Report

Carbonate Deposition, Climate Stability, and Neoproterozoic Ice Ages

Science  31 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5646, pp. 859-862
DOI: 10.1126/science.1088342

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

The evolutionary success of planktic calcifiers during the Phanerozoic stabilized the climate system by introducing a new mechanism that acts to buffer ocean carbonate-ion concentration: the saturation-dependent preservation of carbonate in sea-floor sediments. Before this, buffering was primarily accomplished by adjustment of shallow-water carbonate deposition to balance oceanic inputs from weathering on land. Neoproterozoic ice ages of near-global extent and multimillion-year duration and the formation of distinctive sedimentary (cap) carbonates can thus be understood in terms of the greater sensitivity of the Precambrian carbon cycle to the loss of shallow-water environments and CO2-climate feedback on ice-sheet growth.

View Full Text