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Newly resolved stratigraphic records from late Paleozoic, ice-proximal basins of Gondwana provide an ideal framework for interpreting independently derived, temporal trends in the stable carbon and oxygen isotope compositions of paleotropical marine carbonates. Similarities in the timing and mode of environmental changes inferred from direct (stratigraphic) and proxy (isotopic) records suggest near-simultaneous climate variations that may be traced across high-latitude Gondwana and into the tropical to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. These results draw attention to the potential for using the records of widespread climate events as correlation tools. Disparities among records reflect differences in how climate signals are imparted on available climate indicators and, secondarily, the limitations of existing chronostratigraphic resolution, thereby highlighting the various controls on late Paleozoic climate. Results suggest that paleogeography played a major role in controlling both the onset and demise of the late Paleozoic ice age, which apparently began in the middle to upper Visean, reached an acme in the Early Permian, and deteriorated through the Middle Permian. The internal pacing and intensity of glaciation through this interval were modulated mainly by fluctuations in atmospheric pCO2, controlled largely by Corg sequestration in terrestrial environments.

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