Vincent Courtillot

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Understanding climate change is an active topic of research. Much of the observed increase in global surface temperature over the past 150 years occurred prior to the 1940s and after the 1980s. The main causes invoked are solar variability, changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas content or sulfur due to natural or anthropogenic action, or internal(More)
Continental flood basalt eruptions have resulted in sudden and massive accumulations of basaltic lavas in excess of any contemporary volcanic processes. The largest flood basalt events mark the earliest volcanic activity of many major hot spots, which are thought to result from deep mantle plumes. The relative volumes of melt and eruption rates of flood(More)
True polar wander, the shifting of the entire mantle relative to the earth's spin axis, has been reanalyzed. Over the last 200 million years, true polar wander has been fast (approximately 5 centimeters per year) most of the time, except for a remarkable standstill from 170 to 110 million years ago. This standstill correlates with a decrease in the reversal(More)
The four most recent large mass extinction events in the Phanerozoic – the Cretaceous–Tertiary (KT), the Triassic–Jurassic (TJ), and the Permo-Triassic (PT) and Guadalupian–Tatarian (GT) doublet – are associated with a major flood basalt eruption, with the timing of peak volcanic activity corresponding within measurement uncertainties to the extinction(More)
There has been an ongoing debate for almost two decades on the age and duration of Deccan trap volcanism. Some of the best available ages have been determined using the 40Ar/39Ar method, but differences in sample location, laboratory procedure, type of analyzed material, and ages of monitors may have been responsible for much of the apparent spread in the(More)
We analyze temperature data from meteorological stations in the USA (six climatic regions, 153 stations), Europe (44 stations, considered as one climatic region) and Australia (preliminary, five stations). We select stations with long, homogeneous series of daily minimum temperatures (covering most of the 20th century, with few or no gaps). We find that(More)