Marine siliceous ecosystem decline led to sustained anomalous Early Triassic warmth

Terry T. Isson, Shuang Zhang, Kimberly V. Lau, Sofia Rauzi, Nicholas J. Tosca, Donald E. Penman, Noah J. Planavsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In the wake of rapid CO2 release tied to the emplacement of the Siberian Traps, elevated temperatures were maintained for over five million years during the end-Permian biotic crisis. This protracted recovery defies our current understanding of climate regulation via the silicate weathering feedback, and hints at a fundamentally altered carbon and silica cycle. Here, we propose that the development of widespread marine anoxia and Si-rich conditions, linked to the collapse of the biological silica factory, warming, and increased weathering, was capable of trapping Earth’s system within a hyperthermal by enhancing ocean-atmosphere CO2 recycling via authigenic clay formation. While solid-Earth degassing may have acted as a trigger, subsequent biotic feedbacks likely exacerbated and prolonged the environmental crisis. This refined view of the carbon-silica cycle highlights that the ecological success of siliceous organisms exerts a potentially significant influence on Earth’s climate regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3509
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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