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Listening in on the Cretaceous

Chalk bubbles smThis morning I am listening to the bubbles produced when chalk is dissolved in vinegar (malt vinegar, Sainsburys). Yes, you may well ask! It is the sound of carbon dioxide being released back into the atmosphere, reversing a reaction that took place millions of years ago when small marine plankton extracted CO2 to make their ‘shells’, which subsequently became chalk. So, you might say that I am listening in on the Cretaceous (66–145 million years ago).

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