Phanerozoic Climatic Zones and Paleogeography
with a Consideration of Atmospheric CO
2 Levels

A. J. Boucot*, Chen Xu**, and C. R. Scotese***

*Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA

**Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
39 East Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, P.R.C.

***Department of Geology, University of Texas, Arlington, TX 76019, USA

Received February 17, 2003

Abstract—Compilation of climatically sensitive deposits (chiefly evaporites, calcretes, coals, bauxites, kaolins
and kaolinites, tillites, dropstones, glendonites and cool-water marine sediments, palms, as well as crocodilians etc.)
through twenty-seven Phanerozoic time intervals enables one to revise the contemporary paleogeography in a
manner consistent with the climatic information. We also take account of some of the available biogeographic
information. Comparison of the changing Phanerozoic global climatic gradients based on geological evidence
with the previously published models of Phanerozoic atmospheric CO2 based on geochemical assumptions
indicates that either the assumptions on which the geochemical models are based are erroneous or that atmo-
spheric CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. We prefer the former possibility.

Key words: climatically sensitive deposits, paleogeography, atmospheric CO2, climatic zones.


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