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Extreme warming of tropical waters during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Extreme warming of tropical waters during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
Extreme warming of tropical waters during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), ca. 56 Ma, was a major global environmental perturbation attributed to a rapid rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Geochemical records of tropical sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) from the PETM are rare and are typically affected by post-depositional diagenesis. To circumvent this issue, we have analyzed oxygen isotope ratios (?18O) of single specimens of exceptionally well-preserved planktonic foraminifera from the PETM in Tanzania (?19°S paleolatitude), which yield extremely low ?18O, down to <–5‰. After accounting for changes in seawater chemistry and pH, we estimate from the foraminifer ?18O that tropical SSTs rose by >3 °C during the PETM and may have exceeded 40 °C. Calcareous plankton are absent from a large part of the Tanzania PETM record; extreme environmental change may have temporarily caused foraminiferal exclusion.
0091-7613
739-742
Aze, T.
7209bf00-9a64-43d9-967f-e4569ebd2d98
Pearson, P.N.
a96a4f03-ca65-4d4d-a1a3-1a471ebe6d5a
Dickson, A.J.
4b523dcc-273e-4e9d-82da-50013417c60a
Badger, M.P.S.
8baae9f2-b957-4bdd-9219-1423ae0ec4ef
Bown, P.R.
366246c0-8af5-4444-991f-7231257808eb
Pancost, R.D.
893ebd86-164b-437e-8d26-cfe0d5ed6b14
Gibbs, S.J.
82dfbcbc-3a8a-40da-8a80-fe7ad83f3110
Huber, B.T.
10e7e834-c249-436d-80cc-be9a41a59f8c
Leng, M.J.
d3b48578-3020-44f7-a088-827aef7502e7
Coe, A.L.
7bd9d73c-e237-496f-bcb1-eb8632434f3a
Cohen, A.S.
ae461b65-3344-4e8b-9040-4bd0b5720266
Foster, G.L.
fbaa7255-7267-4443-a55e-e2a791213022
Aze, T.
7209bf00-9a64-43d9-967f-e4569ebd2d98
Pearson, P.N.
a96a4f03-ca65-4d4d-a1a3-1a471ebe6d5a
Dickson, A.J.
4b523dcc-273e-4e9d-82da-50013417c60a
Badger, M.P.S.
8baae9f2-b957-4bdd-9219-1423ae0ec4ef
Bown, P.R.
366246c0-8af5-4444-991f-7231257808eb
Pancost, R.D.
893ebd86-164b-437e-8d26-cfe0d5ed6b14
Gibbs, S.J.
82dfbcbc-3a8a-40da-8a80-fe7ad83f3110
Huber, B.T.
10e7e834-c249-436d-80cc-be9a41a59f8c
Leng, M.J.
d3b48578-3020-44f7-a088-827aef7502e7
Coe, A.L.
7bd9d73c-e237-496f-bcb1-eb8632434f3a
Cohen, A.S.
ae461b65-3344-4e8b-9040-4bd0b5720266
Foster, G.L.
fbaa7255-7267-4443-a55e-e2a791213022

Aze, T., Pearson, P.N., Dickson, A.J., Badger, M.P.S., Bown, P.R., Pancost, R.D., Gibbs, S.J., Huber, B.T., Leng, M.J., Coe, A.L., Cohen, A.S. and Foster, G.L. (2014) Extreme warming of tropical waters during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Geology, 42 (9), 739-742. (doi:10.1130/G35637.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), ca. 56 Ma, was a major global environmental perturbation attributed to a rapid rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Geochemical records of tropical sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) from the PETM are rare and are typically affected by post-depositional diagenesis. To circumvent this issue, we have analyzed oxygen isotope ratios (?18O) of single specimens of exceptionally well-preserved planktonic foraminifera from the PETM in Tanzania (?19°S paleolatitude), which yield extremely low ?18O, down to <–5‰. After accounting for changes in seawater chemistry and pH, we estimate from the foraminifer ?18O that tropical SSTs rose by >3 °C during the PETM and may have exceeded 40 °C. Calcareous plankton are absent from a large part of the Tanzania PETM record; extreme environmental change may have temporarily caused foraminiferal exclusion.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 June 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 July 2014
Published date: September 2014
Organisations: Geochemistry, Paleooceanography & Palaeoclimate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 369145
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/369145
ISSN: 0091-7613
PURE UUID: c32c408e-d5b1-42e2-af3b-f998e06f9992

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Sep 2014 15:15
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 01:40

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