Major intensification of Atlantic overturning circulation at the onset of Paleogene greenhouse warmth.

Batenburg, S. J. , Voigt, S., Friedrich, O., Osborne, Anne Helen , Bornemann, A. , Klein, T., Pérez-Díaz, L. and Frank, Martin (2018) Major intensification of Atlantic overturning circulation at the onset of Paleogene greenhouse warmth. Open Access Nature Communications, 9 (4954). DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-07457-7.

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Abstract

During the Late Cretaceous and early Cenozoic the Earth experienced prolonged climatic cooling most likely caused by decreasing volcanic activity and atmospheric CO2 levels. However, the causes and mechanisms of subsequent major global warming culminating in the late Paleocene to Eocene greenhouse climate remain enigmatic. We present deep and intermediate water Nd-isotope records from the North and South Atlantic to decipher the control of the opening Atlantic Ocean on ocean circulation and its linkages to the evolution of global climate. The marked convergence of Nd-isotope signatures 59 million years ago indicates a major intensification of deep-water exchange between the North and South Atlantic, which coincided with the turning point of deep-water temperatures towards early Paleogene warming. We propose that this intensification of Atlantic overturning circulation in concert with increased atmospheric CO2 from continental rifting marked a climatic tipping point contributing to a more efficient distribution of heat over the planet.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Atlantic overturning circulation, Paleogene greenhouse warmth
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/s41467-018-07457-7
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 15:26
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:00
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/44824

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