The tropical, warm, and equable climate of the Jurassic world is regularly challenged by geoscientists, especially since oxygen isotopes (δ18O) of fossil hardparts have been used to reconstruct the paleotemperature history of seawater. By applying the innovative “SiZer” (significant zero crossings of the derivatives) statistical approach to a newly compiled δ18O database for the Jurassic, we demonstrate the occurrence of major and multiscale δ18O changes mainly related to climate disturbances. For the first time, two long-term anomalies in δ18O are identified during the Toarcian and the Late Jurassic, in conjunction with intensive volcanism in large igneous provinces. These results support a strong influence of repeated volcanic pulses on the modulation of pCO2, temperatures, and polar ice cap volumes over protracted periods. At shorter time scales, 13 relatively rapid (0.5–1 m.y.) and significant warming and cooling events are identified, the causes of which include transient fluctuations in greenhouse gas concentrations related to still-debated mechanisms.
- Received 16 July 2010.
- Revision received 23 September 2010.
- Accepted 6 October 2010.
- © 2011 Geological Society of America