Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Volcanism caused ancient global warming

A study confirms that volcanism set off one of Earth's fastest global-warming events. But the release of greenhouse gases was slow enough for negative feedbacks to mitigate impacts such as ocean acidification. See Letter p.573

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The effects of slow and fast release of carbon dioxide on climate and ecosystems.


  1. See all news & views


  1. Gutjahr, M. et al. Nature 548, 573–577 (2017).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Valdes, P. Nature Geosci. 4, 414–416 (2011).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Pagani, M., Liu, Z., LaRiviere, J. & Ravelo, A. C. Nature Geosci. 3, 27–30 (2010).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Dunkley Jones, T. et al. Earth-Sci. Rev. 125, 123–145 (2013).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. McInerney, F. A. & Wing, S. L. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 39, 489–516 (2011).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. von der Heydt, A. S. et al. Curr. Clim. Change Rep. 2, 148–158 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Penman, D. E., Hönisch, B., Zeebe, R. E., Thomas, E. & Zachos, J. C. Paleoceanography 29, 357–369 (2014).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Le Quéré, C. et al. Earth Syst. Sci. Data 8, 605–649 (2016).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Cui, Y. et al. Nature Geosci. 4, 481–485 (2011).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Frieling, J. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, 12059–12064 (2016).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Meissner, K. J. et al. Paleoceanography 29, 946–963 (2014).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Gibbs, S. J. et al. Geology 44, 59–62 (2016).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Thomas, E. in Global Catastrophes in Earth History (eds Sharpton, V. L. & Ward, P. D.) 481–496 (Geol. Soc. Am. Spec. Pap. No. 247, 1990).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Katrin J. Meissner or Timothy J. Bralower.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Geochemistry: Bubbles from the deep

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Meissner, K., Bralower, T. Volcanism caused ancient global warming. Nature 548, 531–533 (2017).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing