When Too Little CO2 Nearly Doomed Humanity

Aside from the expected protests of Al Gore and Leonard Di Caprio, the public didn’t seem to raise its CO2 anguish much above the Russians-election frenzy the media already had going. Statistician Bjorn Lomborg has already pointed out that the Paris CO2 emissions cuts would make only a 0.05 degree C difference in earth’s 2100 AD temperature. And that’s in the unlikely event that all parties actually kept their pledges.

During the last Ice Age, however, too little CO2 in the air almost eradicated mankind. That’s when the much-colder water in the oceans sucked most of the CO2 from the air. There were only about 180 parts per million in the atmosphere, compared to today’s 400 ppm.

The Ice Age’s combined horrors—intense cold, permanent drought, and CO2 starvation—killed most of the plants on earth. Only a few trees survived, in the mildest climates.Much of the planet’s grass turned to tundra, which is much less nourishing to the herbivores we depended on for food and fur. Cambridge University’s recent studies say that, worldwide, only about 100,00 humans were left alive when the current Interglacial warming mercifully began.

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