Jan Veizer

Ján Veizer (born June 22, 1941) is the Distinguished University Professor (emeritus) of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa and Institute for Geology, Mineralogy und Geophysis, of Bochum Ruhr University. He held the NSERC/Noranda/CIFAR Industrial Chair in Earth System Isotope and Environmental Geochemistry until 2004. He is an award-winning isotope geochemist; his research interests have included the use of chemical and isotopic techniques in determining Earth's climatic and environmental history.[1]

Born in Pobedim, Slovakia, Veizer has received the Killam Award (Canada Council, 1986), the 1987 W.W. Hutchison Medal for young individuals making exceptional advances in Canadian earth science research; the 1991 Willet G. Miller Medal for outstanding contributions in geology; the 1992 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize,which carried a 1.55 million euro value, awarded for understanding of the geochemistry of sediments; the 1995 Logan Medal which is the Geological Association of Canada's highest honour ; the 2000 Bancroft Award for contributions furthering the public understanding of the Earth sciences.

Cosmic rays and climate change

In a letter to Nature, Veizer et al.(2000), compared the reconstruction of tropical sea surface temperatures throughout the Phanerozoic eon (the past ~550 Myr) with the variable galactic cosmic rays and concluded that their results can be reconciled if atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were not the principal driver of climate variability on geological timescales for at least one-third of the Phanerozoic eon, or if the reconstructed carbon dioxide concentrations are not reliable.[2]

In 2003, together with Nir J. Shaviv, an Israeli astrophysicist, Veizer published a paper in GSA Today suggesting a reduced (capped) influence of carbon dioxide to climate change and attributing a more significant influence to cosmic rays.[3] Veizer and Shaviv commented that their model on a doubled carbon dioxide content in the last century would result in a warming of 1.5 °C, according to Veizer and Shaviv in line with the minimum level of the IPCC estimate between 1.5 and 4.5 °C.[4]

However, the paper was criticized by a subsequent publication in 2004 by Stefan Rahmstorf and other climate scientists in the journal Eos (American Geophysical Union), in which the authors wrote, "The correlation of CRF [cosmic ray flux] and climate over the past 520 m.y. appears to not hold up under scrutiny".[5]

Selected publications

Veizer, Ján; Hoefs, Jochen, The nature of O-18 /O-16 and C-13 /C-12 secular trends in sedimentary carbonate rocks, 1976, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 40, Issue 11, pp. 1387–1395. Abstract

J Veizer, SL Jansen: Basement and sedimentary recycling and continental evolution. Journal of Geology 87:341–370, 1979

Uwe Brand and Jan Veizer: Chemical diagenesis of a multicomponent carbonate system; 1, Trace elements, Journal of Sedimentary Research; December 1980; v. 50; no. 4; p. 1219-1236.

Jan Veizer, Trace elements and isotopes in sedimentary carbonates, Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry; January 1983; v. 11;1; p. 265-299

Ján Veizer, Davin Alab, Karem Azmy, Peter Bruckschen, Dieter Buhl, Frank Bruhn, Giles A. F. Cardena, Andreas Diener, Stefan Ebneth, Yves Godderis, Torsten Jasper, Christoph Korte, Frank Pawellek, Olaf G. Podlaha, and Harald Strauss, 87Sr/86Sr, 13C and 18O evolution of Phanerozoic seawater. Chem. Geol. 161, 59-88 (1999).

Veizer, J., Godderis, Y. & François. L.M., Evidence for decoupling of atmospheric CO
and global climate during the Phanerozoic eon. Nature 408, 698-701 (2000)

Veizer, J. (2005). Celestial climate driver: a perspective from four billion years of the carbon cycle. Geoscience Canada, 32, 13-28.

Ferguson, P.R. and Veizer, J. (2007). The coupling of water and carbon fluxes via the terrestrial biosphere and its significance to the Earth's climate system. Journal Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, 112, D24S06, doi:10.1029/2007JD008431.

Korte, C., Jones, P.J., Brand, U., Mertmann, D. and Veizer, J. (2008). Oxygen isotope values from high latitudes: clues for Permian sea-surface temperature gradients and Late Paleozoic deglaciation. Palaeogeography, Paleoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 269, 1-16.

Shaviv, Nir J.; Veizer, Ján (2003), "Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?" (PDF), GSA Today, 13 (7): 4–10, doi:10.1130/1052-5173(2003)013<0004:CDOPC>2.0.CO;2, archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-04, retrieved 2007-04-19

Scherer K., Fichtner H., Borrmann T., Beer J., Desorgher L., Flükiger E., Fahr H., Ferreira S.E., Langner U.W.,Potgieter M.S. (2006) Interstellar-Terrestrial Relations: Variable Cosmic Environments, The Dynamic Heliosphere, and Their Imprints on Terrestrial Archives and Climate. Space Science Reviews 127(1-4): 327. 2006

See also


  1. NSERC - Chairholder Profile
  2. Veizer, Ján; Godderis, Yves; François, Louis M. (2000): Evidence for decoupling of atmospheric CO
    and global climate during the Phanerozoic eon
    . In: Letters to Nature 408, 698-701 (December 2000) doi:10.1038/35047044
  3. Nir J. Shaviv, Ján Veizer: Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?, 2003, S. 4–10, Geological Society of America, https://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/13/7/pdf/i1052-5173-13-7-4.pdf
  4. "Schlagabtausch über die Ursachen des Treibhauseffekts". Informationsdienst Wissenschaft, Nachrichten, Termine, Experten.
  5. Stefan Rahmstorf; David Archer; Denton S. Ebel; Otto Eugster; Jean Jouzel; Douglas Maraun; Urs Neu; Gavin A. Schmidt; Jeff Sever-Inghaus; Andrew J. Weaver; Jim Zachos (January 27, 2004). "Cosmic rays, carbon dioxide, and climate" (PDF). Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. 85 (4): 38–41. Bibcode:2004EOSTr..85...38R. doi:10.1029/2004EO040002.
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