Potential links between continental rifting, CO2 degassing and climate change through time

by Sascha Brune et al., March 13, 2017 in NatureGeoscience

Using a numerical carbon cycle model, we find that two prominent periods of enhanced rifting 160 to 100 million years ago and after 55 million years ago coincided with greenhouse climate episodes, during which atmospheric CO2 concentrations were more than three times higher than today. We therefore propose that continental fragmentation and long-term climate change could plausibly be linked via massive CO2 degassing in rift systems.