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Visitor geology lesson by David Middleton

PETM = Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Most

Determine zero. Cenozoic stratigraphic column. (ICS Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy)

Analysis Article
Temporal Scaling of Carbon Emission and Accumulation Charges: Trendy Anthropogenic Emissions In comparison with Estimates of PETM Onset Accumulation

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Philip D. Gingerich
First printed: 30 January 2019


Plain Language Abstract
The Paleocene‐Eocene thermal most (PETM) is a world greenhouse warming occasion that occurred 56 million years in the past, inflicting extinction on this planet’s oceans and accelerated evolution on the continents. It was brought on by launch of carbon dioxide and different greenhouse gases to the environment. After we evaluate the speed of launch of greenhouse gases at this time to the speed of accumulation in the course of the PETM, we should evaluate the charges on a standard time scale. Projection of contemporary charges to a PETM time scale is tightly constrained and exhibits that we are actually emitting carbon some 9–10 occasions quicker than in the course of the PETM. If the current development of accelerating carbon emissions continues, we might even see PETM‐magnitude extinction and accelerated evolution in as few as 140 years or about 5 human generations.

American Geohysterical Union

H/T to Jack Dale for this gem.

Gingerich, 2019 is a current paper reiterating the PETM Rooster Little of the Sea meme. Within the feedback part of a current publish, it was cited as proof of imminent disaster and adopted up by a remark that includes this picture from Clear Tecnica:

Determine 1.  Earth ought to already be Venus.

I simply needed to observe this again to the Clear Tecnica article… Their scientific prowess is sort of all the time laughable… And I used to be not disenchanted.

Ambiance Absorbing CO2 Quicker Than PETM, When Dinosaurs Perished

March 22nd, 2016 by Sandy Dechert

A new examine in Nature Geoscience, led by Richard Zeebe of the College of Hawaii, checked out an anomalous time interval known as the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Most, or PETM. This phenomenon occurred about 56 million years in the past, about ten million years following the start of the Cenozoic period (Age of Mammals), nearly when the dinosaurs grew to become extinct.

In the course of the PETM, concentrations of carbon dioxide within the environment spiked by 5 levels Celsius, far greater than they’ve risen since human preindustrial ranges 200 years in the past. Local weather scientists and world coverage makers agree that 2 levels extra is all people can most likely take—or possibly 1.5, as extra cautious voices are warning.


The investigation signifies that earth’s inhabitants now’s emitting carbon into the environment quicker than carbonization at some other time in earth’s historical past for the reason that PETM. Zeebe explains:

“In the event you look over your complete Cenozoic, the final 66 million years, the one occasion that we all know of in the mean time, that has an enormous carbon launch, and occurs over a comparatively quick time frame, is the PETM. We even have to return to comparatively outdated intervals, as a result of within the newer previous, we don’t see something corresponding to what people are at the moment doing.”

In truth, our present price of anthropogenic carbon launch is a minimum of an order of magnitude (10x) greater than what the world skilled in the course of the PETM. The examine concludes that “on condition that the present price of carbon launch is unprecedented all through the Cenozoic, we have now successfully entered an period of a no-analogue state.” In different phrases, earth has apparently by no means seen a scenario like at this time’s for a minimum of 66 million years, if ever. At the moment, the hothouse world lasted over 1,000 centuries.

Clear Tecnica

What journalistic abilities!

This phenomenon occurred about 56 million years in the past, about ten million years following the start of the Cenozoic period (Age of Mammals), nearly when the dinosaurs grew to become extinct.

The PETM wasn’t “nearly when the dinosaurs grew to become extinct.”  10 million years later is just not “nearly when.” The Okay-T (or Okay-Pg) mass extinction worn out 75% of all species on Earth, in line with some estimates, taking out total taxonomic genera and households, whereas placing severe dents into some orders and courses.

Determine 2.  The 5 actual mass extinction occasions are numbered 1-5.  Every is accompanied by a pointy drop in marine biodiversity.  Cambrian fauna = yellow, Paleozoic fauna = inexperienced, Trendy fauna = blue, and gentle bodied organisms = purple.  Be aware the full lack of a dip wherever within the Tertiary Interval.  “Redrawn from Sepkoski, J.J. Jr, 1984, A kinetic mannequin of Phanerozoic taxonomic variety, III.  Publish Paleozoic households and mass extinctions: Paleobiology 10:246-267.” SEPM Strata

Aside from the largely non permanent extinction of some benthic foraminifera, the PETM was a interval of thriving biodiversity.

