Got flux: Dinosaurs, CO2 and your mama

If you don't believe in evolution, please don't read this blog. You'd get hives.

Dinosaurs 4.0 went extinct about 65 million years ago. For more than 400 million years the Earth's climate has been fluctuating in ways scientists can reconstruct. New research says atmospheric CO2 levels can raise and lower temperatures in a predictable way. Over the past 420 million years doubling CO2 has raised the Earth's temperatures as much as 5 degrees Celsius.

So maybe those last dinosaurs sensed something was wrong. Here's a snatch of conversation: "Hey, Bronto, don't eat those ferns. They make you emit greenhouse gases."

Probably the dinos didn't talk it over. And we know what happened to them and their favorite ferns.

So if you sense something's wrong, you can watch the scientists who are watching the carbon dioxide. Our own federal government now provides a carbon dioxide tracker with bright colors. Red is very bad; blues are pretty good. But there's no data since 2005. You gotta ask, are they hiding something--or just dino slow?

And let's circle back to those final dinosaurs. They fell away, and our ancestors, the smart mammals, took over, right? No, the Earth was not suddenly populated by forerunners of today's primates, rodents and bovines. Researchers have tracked down evolution data on more than 4,500 mammal species. The dominant mammals of today were a little slow in taking hold. The first dominant mammals included sloths and now extinct hoofed predators--once king, many now extinct. Nature plays no favorites. Our gang of mammals, our ancestral mama, all relative latecomers, appearing around 20 million years ago. Hmmm. Dinosaurs, sloths, slow to track the carbon dioxide. What, me worry?


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