Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
Clim. Past, 17, 703–719, 2021
Clim. Past, 17, 703–719, 2021

Research article 26 Mar 2021

Research article | 26 Mar 2021

Atmospheric carbon dioxide variations across the middle Miocene climate transition

Markus Raitzsch et al.

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Cited articles

Abels, H. A., Hilgen, F. J., Krijgsman, W., Kruk, R. W., Raffi, I., Turco, E., and Zachariasse, W. J.: Long-period orbital control on middle Miocene global cooling: Integrated stratigraphy and astronomical tuning of the Blue Clay Formation on Malta, Paleoceanography, 20, PA4012,, 2005. 
Allen, K. A., Hönisch, B., Eggins, S. M., and Rosenthal, Y.: Environmental controls on B/Ca in calcite tests of the tropical planktic foraminifer species Globigerinoides ruber and Globigerinoides sacculifer, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 35/352, 270–280,, 2012. 
Auer, G., Piller, W. E., Reuter, M., and Harzhauser, M.: Correlating carbon and oxygen isotope events in early to middle Miocene shallow marine carbonates in the Mediterranean region using orbitally tuned chemostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy, Paleoceanography, 30, 332–352,, 2015. 
Aziz, H. A., Sanz-Rubio, E., Calvo, J. P., Hilgen, F. J., and Krijgsman, W.: Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of a middle Miocene alluvial fan to cyclic shallow lacustrine depositional system in the Calatayud Basin (NE Spain), Sedimentology, 50, 211–236,, 2003. 
Badger, M. P. S., Lear, C. H., Pancost, R. D., Foster, G. L., Bailey, T. R., Leng, M. J., and Abels, H. A.: CO2 drawdown following the middle Miocene expansion of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, Paleoceanography, 28, 42–53,, 2013. 
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At approximately 14 Ma, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet expanded to almost its current extent, but the role of CO2 in this major climate transition is not entirely known. We show that atmospheric CO2 might have varied on 400 kyr cycles linked to the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit. The resulting change in weathering and ocean carbon cycle affected atmospheric CO2 in a way that CO2 rose after Antarctica glaciated, helping to stabilize the climate system on its way to the “ice-house” world.