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Ancient greenhouse born in collision.


Creeping steadily northward for 50 million years, India plowed into Asia in a continent-buckling collision that raised the world's highest mountains. But the slow impact warped more than just the land surface, say Derrill M. Kerrick and Ken Caldeira of Pennsylvania State University in University Park. They propose that the continental crack-up forced several hundred trillion tons of carbon dioxide into the air. If so, that release could explain why Earth grew so warm during the Eocene period (from 52 million to 38 million years ago).

Kerrick and Caldeira note that the Himalayas contain the mashed remnants of rocks once rich in carbon dioxide. They suggest the collision cooked such rocks, forcing the widespread release of carbon dioxide, thus warming the Earth.
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Title Annotation:collision of Asia and India forced carbon dioxide into the air causing global warming during Eocene period
Author:Monastersky, Richard
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jun 12, 1993
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