Paleogeography and climate

Quantifying the climatic impact of the continental configuration


The continental configuration significantly changed through geological times, with the periodic assembly and breakup of supercontinents. These continental changes impacted the Earth’s albedo, the ocean circulation, the transport of heat to the poles, continental climate and weathering… and finally the Earth System as a whole. This research axis consists in quantifying this impact to improve our understanding of the evolution of Earth’s climate during the Phanerozoic.

Impact of continental drift on sea-surface temperatures during the Late Ordovician. After Pohl et al., 2014.

Selected references

  • Wong Hearing, T.W., Pohl, A., Williams, M., Donnadieu, Y., Harvey, T.H.P., Scotese, C.R., Sepulchre, P., Franc, A., and Vandenbroucke, T.R.A., 2021, Quantitative comparison of geological data and model simulations constrains early Cambrian geography and climate: Nature Communications, v. 12, p. 3868, doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24141-5. [link]

  • Pohl, A., Laugié, M., Borgomano, J., Michel, J., Lanteaume, C., Scotese, C.R., Frau, C., Poli, E., Donnadieu, Y., 2019. Quantifying the paleogeographic driver of Cretaceous carbonate platform development using paleoecological niche modeling. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 514, 222-232. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.10.017. [link]

  • Ruvalcaba Baroni, I., Pohl, A., van Helmond, N.A.G.M., Papadomanolaki, N.M., Coe, A.L., Cohen, A.S., van de Shootbrugge, B., Donnadieu, Y., Slomp, C.P., 2018. Ocean circulation in the Toarcian (Early Jurassic): a key control on deoxygenation and carbon burial on the European Shelf. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 33(9), 994-1012. doi:10.1029/2018PA003394. [link]

  • Pohl, A., Donnadieu, Y., Le Hir, G., Buoncristiani, J.F., Vennin, E., 2014. Effect of the Ordovician paleogeography on the (in)stability of the climate. Climate of the Past 10, 2053–2066. doi:10.5194/cp-10-2053-2014. [link]