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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-50
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-50
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 12 May 2020

Submitted as: research article | 12 May 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Influence of temporally varying weatherability on CO2–climate coupling and ecosystem change in the late Paleozoic

Jon D. Richey1, Isabel P. Montañez1, Yves Goddéris2, Cindy V. Looy3, Neil P. Griffis1,4, and William A. DiMichele5 Jon D. Richey et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA
  • 2Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, CNRS – Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
  • 3Department of Integrative Biology and Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 4Berkeley Geochronology Center, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 5Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC 20560, USA

Abstract. Earth's penultimate icehouse, the Late Paleozoic Ice Age (LPIA), was a time of dynamic glaciation and repeated ecosystem perturbation, under conditions of substantial variability in atmospheric pCO2 and O2. Improved constraints on the evolution of atmospheric pCO2 and O2 : CO2 during the LPIA and its subsequent demise to permanent greenhouse conditions is crucial for better understanding the nature of linkages between atmospheric composition, climate, and ecosystem perturbation during this time. We present a new and age-recalibrated pCO2 reconstruction for a 40-Myr interval (~313 to 273 Ma) of the late Paleozoic that (1) confirms a previously hypothesized strong CO2-glaciation linkage, (2) documents synchroneity between major pCO2 and O2 : CO2 changes and compositional turnovers in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, (3) lends support for a modeled progressive decrease in the CO2 threshold for initiation of continental ice sheets during the LPIA, and (4) indicates a likely role of CO2 and O2 : CO2 thresholds in floral ecologic turnovers. Modeling of the relative role of CO2 sinks and sources, active during the LPIA and its demise, on steady-state pCO2 using an intermediate complexity climate-C cycle model (GEOCLIM) and comparison to the new multi-proxy CO2 record provides new insight into the relative influences of the uplift of the Central Pangaean Mountains, intensifying aridification, and increasing mafic rock to-granite rock ratio of outcropping rocks on the global efficiency of CO2 consumption and secular change in steady-state pCO2 through the late Paleozoic.

Jon D. Richey et al.

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Jon D. Richey et al.

Data sets

Primary Data from Richey et al., 2020 (Climates Of The Past [in review]) J. D. Richey, I. P. Montañez, Y. Goddéris, C. V. Looy, N. P. Griffis, and W. A. DiMichele https://doi.org/10.25338/B8S90Q

Jon D. Richey et al.

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Short summary
Our new 40-Myr CO2 reconstruction substantially refines existing Late Paleozoic CO2 estimates, provides perhaps the best resolved pre-Cenozoic CO2 record, and indicates a close temporal relationship to changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The GEOCLIM model used in our study allows insight into the relative influences of uplift of the Central Pangean Mountains, intensifying aridity, and increasing mafic to granite ratio of outcropping rocks on changes in pCO2 through the late Paleozoic.
Our new 40-Myr CO2 reconstruction substantially refines existing Late Paleozoic CO2 estimates,...
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