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High potential for weathering and climate effects of non-vascular vegetation in the Late Ordovician
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
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Number of Authors: 9
2016 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 7, 12113Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been hypothesized that predecessors of today's bryophytes significantly increased global chemical weathering in the Late Ordovician, thus reducing atmospheric CO2 concentration and contributing to climate cooling and an interval of glaciations. Studies that try to quantify the enhancement of weathering by non-vascular vegetation, however, are usually limited to small areas and low numbers of species, which hampers extrapolating to the global scale and to past climatic conditions. Here we present a spatially explicit modelling approach to simulate global weathering by non-vascular vegetation in the Late Ordovician. We estimate a potential global weathering flux of 2.8 (km(3) rock) yr(-1), defined here as volume of primary minerals affected by chemical transformation. This is around three times larger than today's global chemical weathering flux. Moreover, we find that simulated weathering is highly sensitive to atmospheric CO2 concentration. This implies a strong negative feedback between weathering by non-vascular vegetation and Ordovician climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 7, 12113
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Climate Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133234DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12113ISI: 000380303100001PubMedID: 27385026OAI: diva2:967831
Available from: 2016-09-09 Created: 2016-09-05 Last updated: 2016-09-09Bibliographically approved

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Porada, PhilippBeer, Christian
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