Marine anoxia linked to abrupt global warming during Earth’s penultimate icehouse

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Piecing together the history of carbon (C) perturbation events throughout Earth’s 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 matter–derived 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2115231119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 10 2022


  • C isotope excursions
  • C-perturbation events
  • U
  • greenhouse gas–driven abrupt global warming
  • late Paleozoic
  • marine anoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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