Trouble Upstairs: Reconstructing Permian-Triassic Climate during Siberian Traps Magmatism
Friday, 19 December 2014: 3:25 PM
The eruption of large igneous provinces can transfer significant masses of volatiles from Earth’s interior to the atmosphere. What are the consequences of this degassing for habitability and extinction? In this presentation, we consider this question in the context of Siberian Traps magmatism, which has been shown to overlap within geochronologic uncertainty with catastrophic deterioration of Permian-Triassic marine and terrestrial ecosystems. To investigate the impacts of endogenic gases on climate, atmospheric chemistry, and ocean circulation, we conducted a series of numerical experiments with a comprehensive global model for the Permian-Triassic. Our simulations predict the intensity and distribution of acid rain and ozone depletion, with implications for terrestrial biota. We further explore feedbacks between sulfur emissions, transient cooling, and shifts in ocean circulation. We suggest that Siberian Traps magmatism may have triggered several distinct kill mechanisms in the oceans and on land, contributing to a complex combined pattern of environmental stress and latest Permian ecological failure.