Determine three. Cenozoic biodiversity of Amazonia (Hoorn et al., 2010).  Rain forests should like “ocean acidification.”

This is without doubt one of the most priceless quotes ever…

In the course of the PETM, concentrations of carbon dioxide within the environment spiked by 5 levels Celsius…

Sandy Dechert, you earned a zillion Billy Madison’s for this!

Zeebe et al., 2016 is definitely a well-done little bit of analysis, aside from the uber-alarmist title,  Anthropogenic carbon launch price unprecedented in the course of the previous 66 million years… Lions and tigers and bears!  Anthony lined it on this 2016 publish right here on WUWT.

Let’s simply settle for in arguendo that the fashionable price of carbon launch to the environment and oceans is definitely unprecedented in 66 million years… So what?

Nearly all the impact of CO2 on temperature and seawater pH is basically instantaneous.  The Transient Local weather Response (TCR) is coincident with the rise in CO2.  TCR is >80% of the full warming impact.  The remaining <20% happens over a whole bunch of years, the place it will likely be within the “noise stage.”

Determine four. TAR Local weather Change 2001: The Scientific Foundation, IPCC

Seawater pH is a perform of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC, ΣCO2) and Whole Alkalinity (TA).

Determine 5. ΣCO2, TA and pH.  (Zeebe and Wolf-Galdrow)

ΣCO2 (DIC) and TA are “conservative portions,” unaffected by modifications in strain and temperature and might be calculated if any two of two of the next parameters: pCO2, pH (not pH) and ΣCO2, and the full dissolved boron are identified.

ΣCO2 = [CO2]+[HCO3–]+[CO32-]

TA = [HCO3–]+ 2[CO32-]+[B(OH)4–]+[OH–]-[H+]

This course of can also be principally instantaneous.

Determine 6.  TA and DIC vs CO2

A examine of seawater pH close to energetic volcanic CO2 vents within the Mediterranean (Kerrison et al., 2011) discovered that the pH instantly adjoining to the vent was nonetheless alkaline, regardless of being subjected to the equal of practically 5,600 ppm CO2.

Determine 7. Seawater pH vs CO2

Partial strain and fugacity (μatm) are slightly decrease than what the blending ratio (ppm) could be, relying on temperature and humidity.  Nonetheless, they’re shut.  A partial strain (pCO2) of 350 μatm usually equates to about 350 ppm within the environment.   At practically 5,600 ppm CO2 the seawater was nonetheless alkaline, not acidic.

Even when anthropogenic carbon emissions are “unprecedented in the course of the previous 66 million years,” it’s clear that comparisons to the PETM are, at finest, irrelevant and, at worst, deliberately deceptive.

Our “unprecedented” carbon emissions will most likely push atmospheric CO2 to wherever from 500 to 700 ppm by the top of this century.  Based mostly on an actual world “enterprise as standard” emissions state of affairs, with oil consumption peaking round 2060, coal consumption remaining comparatively steady, pure gasoline displacing oil at its present tempo and no carbon tax, I provide you with a CO2 stage proper about inline with RCP 6.zero, “a mitigation state of affairs, which means it consists of specific steps to fight greenhouse gasoline emissions (on this case, via a carbon tax)“.

Determine eight.  RCP eight.5, Half Deux: “The stuff nightmares are made out of.”

A sensible TCR of 1.5 °C per doubling of CO2 yields about 2 °C of warming at 700 ppm, half of which has already occurred.

Determine 9.  An actual world (this world, not Venus) “enterprise as standard” state of affairs would barely nudge the dreaded 2 °C restrict by the yr 2100… Assuming that all the warming since 1850 is because of greenhouse forcing…9 Which it isn’t.

Contrasting the “Anthropocene” (faux phrase) with the PETM (actual acronym)

The PETM was most likely associated to the formation of the North Atlantic Massive Igneous Province (Storey et, al 2007), a interval of intense volcanic exercise related to the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean.

PETM atmospheric CO2 might have been wherever from 400-800 to over three,000 ppm.  The Mauna Loa CO2 time collection (MLO) doesn’t even get away of the Neogene noise stage.

