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

Aze, Tracy, Pearson, Paul Nicholas, 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) , pp. 739-742. 10.1130/G35637.1

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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 (δ18O) of single specimens of exceptionally well-preserved planktonic foraminifera from the PETM in Tanzania (∼19°S paleolatitude), which yield extremely low δ18O, down to <–5‰. After accounting for changes in seawater chemistry and pH, we estimate from the foraminifer δ18O 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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Publisher: Geological Society of America
ISSN: 0091-7613
Funders: NERC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 3 June 2014
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 08:46
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/65239

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