Marine anoxia linked to abrupt global warming during Earth's penultimate icehouse. Academic Article uri icon


  • Piecing together the history of carbon (C) perturbation events throughout Earths history has provided key insights into how the Earth system responds to abrupt warming. Previous studies, however, focused on short-term warming events that were superimposed on longer-term greenhouse climate states. Here, we present an integrated proxy (C and uranium [U] isotopes and paleo CO2) and multicomponent modeling approach to investigate an abrupt C perturbation and global warming event (304 Ma) that occurred during a paleo-glacial state. We report pronounced negative C and U isotopic excursions coincident with a doubling of atmospheric CO2 partial pressure and a biodiversity nadir. The isotopic excursions can be linked to an injection of 9,000 Gt of organic matterderived C over 300 kyr and to near 20% of areal extent of seafloor anoxia. Earth system modeling indicates that widespread anoxic conditions can be linked to enhanced thermocline stratification and increased nutrient fluxes during this global warming within an icehouse.

published proceedings

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

altmetric score

  • 608.302

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, J., Montaez, I. P., Zhang, S., Isson, T. T., Macarewich, S. I., Planavsky, N. J., ... Wang, X.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Chen, Jitao||Montañez, Isabel P||Zhang, Shuang||Isson, Terry T||Macarewich, Sophia I||Planavsky, Noah J||Zhang, Feifei||Rauzi, Sofia||Daviau, Kierstin||Yao, Le||Qi, Yu-Ping||Wang, Yue||Fan, Jun-Xuan||Poulsen, Christopher J||Anbar, Ariel D||Shen, Shu-Zhong||Wang, Xiang-Dong

publication date

  • January 2022