Determine 10.  Cenozoic CO2 atmospheric mixing ratio and seawater partial strain.  Discover the large distinction between atmospheric CO2 and pCO2.  Additionally discover that pCO2 was greater earlier than and after the PETM and that stomata knowledge point out that CO2 was about what it’s at this time, aside from a brief period spike to about 800 ppmv 55.2 Mya.  Discuss settled science! Be aware: Older is to the correct.  Tirpati must be Tripati

Be aware how the PETM (55 Ma) is about as removed from a CO2 analog to trendy occasions because it presumably may very well be… until the PETM stomata knowledge are right, through which case AGW is much more insignificant than beforehand thought.

Relating to temperatures, the PETM can also be about as removed from being an analog to trendy occasions because it presumably may very well be.

Determine 11.  Excessive latitude SST (°C) From benthic foram δ18O.  Humorous how the PETM is usually cited as a nightmarish model of a real-world RCP8.5… Whereas the hotter EECO is a climatic optimum. (Zachos et al., 2001). Be aware: Older is to the correct.

Be aware that the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO) was simply as heat because the PETM and lasted longer.

To reveal how totally ridiculous it’s to explain the PETM as an analog for contemporary local weather change, we simply have to have a look at the Miocene Epoch, which was a lot cooler than the PETM and EECO.

Determine 12. Excessive latitude SST (°C) From benthic foram δ18O (Zachos, et al., 2001) and HadSST3 (Hadley Centre / UEA CRU by way of http://www.woodfortrees.org) plotted at similar scale, tied at 1950 AD.  Be aware: older is to the left.

Keep in mind that the HadSST3 knowledge are of a lot greater decision than the δ18O time collection.  The amplitude of the proxy time collection on multi-decadal to centennial time-scales must be thought of to be the minimal of the true variability on these time-scales, as a result of a lot decrease decision than the instrumental knowledge (Ljungqvist, F.C. 2010).  Regardless of this, the fashionable ~1 °C rise since pre-industrial occasions doesn’t even get away of the Pleistocene noise stage… one other 1 °C rise received’t even get away of the Pleistocene noise stage.

The PETM can also be usually cited as an analog for Rooster Little of the Sea…

Determine 13.  Cenozoic seawater pH from boron isotopes in planktonic foraminifera (modified after Pearson & Palmer, 2000). Be aware that pH was decrease than the PETM 51.5 (EECO) and 59.5 Ma. Be aware: Older is to the correct.  Trendy pH knowledge (HOTS, Dore et al., 2009) are posted for comparability.  As with temperatures, the amplitude of the proxy time collection on multi-decadal to centennial time-scales must be thought of to be the minimal of the true variability on these time-scales, as a result of a lot decrease decision than the instrumental knowledge.

There merely isn’t any analogy.  The paleogeography of the Cretaceous via the Eocene “Scorching Home Local weather” was very completely different than the “Ice Age Local weather” for the reason that early Oligocene.   The heat of the  PETM was largely a perform of plate tectonics.

The phrase “ocean acidification” was actually invented out of skinny air in 2003 by Ken Caldiera.  The connection between CO2, DIC, TA and the distribution of pelagic sediments has been understood for a very long time.

When the pH of seawater decreases, calcium carbonate dissolves.  In heat, shallow seas, at a pH of about eight.three, dissolution of aragonite and calcite particles by inorganic processes is sort of nonexistent.  Nonetheless, for the reason that classical research of the Challenger expedition, it has been identified that the proportion of calcium-carbonate particles in seafloor sediments decreases as depth of water will increase (Desk 5-1).  Such lower is especially fast at depths between 4000 and 6000 m.  Though the explanations for this lower have been debated, the proof means that calcium carbonate dissolves as a result of the CO2 focus will increase with depth.  The management on CO2 seems to be half organic; it outcomes from organic oxidation of organic-carbon compounds.  Additionally, the water lots at higher depth have been derived from the polar area; their temperature is decrease and the water accommodates extra dissolved CO2. Elevated focus of CO2 is in flip mirrored by decrease pH, which ends up in calcium carbonate dissolution.  Nonetheless, the rise of strain with depth may be concerned; such enhance impacts the dissociation of carbonic acid (Eqs. 5-11 and 5-12).  The depth at which the calcium-carbonate decreases most quickly is named the carbonate-compensation depth, outlined because the depth at which the speed of dissolution of stable calcium carbonate equals the speed of provide.

