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Latest Paleocene Stories

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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...

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2011-06-08 07:21:03

The present rate of greenhouse carbon dioxide emissions through fossil fuel burning is higher than that associated with an ancient episode of severe global warming, according to new research. The findings are published online this week by the journal Nature Geoscience. Around 55.9 million years ago, the Earth experienced a period of intense global warming known as the Palaeocene"“Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which lasted for around 170,000 years. During its main phase, average annual...

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2011-02-27 07:33:33

Scientists are unraveling the environmental changes that took place around the Arctic during an exceptional episode of ancient global warming. Newly published results from a high-resolution study of sediments collected on Spitsbergen represent a significant contribution to this endeavor. The study was led by Dr Ian Harding and Prof John Marshall of the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science (SOES), based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. Around 56...

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2010-11-12 08:26:05

The steamiest places on the planet are getting warmer. Conservative estimates suggest that tropical areas can expect temperature increases of 3 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. Does global warming spell doom for rainforests? Maybe not. Carlos Jaramillo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and colleagues report in the journal Science that nearly 60 million years ago rainforests prospered at temperatures that were 3-5 degrees higher and at atmospheric...

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2009-12-16 10:56:03

A University of Florida researcher has co-authored a study tracing the evolution of the modern opossum back to the extinction of the dinosaurs and finding evidence to support North America as the center of origin for all living marsupials. The study, to be published in PLoS ONE on Dec. 16, shows that peradectids, a family of marsupials known from fossils mostly found in North America and Eurasia, are a sister group of all living opossums. The findings are based in part on high-resolution CT...

2009-10-16 09:32:50

A team of researchers including a University of Florida paleontologist has used a rich cache of plant fossils discovered in Colombia to provide the first reliable evidence of how Neotropical rainforests looked 58 million years ago. Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution and UF, among others, found that many of the dominant plant families existing in today's Neotropical rainforests "” including legumes, palms, avocado and banana "” have maintained their ecological dominance...

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2009-10-13 07:25:22

Smithsonian researchers working in Colombia's Cerrej³n coal mine have unearthed the first megafossil evidence of a neotropical rainforest. Titanoboa, the world's biggest snake, lived in this forest 58 million years ago at temperatures 3-5 C warmer than in rainforests today, indicating that rainforests flourished during warm periods. "Modern neotropical rainforests, with their palms and spectacular flowering-plant diversity, seem to have come into existence in the Paleocene epoch, shortly...

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2009-10-07 09:39:02

Ancient soil biota decreased in size by up to 46 percent during period 55 million years ago Ancient soil-inhabiting creatures decreased in body size by nearly half in response to a period of boosted carbon dioxide levels and higher temperatures, scientists have discovered. The researchers' findings were published in the October 5, 2009, early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Jon Smith, a scientist at the Kansas Geological Survey, and...

2009-08-06 12:54:43

A period of global warming from 53 million to 47 million years ago strongly influenced plants and animals, spurring a biodiversity boom in western North America, researchers from three research museums report in a paper published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."Today, the middle of Wyoming is a vast desert, and a few antelope and deer are all you see," said lead author Michael Woodburne, honorary curator of geology at the Museum of Northern Arizona....

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2009-07-14 11:50:00

Unknown processes account for much of warming in ancient hot spellNo one knows exactly how much Earth's climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study this week suggests scientists' best predictions about global warming might be incorrect. The study, which appears in Nature Geoscience, found that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth's ancient past. The study, which was published...


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'karpos', fruit.
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