Friday, 1 September 2017

PETM - all you need to know

Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum was Caused by Atlantic Opening

This article (which is based on this one) suggests that the PETM was caused, not by the release of methane hydrates, but by volcanic activity, in particular the opening of the Atlantic. The isotope ratios of the carbon is the source of this conclusion. Forams from deep sea cores are the specimens used. They also give evidence of pH changes from study of their boron isotopes.

The amount of carbon released per year is worked out as 0.2 gigatonnes. And this led to a sudden (in geological terms) temperature rise of 5 degrees Celsius. Currently humans are releasing 10 gigatonnes per year. 

Fingal's Cave - a cause of the PE Thermal Maximum?

No comments: