Marine siliceous ecosystem decline led to sustained anomalous Early Triassic warmth.

Author: Isson, Terry T.; Zhang, Shuang; Lau, Kimberly V.; Rauzi, Sofia; Tosca, Nicholas J.; Penman, Donald E.; Planavsky, Noah J.

Date: 2022-06-18

Type: Journal article

Link to this item using this URL: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/15007

University of Waikato

Abstract

In the wake of rapid CO₂ release tied to the emplacement of the Siberian Traps, elevated temperatures were maintained for over five million years during the end-Permian biotic crisis. This protracted recovery defies our current understanding of climate regulation via the silicate weathering feedback, and hints at a fundamentally altered carbon and silica cycle. Here, we propose that the development of widespread marine anoxia and Si-rich conditions, linked to the collapse of the biological silica factory, warming, and increased weathering, was capable of trapping Earth's system within a hyperthermal by enhancing ocean-atmosphere CO₂ recycling via authigenic clay formation. While solid-Earth degassing may have acted as a trigger, subsequent biotic feedbacks likely exacerbated and prolonged the environmental crisis. This refined view of the carbon-silica cycle highlights that the ecological success of siliceous organisms exerts a potentially significant influence on Earth's climate regime.

Subjects: Carbon, Carbon Cycle, Carbon Dioxide, Ecosystem, Silicon Dioxide

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