The mid-Cretaceous super plume, carbon dioxide, and global warming

K. Caldeira, Michael Rampino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Carbon-dioxide releases associated with a mid-Cretaceous super plume and the emplacement of the Ontong-Java Plateau have been suggested as a principal cause of the mid-Cretaceous global warming. We developed a carbonate-silicate cycle model to quantify the possible climatic effects of these CO2 releases. We find that CO2 emissions resulting from super-plume tectonics could have produced atmospheric CO2 levels from 3.7 to 14.7 times the modern pre-industrial value of 285 ppm. Based on the temperature sensitivity to CO2 increases used in the weathering-rate formulations, this would cause a global warming of from 2.8 to 7.7°C over today's global mean temperature. CO2 releases from oceanic plateaus alone are unlikely to have been directly responsible for more than 20% of the mid-Cretaceous increase in atmospheric CO2. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-990
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume18
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991

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global warming
plumes
carbon dioxide
plateaus
plume
Cretaceous
causes
weathering
plateau
tectonics
silicates
carbonates
weathering rate
formulations
cycles
temperature
emplacement
silicate
carbonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

The mid-Cretaceous super plume, carbon dioxide, and global warming. / Caldeira, K.; Rampino, Michael.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 18, No. 6, 1991, p. 987-990.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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