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Friedman and Sanders, pages 133-134. (1978)

Previous to Rooster Little of the Sea, the phrase was “shoaling of the lysocline” (a shallowing of the carbonate or calcite compensation depth).

Determine 14.  “Schematic cross part of the ocean exhibiting completely different depositional zones based mostly on the calcite compensation depth (Nichols, 2009).” WVU GEOL 616

The PETM exhibited a real shoaling of the lysoline.

Throughout Ocean Drilling Program Leg 208, six websites have been drilled at water depths between 2500 and 4770 m to get better decrease Cenozoic sediments on the northeastern flank of Walvis Ridge. Earlier drilling on this area (Deep Sea Drilling Undertaking [DSDP] Leg 74) recovered pelagic oozes and chalk spanning the Cretaceous/Paleogene (Okay/P), Paleocene/Eocene, and Eocene/Oligocene boundaries. The target of Leg 208 was to get better intact composite sequences of those “important” transitions from a variety of depths. Multichannel seismic knowledge (Meteor Cruise M49/1) together with info from DSDP Leg 74 websites have been used to determine websites the place steady sequences of decrease Cenozoic sediment must be current. Double to triple superior piston coring, occasional prolonged core barrel coring to deepen the holes, and high-resolution bodily property measurements have been employed to assemble “composite sections.” The composite sections present an in depth historical past of paleoceanographic variation related to a number of distinguished episodes of early Cenozoic local weather change, together with the Okay/P boundary, the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Most (PETM), the early Eocene Climatic Optimum, and the early Oligocene Glacial Most.

The PETM interval, the primary focus of Leg 208, was recovered at 5 websites alongside a depth transect of two.2 km. The sediment sequence is marked by a purple clay layer, which varies in thickness from 20 to 50 cm from website to website, inside a thick and uniform sequence of higher Paleocene and decrease Eocene foraminifer-bearing nannofossil ooze. The basal coloration contact is comparatively sharp, though magnetic susceptibility knowledge present a extra gradual, steplike transition on the deeper Websites 1262 and 1267. The carbonate content material drops to zero wt% in any respect websites aside from Web site 1265. The higher contact is gradational within the shallow websites and comparatively sharp on the deeper websites. Overlying the clay layer is a sequence of nannofossil ooze, which is barely richer in carbonate than the unit instantly underlying the clay layer.

The depth transect permits testing of the main speculation for the reason for the PETM: the abrupt dissociation of as a lot as 2000 Gt of marine methane hydrate. Numerical modeling demonstrates that the injection of such a big mass of carbon to the ocean/environment might have triggered a fast (~10 ok.y.) world shoaling of the calcite compensation depth (CCD) and lysocline, adopted by a gradual restoration, and “overcompensation” with the CCD overshooting pre-excursion depths. Based mostly on sediment cores recovered throughout Leg 208, the CCD shoaled by >2 km in the course of the tour, significantly greater than predicted in current carbon cycle fashions of the occasion.

Leg 208 materials additionally paperwork biotic responses to environmental modifications on account of the methane launch and CCD shoaling (e.g., extreme dissolution over such a big depth vary might effectively have been an vital issue within the benthic foraminiferal extinction occasion coincident with the bottom of the clay layer at each website, and nannofossils confirmed a short-term relative abundance response from Fasciculithus to Zygrhablithus). Planktonic foraminifers are closely dissolved within the clay layer with solely extraordinarily uncommon specimens of acarinids and morozovellids remaining.

The Leg 208 transect enhances a transect drilled on the southern Shatsky Rise throughout Leg 198, a deep latitudinal transect within the equatorial Pacific drilled throughout Leg 199, a shallow to bathyal transect drilled on Demarera Rise throughout Leg 207, and a depth transect proposed for future drilling within the western North Atlantic Ocean (J-Anomaly Ridge and southeast Newfoundland Rise).

