Investigation of Mesozoic climate trends and sensitivities

What has driven climate through the Mesozoic era, the longest greenhouse period in the history of life on Earth? This question is addressed in a recent study by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the University of Vienna.
Investigation of Mesozoic climate trends and sensitivities

Jan Landwehrs, Georg Feulner, Stefan Petri, Benjamin Sames and Michael Wagreich produced an ensemble of equilibrium climate simulations, covering a timespan of 195 million years in in steps of 5 million years, varying important Earth System boundary conditions. The transition from the Pangaea supercontinent towards an almost modern continental arrangement drives a shift from extremely seasonal and dry continental climates towards more balanced conditions. Increasing flooding of continental areas from rising sea levels also contributes to this and additionally introduces a long-term warming baseline trend, together with the increasing brightness of the sun. However, reconstructed changes in atmospheric CO2 represent the dominant driver of global temperatures, with peaks in the Triassic to early Jurassic and the mid-Cretaceous. These potentially relate to low weathering rates on the dry supercontinent and then high tectonic degassing rates, respectively.

Link to the Study:

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University of Vienna: