Carbon dioxide emissions from Deccan Volcanism and a K/T boundary Greenhouse Effect
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
Copyright 1990 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 17, Issue 9, pages 1299–1302, August 1990
How to Cite
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 APR 1990
- Manuscript Received: 20 FEB 1990
A greenhouse warming caused by increased emissions of carbon dioxide from the Deccan Traps volcanism has been suggested as the cause of the terminal Cretaceous extinctions on land and in the sea. We estimate total eruptive and noneruptive CO2 output by the Deccan eruptions (from 6 to 20 × 1016 moles) over a period of several hundred thousand years based on best estimates of the CO2 weight fraction of the original basalts and basaltic melts, the fraction of CO2 degassed, and the volume of the Deccan Traps eruptions. Results of a model designed to estimate the effects of increased CO2 on climate and ocean chemistry suggest that increases in atmospheric pCO2 due to Deccan Traps CO2 emissions would have been less than 75 ppm, leading to a predicted global warming of less than 1°C over several hundred thousand years. We conclude that the direct climate effects of CO2 emissions from the Deccan eruptions would have been too weak to be an important factor in the end-Cretaceous mass extinctions.