We review the long-term climate variations during the last 540 million years (Phanerozoic Eon). We begin with a short summary of the relevant geological and geochemical datasets available for the reconstruction of long-term climate variations. We then explore the main drivers of climate that appear to explain a large fraction of these climatic oscillations. The first is the long-term trend in atmospheric CO2 due to geological processes, while the second is the atmospheric ionization due to the changing galactic environment. Other drivers, such as albedo and geographic effects, are of secondary importance. In this review, we pay particular attention to problems that may affect the measurements of temperature obtained from oxygen isotopes, such as the long-term changes in the concentration of δ18O seawater.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors wish to thank Christopher Scotese for many helpful suggestions. N.J.S. wishes to thank the generous support of the Israel Ministry of Energy.
© 2022 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of New York Academy of Sciences.
- atmospheric ionization
- seawater geochemistry