Global Cooling by Grassland Soils of the Geological Past and Near Future

  title={Global Cooling by Grassland Soils of the Geological Past and Near Future},
  author={Gregory J. Retallack},
  journal={Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences},
  • G. Retallack
  • Published 3 June 2013
  • Environmental Science
  • Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Major innovations in the evolution of vegetation such as the Devonian origin of forests created new weathering regimes and soils (Alfisols, Histosols) that increased carbon consumption and sequestration and ushered in the Permian-Carboniferous Ice Age. Similarly, global expansion of grasslands and their newly evolved, carbon-rich soils (Mollisols) over the past 40 million years may have induced global cooling and ushered in Pleistocene glaciation. Grassland evolution has been considered a… 
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  • G. Retallack
  • Environmental Science, Geography
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  • 2021
Abstract The Cryogenian Period (717–635 Ma), or ‘Snowball Earth’, was an unusually cool period of Earth history when glaciers extended to low latitudes. Past ideas on causes of this widespread
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Mountains, ocean currents, forests, and swamps have played an important role in regulating global climate for hundreds of millions of years, but the truly novel event of the Cenozoic was the
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  • Retallack
  • Environmental Science, Geology
  • 1997
From Silurian into Devonian time, red clayey calcareous paleosols show a greater volume of roots and a concomitant decline in the density of animal burrows, which parallel the decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide determined from isotopic records of pedogenic carbonate in these same paleosol.
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A synthesis of grass evolutionary biology with grassland ecosystem science will further knowledge of the evolution of traits that promote dominance in grassland systems and will provide a new context in which to evaluate the relative importance of C4 photosynthesis in transforming ecosystems across large regions of Earth.
Rise of angiosperms as a factor in long-term climatic cooling
  • T. Volk
  • Environmental Science, Geology
  • 1989
By Late Cretaceous or early Tertiary time, the diversification and proliferation of angiosperm-deciduous ecosystems resulted in higher rates of mineral weathering. This increase in the global average
Carbon storage by introduced deep-rooted grasses in the South American savannas
ESTIMATES of the global carbon dioxide balance have identified a substantial 'missing sink' of 0.4–4.3 Gt per year1. It has been suggested that much of this may reside in the terrestrial biosphere2.
Prehistorically modified soils of central Amazonia: a model for sustainable agriculture in the twenty-first century
  • B. Glaser
  • Environmental Science, Medicine
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2006
It is argued that generating new Terra Preta sites (‘Terra Preta nova’) could be the basis for sustainable agriculture in the twenty-first century to produce food for billions of people, and could lead to attaining three Millennium Development Goals.
The Neogene transition from C3 to C4 grasslands in North America: stable carbon isotope ratios of fossil phytoliths
Abstract C4 grasses form the foundation of warm-climate grasslands and savannas and provide important food crops such as corn, but their Neogene rise to dominance is still not fully understood.
Long-term stability of global erosion rates and weathering during late-Cenozoic cooling
It is concluded that processes different from an increase in denudation caused Cenozoic global cooling, and that global cooling had no profound effect on spatially and temporally averaged weathering rates.
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Analysis of simulations of terrestrial and geochemical carbon cycles and available experimental evidence indicates that the dynamic equilibrium between plants, climate and the geosphere probably buffered the minimum atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 24 years.