A negative feedback mechanism for the long-term stabilization of Earth's surface temperature
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
Copyright 1981 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans (1978–2012)
Volume 86, Issue C10, pages 9776–9782, 20 October 1981
How to Cite
1981), A negative feedback mechanism for the long-term stabilization of Earth's surface temperature, J. Geophys. Res., 86(C10), 9776–9782, doi:10.1029/JC086iC10p09776., , and (
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 MAY 1981
- Manuscript Received: 22 OCT 1980
We suggest that the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is buffered, over geological time scales, by a negative feedback mechanism in which the rate of weathering of silicate minerals (followed by deposition of carbonate minerals) depends on surface temperature, and surface temperature, in turn, depends on carbon dioxide partial pressure through the greenhouse effect. Although the quantitative details of this mechanism are speculative, it appears able partially to stabilize earth's surface temperature against the steady increase of solar luminosity believed to have occurred since the origin of the solar system.