Carnegie Mellon University
June 06, 2019

Chemistry Professor Emeritus Publishes Book About Carbon Dioxide's Impacts on Earth

By Ben Panko

Jocelyn Duffy

"The sphinx, Apollo 13, the White Cliffs of Dover, mass extinctions, stomach acid and killer lakes Africa: what do these all have in common? It is the legacy of carbon dioxide." So begins a new book about the familiar gaseous compound, written by Carnegie Mellon University Chemistry Professor Emeritus Paul J. Karol. In "The Legacy of Carbon Dioxide: Past and Present Impacts," published last month by CRC Press, Karol examines the chemical origins of carbon dioxide in the stars, its properties and how the gas has affected Earth's atmosphere over billions of years.

Karol, who considers himself a "linear academic descendent" of Joseph Black, discoverer of carbon dioxide, retired in 2012 after 43 years as a member of the Mellon College of Science faculty, including five years as an associate dean. He has chaired multiple international teams of scientists that have announced the addition of new elements on the periodic table.