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Latest Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum Stories

Dwarfism In Mammals Also Occurred During Second Warming Period
2013-11-03 05:03:03

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While scientists have known for several years that some mammals became smaller during a period of warming known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), researchers from the University of Michigan have found a second instance of mammalian “dwarfing” attributable to increasing temperatures. During the PETM, which occurred approximately 55 million years ago, mammals such as primates and groups that include deer and horses...

Oceans May Change Drastically In The Future
2013-08-06 05:37:31

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study, led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, reveals the look of the oceans will change drastically in the future as the coming greenhouse world alters marine food webs and gives certain species advantages over others, if history's closest analog is any indication. Richard Norris, paleobiologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, worked with an international team of scientists to show the ancient...

Ancient And Modern Tiny Marine Algae Provide Climate Change Clues
2013-02-04 10:21:39

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK) Microscopic ocean algae called coccolithophores are providing clues about the impact of climate change both now and many millions of years ago. The study found that their response to environmental change varies between species, in terms of how quickly they grow. Coccolithophores, a type of plankton, are not only widespread in the modern ocean but they are also prolific in the fossil record because their tiny calcium carbonate shells are...

2012-04-02 21:04:05

A series of global warming events called hyperthermals that occurred more than 50 million years ago had a similar origin to a much larger hyperthermal of the period, the Pelaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), new research has found. The findings represent a breakthrough in understanding the major “burp” of carbon, equivalent to burning the entire reservoir of fossil fuels on Earth, that occurred during the PETM. “As geologists, it unnerves us that we don´t know...

Ocean Acidification Rapid Compared To Ancient Times
2012-03-02 13:49:09

The world´s oceans may be acidifying more rapidly than they have at any time in the past 300 million years due to high levels of pollution, according to research published this week in the journal Science. Researchers, led by Columbia University´s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Bristol, assessed a number of climate change events in Earth´s history, including an asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. They warn that too...

Climate Change Drove Shrinkage In Ancient Horse
2012-02-24 05:39:51

The ancient sifrhippus, the earliest known horse, lived around 50 million years ago. It was very distinct in its appearance because it was only about the size of a modern day house cat, weighing in around 12 pounds. The horse lived in what is known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a 175,000 year period where the Earth's atmospheric temperature rose by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, caused by a great release of carbon into the atmosphere and oceans. In response to the...

Image 1 - Methane Could Be The Answer To 56-million-year Question
2011-11-09 12:32:20

Rice researchers show ocean could have contained enough methane to cause drastic climate change The release of massive amounts of carbon from methane hydrate frozen under the seafloor 56 million years ago has been linked to the greatest change in global climate since a dinosaur-killing asteroid presumably hit Earth 9 million years earlier. New calculations by researchers at Rice University show that this long-controversial scenario is quite possible. Nobody knows for sure what started...

Climate Change Could Be Causing Plants, Animals To Shrink
2011-10-17 05:18:01

Warmer temperatures and a lack of water are causing some types of plants and animals to become smaller, claims a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. According to Marlowe Hood of the AFP, authors Jennifer Sheridan and David Bickford of the National University of Singapore discovered that nearly 45% of the species they studied had decreased in size over the past few generations, and they say climate change is at fault. "The impact of rapidly climbing...

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2011-06-21 06:20:00

The world's oceans are declining much faster than previously believed, a consortium of ocean experts warned on Monday. Ocean life is "at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history," the scientists said in their report, blaming the problem on pollution, overfishing and other man-made causes that are acting simultaneously in ways not seen before. The panel of 27 of the world's top ocean experts said these conditions are pushing the oceans to the...

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2011-06-15 13:25:00

Researchers have pinpointed the timing of the start of an ancient global warming episode known as the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM). The early part of the Cenozoic era witnessed a series of transit global warming events called hyperthermals.  The most severe of these was the PETM at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, which took place around 56 million years ago. Over a 20,000-year period, ocean temperatures rose globally by about 41 degrees Fahrenheit.  The team said one...