According to a report at http://news.yahoo.com/dinosaur-era-had-5-times-todays-co2-212124284.html … which is assumed to have caused a greenhouse effect and led to high temperatures on Earth. This has rapidly become a geological consensus view – but where did the idea come from?
William Thompson sent in the link to the story which claims co2 levels in the Jurassic were five times higher than in the modern world. Obviously, there were no Tonka Cars in those days, so where were all the emissions coming from. It seems that heavy volcanic activity played a role – and heavy volcanic activity = catastrophism. Scientists have a tendency of pointing to one cause and ignoring what caused, in this instance, the volcanic activity, which is somewhat frustrating. Still, it leaves the field open for other scientists to come along and update the findings.
Okay. We have lots of volcanic activity (and we can only ignore the cause for the time being) and this, it is hypothesized, caused the climate to warm so much the polar regions became the haunt of crocodilia – and other semi tropical life forms. Sounds at first like vindication of the 'greenhouse theory' – rising co2 levels will cause the Earth to warm up catastrophically. However, digging a bit deeper it is not at all clear the polar regions were located anywhere close to where they are today. For example, in temperate UK the Jurassic climate is thought to have been somewhat like modern Miami and the Florida Keys during the Jurassic, which somewhat spoils things. If tropical crocodiles were common in Greenland seas why was the temperature more agreeable in the UK? Okay, they have aligators in Florida – may be I'm hyperventilating. The problem is that if the axis of rotation differed in the Jurassic something would have knocked it off beam – which is the elephant in the room nobody appears to be looking at.
Okay, we can a be a trifle sceptical of how warm the world was in the Jurassic – but even if it was warmer than today (for reptiles to thrive) is that solely due to co2 (the fashionable explanation for nearly everything). Were high co2 levels common to all of the Dinosaur period, or has one event, a catastrophe that involved a lot of volcanic activity, being used to measure the whole. How did they measure the co2? In a rather clever way, actually. The research, led by Douwe van der Meer, made use of seismic tomography to 'reconstruct 250 million years of volcanic co2 emissions' – analysing earthquake waves through Earth to image the structure of the Earth's interior. The deeper the imaging equipment went the further back in time the scientists could see – it is alleged, eventually going back 250 million years. This was the point when Pangaea broke apart – the opening of the world's oceans.
This obviously involved a lot of volcanic activity, in order to set it all in motion, leading towards a number of assumptions, first of which is the validity of mainstream Plate Tectonics Theory and the idea of subduction. The fact the research is heavily larded with Plate Tectonics does not detract from the fact it also does not contradict the idea of an Expanding Earth and in this theory the oceans have an origin inside the Earth and the Dinosaur Age witnessed an outgassing event of monstrous proportions (or something like that). Have the researchers actually measured such an event? We may additionally note that if the Earth did expand rapidly in the Dinosaur Age (possibly in a series of events) the positions of the Poles would have been upset – and the tropics would have moved (and continued to move with the continued expansion, whenever that might have happened). They say you can always look at things in two ways – but the above ignores the possible involvement of space rocks (apart from the end of Cretaceous event). The Triassic ended in a massive catastrophic event – and so did the Jurassic. It is possible that more than one space rock struck the Earth during the Dinosaur period (creating at least three catastrophic fossil assemblages). In other words, reading between the lines there is a lot left unsaid in this research – but the unsaid is basically conjecture.