Mountain Building And Global Climate Change Essay
Mountain building is a process that takes place slowly on a geological timescale. It is, therefore necessary, in order to explore the role mountain building plays in global climate change to examine past epochs where the full impacts of these processes may be evaluated.
One period in which evidence for possible connections between mountain building and global climate change is particularly rich is during the Oligocene-Miocene transition. As such, this essay focuses on the transition between these two epochs during the late Cenozoic. The earth experienced dramatic climate change, with cooling observed in the Eocene/Oligocene boundary of 4-5℃ in the deep ocean (van Andel, 1994), with global climate change centered on dramatic cooling trends from the Eocene-Oligocene transition (Dupont-Nivet et al, 2008).
During this transition mountain building processes occurred concomitant with those of global climate change, prompting academic debate over whether mountain building processes are causally connected and in which direction the causality occurs. This essay discusses these possible relationships and concludes that the body of evidence suggests that the role played by mountain building is, as proposed by Raymo and Ruddiman, a major contributor to global climate change rather than unconnected or a symptom of these changes.
Mountain Building as Carbon Sequestration Process
Figure 1: An equation to show the relationship between organic C burian and Oxidation.…