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Abrupt Climate Change and Transient Climates during the Paleogene: A Marine Perspective

Abrupt Climate Change and Transient Climates during the Paleogene: A Marine Perspective Detailed investigations of high latitude sequences recently collected by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) indicate that periods of rapid climate change often culminated in brief transient climates, with more extreme conditions than subsequent long term climates. Two examples of such events have been identified in the Paleogene; the first in latest Paleocene time in the middle of a warming trend that began several million years earlier: the second in earliest Oligocene time near the end of a Middle Eocene to Late Oligocene global cooling trend. Superimposed on the earlier event was a sudden and extreme warming of both high latitude sea surface and deep ocean waters. Imbedded in the latter transition was an abrupt decline in high latitude temperatures and the brief appearance of a full size continental ice-sheet on Antarctica. In both cases the climate extremes were not stable, lasting for less than a few hundred thousand years, indicating a temporary or transient climate state. Geochemical and sedimentological evidence suggest that both Paleogene climate events were accompanied by reorganizations in ocean circulation, and major perturbations in marine productivity and the global carbon cycle. The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum was marked by reduced oceanic turnover and decreases in global $$\delta^{13}C $$ and in marine productivity, while the Early Oligocene glacial maximum was accompanied by intensification of deep ocean circulation and elevated $$\delta^{13}C $$ and productivity. It has been suggested that sudden changes in climate and/or ocean circulation might occur as a result of gradual forcing as certain physical thresholds are exceeded. We investigate the possibility that sudden reorganizations in ocean and/or atmosphere circulation during these abrupt transitions generated short-term positive feedbacks that briefly sustained these transient climatic states. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Geology University of Chicago Press

Abrupt Climate Change and Transient Climates during the Paleogene: A Marine Perspective

The Journal of Geology , Volume 101 (2): 23 – Mar 1, 1993

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Publisher
University of Chicago Press
ISSN
0022-1376
eISSN
1537-5269
DOI
10.1086/648216
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Detailed investigations of high latitude sequences recently collected by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) indicate that periods of rapid climate change often culminated in brief transient climates, with more extreme conditions than subsequent long term climates. Two examples of such events have been identified in the Paleogene; the first in latest Paleocene time in the middle of a warming trend that began several million years earlier: the second in earliest Oligocene time near the end of a Middle Eocene to Late Oligocene global cooling trend. Superimposed on the earlier event was a sudden and extreme warming of both high latitude sea surface and deep ocean waters. Imbedded in the latter transition was an abrupt decline in high latitude temperatures and the brief appearance of a full size continental ice-sheet on Antarctica. In both cases the climate extremes were not stable, lasting for less than a few hundred thousand years, indicating a temporary or transient climate state. Geochemical and sedimentological evidence suggest that both Paleogene climate events were accompanied by reorganizations in ocean circulation, and major perturbations in marine productivity and the global carbon cycle. The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum was marked by reduced oceanic turnover and decreases in global $$\delta^{13}C $$ and in marine productivity, while the Early Oligocene glacial maximum was accompanied by intensification of deep ocean circulation and elevated $$\delta^{13}C $$ and productivity. It has been suggested that sudden changes in climate and/or ocean circulation might occur as a result of gradual forcing as certain physical thresholds are exceeded. We investigate the possibility that sudden reorganizations in ocean and/or atmosphere circulation during these abrupt transitions generated short-term positive feedbacks that briefly sustained these transient climatic states.

Journal

The Journal of GeologyUniversity of Chicago Press

Published: Mar 1, 1993

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