There has been considerable controversy concerning the role of chemical weathering in the regulation of the atmospheric partial pressure of carbon dioxide, and thus the strength of the greenhouse effect and global climate. Arguments center on the sensitivity of chemical weathering to climatic factors, especially temperature. Laboratory studies reveal a strong dependence of mineral dissolution on temperature, but the expression of this dependence in the field is often obscured by other environmental factors that co-vary with temperature. In the field, the clearest correlation is between chemical erosion rates and runoff, indicating an important dependence on the intensity of the hydrological cycle. Numerical models and interpretation of the geologic record reveal that chemical weathering has played a substantial role in both maintaining climatic stability over the eons as well as driving climatic swings in response to tectonic and paleogeographic factors.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error