide on prehistoric Earth may help scientists predict how Earth's climate may change in the future.
The findings are detailed in a recent paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
During the Jurassic Period, dinosaurs — ranging from the plant-eating Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus to the meat-craving Ceratosaurus and Megalosaurus — ruled the world.