Isotopic Evidence for Variations in the Marine Calcium Cycle Over the Cenozoic

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Science  18 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5482, pp. 1176-1178
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5482.1176

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Significant variations in the isotopic composition of marine calcium have occurred over the last 80 million years. These variations reflect deviations in the balance between inputs of calcium to the ocean from weathering and outputs due to carbonate sedimentation, processes that are important in controlling the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and, hence, global climate. The calcium isotopic ratio of paleo-seawater is an indicator of past changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide when coupled with determinations of paleo-pH.

  • * Present address: Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK.

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