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Late Lutetian thermal maximum—crossing a thermal threshold in Earth's climate system?

Late Lutetian thermal maximum—crossing a thermal threshold in Earth's climate system?
Late Lutetian thermal maximum—crossing a thermal threshold in Earth's climate system?

Recognizing and deciphering transient global warming events triggered by massive release of carbon into Earth's ocean-atmosphere climate system in the past are important for understanding climate under elevated pCO2 conditions. Here we present new high-resolution geochemical records including benthic foraminiferal stable isotope data with clear evidence of a short-lived (30 kyr) warming event at 41.52 Ma. The event occurs in the late Lutetian within magnetochron C19r and is characterized by a ∼2°C warming of the deep ocean in the southern South Atlantic. The magnitudes of the carbon and oxygen isotope excursions of the Late Lutetian Thermal Maximum are comparable to the H2 event (53.6 Ma) suggesting a similar response of the climate system to carbon cycle perturbations even in an already relatively cooler climate several million years after the Early Eocene Climate Optimum. Coincidence of the event with exceptionally high insolation values in the Northern Hemisphere at 41.52 Ma might indicate that Earth's climate system has a thermal threshold. When this tipping point is crossed, rapid positive feedback mechanisms potentially trigger transient global warming. The orbital configuration in this case could have caused prolonged warm and dry season leading to a massive release of terrestrial carbon into the ocean-atmosphere system initiating environmental change.

2°C warming of the deep ocean in the southern South Atlantic, Eocene transient (30 kyr) warming event at 41.52 Ma, Late Lutetian Thermal Maximum (LLTM) occurs within magnetochron C19r, LLTM coincidences with exceptionally high insolation, potential thermal threshold of Earth's climate system
1525-2027
73-82
Westerhold, T.
89fa20ad-d5fc-4f89-9e86-076156510286
Röhl, U.
e3029111-f8cc-4bf9-9433-829590c8645d
Donner, B.
812285cc-fada-4fef-b6e8-72c9aa4cf693
Frederichs, T.
2eff8a1a-fafd-48bf-82cf-c3521ccb4d40
Kordesch, W.E.C.
87c722f8-74fe-4ba4-b5e9-7018c1dff2a1
Bohaty, S.M.
af9dbe78-8b9f-44f2-ba1d-20795837d2d1
Hodell, D.A.
c9977ae9-d52c-4d74-8f01-08391ec61066
Laskar, J.
7a7d8383-403f-41bc-9a60-4ae379930d01
Zeebe, R.E.
a94a934c-a71d-465c-99f0-83067df5e50b
Westerhold, T.
89fa20ad-d5fc-4f89-9e86-076156510286
Röhl, U.
e3029111-f8cc-4bf9-9433-829590c8645d
Donner, B.
812285cc-fada-4fef-b6e8-72c9aa4cf693
Frederichs, T.
2eff8a1a-fafd-48bf-82cf-c3521ccb4d40
Kordesch, W.E.C.
87c722f8-74fe-4ba4-b5e9-7018c1dff2a1
Bohaty, S.M.
af9dbe78-8b9f-44f2-ba1d-20795837d2d1
Hodell, D.A.
c9977ae9-d52c-4d74-8f01-08391ec61066
Laskar, J.
7a7d8383-403f-41bc-9a60-4ae379930d01
Zeebe, R.E.
a94a934c-a71d-465c-99f0-83067df5e50b

Westerhold, T., Röhl, U., Donner, B., Frederichs, T., Kordesch, W.E.C., Bohaty, S.M., Hodell, D.A., Laskar, J. and Zeebe, R.E. (2018) Late Lutetian thermal maximum—crossing a thermal threshold in Earth's climate system? Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 19 (1), 73-82. (doi:10.1002/2017GC007240).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Recognizing and deciphering transient global warming events triggered by massive release of carbon into Earth's ocean-atmosphere climate system in the past are important for understanding climate under elevated pCO2 conditions. Here we present new high-resolution geochemical records including benthic foraminiferal stable isotope data with clear evidence of a short-lived (30 kyr) warming event at 41.52 Ma. The event occurs in the late Lutetian within magnetochron C19r and is characterized by a ∼2°C warming of the deep ocean in the southern South Atlantic. The magnitudes of the carbon and oxygen isotope excursions of the Late Lutetian Thermal Maximum are comparable to the H2 event (53.6 Ma) suggesting a similar response of the climate system to carbon cycle perturbations even in an already relatively cooler climate several million years after the Early Eocene Climate Optimum. Coincidence of the event with exceptionally high insolation values in the Northern Hemisphere at 41.52 Ma might indicate that Earth's climate system has a thermal threshold. When this tipping point is crossed, rapid positive feedback mechanisms potentially trigger transient global warming. The orbital configuration in this case could have caused prolonged warm and dry season leading to a massive release of terrestrial carbon into the ocean-atmosphere system initiating environmental change.

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Accepted/In Press date: 17 December 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 January 2018
Published date: January 2018
Keywords: 2°C warming of the deep ocean in the southern South Atlantic, Eocene transient (30 kyr) warming event at 41.52 Ma, Late Lutetian Thermal Maximum (LLTM) occurs within magnetochron C19r, LLTM coincidences with exceptionally high insolation, potential thermal threshold of Earth's climate system

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 419070
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/419070
ISSN: 1525-2027
PURE UUID: 2fda1aec-71c6-4238-a7b8-3ab4753451bc
ORCID for S.M. Bohaty: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1193-7398

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Date deposited: 28 Mar 2018 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 06:32

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