Chemical weathering, atmospheric CO2, and climate

L. R. Kump, S. L. Brantley, M. A. Arthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

438 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There has been considerable controversy concerning the role of chemical weathering in the regulation of the atmospheric partial pressure of carbon dioxide, and thus the strength of the greenhouse effect and global climate. Arguments center on the sensitivity of chemical weathering to climatic factors, especially temperature. Laboratory studies reveal a strong dependence of mineral dissolution on temperature, but the expression of this dependence in the field is often obscured by other environmental factors that co-vary with temperature. In the field, the clearest correlation is between chemical erosion rates and runoff, indicating an important dependence on the intensity of the hydrological cycle. Numerical models and interpretation of the geologic record reveal that chemical weathering has played a substantial role in both maintaining climatic stability over the eons as well as driving climatic swings in response to tectonic and paleogeographic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-667
Number of pages57
JournalAnnual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Volume28
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 31 2000

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weathering
chemical weathering
climate
temperature
greenhouse effect
hydrological cycle
erosion rate
partial pressure
atmospheric pressure
global climate
environmental factor
carbon dioxide
drainage
dissolution
runoff
erosion
tectonics
dissolving
minerals
mineral

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

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Chemical weathering, atmospheric CO2, and climate. / Kump, L. R.; Brantley, S. L.; Arthur, M. A.

In: Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 28, 31.10.2000, p. 611-667.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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