1 Testing the link between weathering and CO2 – evidence from extreme climate events - Past Climate Change

Testing the link between weathering and CO2 – evidence from extreme climate events

Testing the link between weathering and CO2 – evidence from extreme climate events

Case for Support: Summary
Why has the Earth’s climate remained in the narrow bands amenable to life, despite huge changes in the controlling parameters over time? Silicate weathering of the continents is the dominant CO2 removal process, and therefore an important climate control mechanism. However, the debate on what controls silicate weathering, and therefore atmospheric CO2, is still contentious and ongoing. Three of the largest climate fluctuations and mass extinctions in Earth’s history will be examined using lithium isotopes, which are fractionated by silicate weathering. Thus weathering and climatic responses to periods of rapid global warming and cooling will be determined. In turn this will yield critical information on Earth’s climate feedbacks, and on processes that led to the extinction of up to 85% of marine species at single events.

Skills

Posted on

April 20, 2017

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