Systemic swings in end-Permian climate from Siberian Traps carbon and sulfur outgassing

Benjamin A. Black, Ryan R. Neely, Jean François Lamarque, Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Jeffrey T. Kiehl, Christine A. Shields, Michael J. Mills, Charles Bardeen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Siberian Traps flood basalt magmatism coincided with the end-Permian mass extinction approximately 252 million years ago. Proposed links between magmatism and ecological catastrophe include global warming, global cooling, ozone depletion and changes in ocean chemistry. However, the critical combinations of environmental changes responsible for global mass extinction are undetermined. In particular, the combined and competing climate effects of sulfur and carbon outgassing remain to be quantified. Here we present results from global climate model simulations of flood basalt outgassing that account for sulfur chemistry and aerosol microphysics with coupled atmosphere and ocean circulation. We consider the effects of sulfur and carbon in isolation and in tandem. We find that coupling with the ocean strongly influences the climate response to prolonged flood basalt-scale outgassing. We suggest that sulfur and carbon emissions from the Siberian Traps combined to generate systemic swings in temperature, ocean circulation and hydrology within a longer-term trend towards a greenhouse world in the early Triassic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-954
Number of pages6
JournalNature Geoscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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