EGU21-3461, updated on 03 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Earth's supecontinental climate control

A. Mark Jellinek1, Adrian Lenardic2, and Raymond Pierrehumbert3
A. Mark Jellinek et al.
  • 1Earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences, University of British Columbia (
  • 2Earth Sciences, Rice University (
  • 3Physics, Oxford University (

Supercontinent assembly and breakup can influence the rate and global extent to which insulated and relatively warm subcontinental mantle is mixed globally, potentially introducing lateral oceanic-continental mantle temperature variations that regulate volcanic and weathering controls on Earth's long-term carbon cycle for a few hundred million years. In this talk we explore some remarkable consequences of this class of mantle climate control consistent with varied observational constraints. Whereas the relatively unchanging and ice sheet-free climate of the Nuna supercontinental epoch (1.8–1.3 Ga) is an expected consequence of thorough mantle thermal mixing, the extreme cooling-warming climate variability of the Neoproterozoic Rodinia episode (1–0.63 Ga), marked by discontinuous periods of global glaciation (snowball Earth), is a predicted effect of protracted subcontinental mantle thermal isolation.

How to cite: Jellinek, A. M., Lenardic, A., and Pierrehumbert, R.: Earth's supecontinental climate control, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3461,, 2021.