Testing the link between weathering and CO2 – evidence from extreme climate events
This project aims to examine large and rapid warming and cooling events in Earth history, and to determine how the climate restabilised afterwards. We have examined hyperthermal warming events, such as the oceanic anoxic events in the Cretaceous (ref), and cooling events such as the end-Ordovician Hirnantian glaciation (ref). We have shown that silicate weathering increased during the warming events, and decreased during the cooling events. As the primary CO2 drawdown mechanism, this demonstrates unequivocally for the first time how the Earth’s thermostat functions (ref news articles).