The Weissert Event ~133 million years ago marked a profound global cooling that punctuated the Early Cretaceous greenhouse. We present modelling, high-resolution bulk organic carbon isotopes and chronostratigraphically calibrated sea surface temperature (SSTs) based on an organic paleothermometer (the TEX86 proxy), which capture the Weissert Event in the semi-enclosed Weddell Sea basin, offshore Antarctica (paleolatitude ~54 °S; paleowater depth ~500 meters). We document a ~3-4 °C drop in SST coinciding with the Weissert cold end, and converge the Weddell Sea data, climate simulations and available worldwide multi-proxy based temperature data towards one unifying solution providing a best-fit between all lines of evidence. The outcome confirms a 3.0 °C ( ±1.7 °C) global mean surface cooling across the Weissert Event, which translates into a ~40% drop in atmospheric pCO2 over a period of ~700 thousand years. Consistent with geologic evidence, this pCO2 drop favoured the potential build-up of local polar ice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)