Southern ocean warming, sea level and hydrological change during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Online Access: Get full text
doi: 10.5149/cp-7-47-2011
Author(s): Sluijs, Appy; Bijl, Peter K.; Schouten, S.; Röhl, Ursula; Reichart, Gert-Jan; Brinkhuis, Henk
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Universiteit Utrecht, Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht, Netherlands
Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee, Netherlands
Universität Bremen, Germany
Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands
Volume Title: Climate of the Past
Source: Climate of the Past, 7(1), p.47-61. Publisher: Copernicus, Katlenburg-Lindau, International. ISSN: 1814-9324
Note: In English. Includes supplement:; published in Climate of the Past Discussion: 8 September 2010,; accessed in Oct., 2011. 124 refs.; illus., incl. sketch map
Summary: A brief (∼150 kyr) period of widespread global average surface warming marks the transition between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, ∼56 million years ago. This so-called "Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum" (PETM) is associated with the massive injection of 13C-depleted carbon, reflected in a negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE). Biotic responses include a global abundance peak (acme) of the subtropical dinoflagellate Apectodinium. Here we identify the PETM in a marine sedimentary sequence deposited on the East Tasman Plateau at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1172 and show, based on the organic paleothermometer TEX86, that southwest Pacific sea surface temperatures increased from ∼26 °C to ∼33°C during the PETM. Such temperatures before, during and after the PETM are >10 °C warmer than predicted by paleoclimate model simulations for this latitude. In part, this discrepancy may be explained by potential seasonal biases in the TEX86 proxy in polar oceans. Additionally, the data suggest that not only Arctic, but also Antarctic temperatures may be underestimated in simulations of ancient greenhouse climates by current generation fully coupled climate models. An early influx of abundant Apectodinium confirms that environmental change preceded the CIE on a global scale. Organic dinoflagellate cyst assemblages suggest a local decrease in the amount of river run off reaching the core site during the PETM, possibly in concert with eustatic rise. Moreover, the assemblages suggest changes in seasonality of the regional hydrological system and storm activity. Finally, significant variation in dinoflagellate cyst assemblages during the PETM indicates that southwest Pacific climates varied significantly over time scales of 103 - 104 years during this event, a finding comparable to similar studies of PETM successions from the New Jersey Shelf.
Year of Publication: 2011
Research Program: ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Antarctica; Apectodinium; C-13/C-12; Carbon; Cenozoic; Climate change; Dinoflagellata; East Antarctica; Eocene; Geochemical indicators; Global change; Global warming; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Leg 189; Microfossils; Miospores; ODP Site 1172; Ocean Drilling Program; Pacific Ocean; Paleo-oceanography; Paleocene; Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum; Paleoclimatology; Paleoenvironment; Paleogene; Paleotemperature; Palynomorphs; Pollen; Sea-level changes; Sea-surface temperature; South Pacific; South Tasman Rise; Southern Ocean; Southwest Pacific; Spores; Stable isotopes; Tasman Plateau; Tasman Sea; Tectonics; Tertiary; West Pacific
Coordinates: S435800 S435700 E1495600 E1495500
Record ID: 2012002714
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2020 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Copernicus Gesellschaft, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany