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he bubbles of air frozen in the ice cores show different concentrations of CO2 and when these variations are plotted over time they correlate with climate changes in the past.
I believe another similar source are the fossilised shells of marine crustaceans and molluscs, which show the same trends.
I don't want to seem to be 'nit-picky'...
However, even while elevated CO2 levels couldn't be regarded as proof of cause, it had to be regarded as alarming. If elevated CO2 levels are an effect and not a cause, it's difficult to see how a scenario where elevated CO2 levels predate climate change is going to end well.