Have you ever seen a crocodile swim in the North Pole? No. But it was a fact that had existed for quite a long time. About nine million years ago, the Earth was so warm that tropic animals like crocodiles could live in the North Pole. However, the Earth was not always that warm. Sometimes it was terribly cold and half of the Earth was covered by ice.
Why did the Earth have such extreme weather? Most people believe that it is the fault of carbon dioxide. In the past one billion years, the more carbon dioxide there is, and the hotter the climate is. But there are exceptions. Few studies have indicated that it is still rather cold when the carbon dioxide is much. Meanwhile, when it is much hotter, the carbon dioxide is far more.
What causes such strange phenomena? Researchers are trying their best to answer this question. They are studying the long history of our climate in the hope of predicting the relationship between carbon dioxide and the weather. Luckily, they find some useful clues in nature. For instance, rocks are telling us the situation when they were forming. Some kinds of rocks could only form when there exists water on the Earth. And the research on the glaciers also helps with the prediction.
By analyzing and concluding all the evidence and clues, scientists have found out the rule of the change of temperature. They argue that for most of the time, it was warm on the Earth. The ice age happened occasionally, which took up only one tenth of the history. In fact, it was much warm than it is now. But it is surprising that the Earth does not get warm because of the increasingly high temperature of the sun. So there must be some other factors affecting the change of weather.
In 1981, Jim Kasting, an expert from Pennsylvania University, pointed out that the stability of the climate should be attributed to the carbon dioxide. It is the thermoregulator of the Earth. The carbon within exists under the ground for a long time in the form of carbonates and is releases into the air through the burst of volcanoes. He suggested that the speed of this procedure depends largely on the temperature. When the high temperature speeds the efflorescence, the carbon dioxide in the air is reduced and it becomes cold. And when it is cold, the proportion of carbon dioxide is increasing.
The thermoregulation of carbon dioxide does not function like that of the refrigerators or air-conditioners. It could not turn the water into ice overnight. Such an extraordinary effect should cost 100,000 years. So it is sometimes hot and sometimes cold on the earth. But it still explains why the temperature of the Earth allows the existence of water.
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