Mass extinctions, atmospheric sulphur and climatic warming at the K/T boundary

  title={Mass extinctions, atmospheric sulphur and climatic warming at the K/T boundary},
  author={Michael R. Rampino and Tyler Volk},
A connection has recently been proposed between cloud albedo over the oceans and the release of dimethyl sulphide (DMS) by marine algae. DMS acts as a precursor for most of the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the marine atmosphere1. The mass extinctions at the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary include about 90% of marine calcareous nannoplankton2,3, and carbon isotope data show that marine primary productivity as a whole was drastically reduced for at least several tens of thousands of… 

Biogeochemical modeling at mass extinction boundaries: Atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean alkalinity at the K/T boundary

The causes of mass extinctions and the importance of major bio-events in the history of life are subjects of considerable scientific interest. A large amount of geological, geochemical, and

Carbon dioxide emissions from Deccan volcanism and a K/T boundary greenhouse effect.

It is concluded 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.

Geochemical evidence for suppression of pelagic marine productivity at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary

The normal, biologically productive ocean is characterized by a gradient of the 13C/12C ratio from surface to deep waters. Here we present stable isotope data from planktonic and benthic

Multiple factors in the origin of the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary: the role of environmental stress and Deccan Trap volcanism

  • G. GlasbyH. Kunzendorf
  • Environmental Science, Geology
    Geologische Rundschau : Zeitschrift fur allgemeine Geologie
  • 1996
The K/T event can be explained in terms of the effects of the Deccan volcanism on an already stressed biosphere, as investigations show that the oceans were already stressed by the end of the Late Cretaceous as a result of the long-term drop in atmospheric CO2, the long term drop in sea level and the frequent development of oceanic anoxia.

Global ocean‐to‐atmosphere dimethyl sulfide flux

The global ocean-to-atmosphere flux of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) is calculated on a monthly basis with 4.5°×7.5° latitude/longitude spatial resolution. An atmospheric general circulation model, the

Chapter 4 Catastrophe: impact of comets and asteroids

Organic-chemical clues to the theory of impacts as a cause of mass extinctions

The reasons for the mass extinctions, which occur from time to time in Earth's history-as, e.g., the dinosaur extinction at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary 65 myr ago - are still not satisfactorily

Death Stars, Ecology, and Mass Extinctions

Evidence for extrinsic influences on the biosphere will certainly aid in comprehending the nature of biohistorical events, such as mass extinctions, and may well be responsible for...


The reasons for the mass extinctions, which occur from time to time in Earth's history -as, e.g., the dinosaur extinction at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary 65 myr ago - are still not satisfactorily



Evidence for the climatic role of marine biogenic sulphur

Oceanic dimethylsulphide (DMS) emissions and atmospheric aerosol particle populations (condensation nuclei, CN), resolved by latitude and season, appear to be directly correlated, in that CN, as

A hybrid model of the CO2 geochemical cycle and its application to large impact events.

It appears unlikely, however, that an impact of a large asteroid or comet could create a "Strangelove ocean," in which surface waters remained corrosive to calcium carbonate for thousands or tens of thousands of years.

Mass Mortality and Its Environmental and Evolutionary Consequences

The data indicate that at the end of Cretaceous, when a high proportion of the ocean's planktic organisms were eliminated, an associated reduction in productivity led to a partial transfer of dissolved carbon dioxide from the oceans to the atmosphere, which resulted in a large increase of the atmospheric carbon dioxide during the next 50,000 years, which is believed to have caused a temperature rise revealed by the oxygen-isotope data.

Oceanic phytoplankton, atmospheric sulphur, cloud albedo and climate

The major source of cloud-condensation nuclei (CCN) over the oceans appears to be dimethylsulphide, which is produced by planktonic algae in sea water and oxidizes in the atmosphere to form a

A Terminal Mesozoic "Greenhouse": Lessons from the Past

  • D. Mclean
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1978
In late Mesozoic, the deep oceanic waters may have been triggered into releasing vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in a chain reaction of climatic warming and carbon dioxide expulsion, which may be duplicated by human combustion of the fossil fuels and by forest clearing.

‘Strangelove ocean’ before the Cambrian explosion

The Palaeozoic and Mesozoic eras were terminated by faunal changes involving mass extinction of the old and explosive evolution of the new fauna, but the fossil record shows only a Cambrian Explosion

An Initial Study of the Sensitivity of Modeled Cretaceous Climate to Cyclical Insolation Forcing

Some Cretaceous rhythmic sedimentation, such as the Colorado Greenhorn Formation deposited in the western interior seaway (U.S.), may have been produced by cyclic precipitation intensity change,

Carbon-isotope events across the Precambrian/Cambrian boundary on the Siberian Platform

Variations of marine isotopes with time have been observed through the Phanerozoic1,2, in association with some period boundaries: Pleistocene/Holocene3, Cretaceous/Tertiary4, Permo-Triassic5,6 and