ODP Leg 208 Abstract

The shoaling of the lysocline in the course of the PETM is represented by the 30 cm thick band of purple clay from 13.four to 13.7 m on the lithology column in determine 15.  When the lysocline and carbonate compensation depth (CCD)  briefly shoaled, the transition from calcareous to siliceous ooze moved shoreward.  When the CCD dropped again all the way down to its pre-PETM depth, the transition from calcareous to siliceous ooze moved seaward… Leaving a 30 cm thick layer of purple clay in the course of a thick marl sequence.  Rising and falling sea stage might have left an identical layer of purple clay.

Determine 15.  This offers a wholly completely different perspective on the phrase extinction.  Alegret, L., S. Ortiz & E. Molina.  Extinction and restoration of benthic foraminifera throughout the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Most on the Alamedilla part (Southern Spain).  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 279 (2009) 186–200

The benthic foram’s above and under the purple clay horizon ceased to exist at that location for about 70,000 to 220,000 years.  Nonetheless, the truth that a minimum of a few of them returned to that location after the PETM would possibly point out that the benthic foram “mass extinction” was extra of a benthic foram depositional “mass relocation,” somewhat than a real extinction.

The PETM lysocline shoaled by greater than 2,000 m at Walvis Ridge… That is actually written in stone.

Over the previous 250 years, for the reason that starting of the economic revolution, there was a few 16% lower in aragonite and calcite saturation state within the Pacific Ocean. From repeat oceanographic surveys, we have now noticed a median zero.34% yr−1 lower within the saturation state of floor seawater with respect to aragonite and calcite over a 14‐yr interval. This has brought on an upward migration of the aragonite and calcite saturation horizons towards the ocean floor on the order of 1–2 m yr−1. These modifications are the results of the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by the oceans, in addition to different smaller scale regional modifications in circulation over decadal time scales. If CO2 emissions proceed as projected out to the top this century, the ensuing modifications within the marine carbonate system would imply that many coral reef techniques within the Pacific would most likely now not be capable of preserve the mandatory price of calcification required to maintain their vitality.

Feely et al., 2012

The 16% lower in aragonite and calcite saturation state within the Pacific Ocean over the previous 250 years is solely based mostly on calculating the preindustrial aragonite and calcite from the assumed preindustrial atmospheric CO2 focus.  It’s round reasoning.  Relating to the declare that they’ve measured 14-28 m of shoaling over a 14-year interval… That’s not even the margin of error in estimating the CCD. A real shoaling of the lysocline would trigger a redistribution of pelagic (open ocean seafloor) sediments.

I’ve not been capable of find a newer model of this map:

Determine 16. Distribution of pelagic sediments. (Sverdrup, Johnson & Fleming, 1942)

Normal Options of Distribution. Determine 253 exhibits the distribution of the varied forms of pelagic sediments. The illustration is generalized partly to keep away from confusion and partly due to the unfinished data as to the forms of sediments discovered in lots of components of the oceans. Any such shows of the distribution of pelagic sediments are modified variations of maps initially ready by Sir John Murray and his associates. Additional investigations have modified the boundaries however haven’t materially affected the final image. The determine has been ready from the newest sources out there. The distribution of sediments within the Indian Ocean is predicated on a map by W. Schott (1939a), that within the Pacific Ocean is from W. Schott in G. Schott (1935), with some revisions based mostly on Revelle’s research of the samples collected by the Carnegie (Revelle, 1936). The information for the Atlantic have been drawn from numerous sources, since no complete map has been ready for a few years. The Meteormaterial has been described by Correns (1937 and 1939) and Pratje (1939a). Thorp’s report (1931) on the sediments of the Caribbean and the western North Atlantic was used for these areas, and Pratje’s knowledge (1939b) for the South Atlantic have been supplemented by these of Neaverson (1934) for the Discovery samples. The distribution within the North Atlantic is from Murray (Murray and Hjort, 1912).

One sort of shading has been used for all the calcareous sediments and one other for the siliceous sediments. Until the image P is proven to point that the realm is roofed with pteropod ooze, it’s to be understood that the calcareous sediment is globigerina ooze. The siliceous natural sediments are indicated as D for diatom ooze and Rfor radiolarian ooze. The unshaded areas of the oceans and seas are lined with terrigenous sediments.


Sverdrup, Johnson & Fleming, 1942

The PETM resulted in a serious redistribution of pelagic sediments. If Rooster Little of the Sea is just like the PETM, the seafloor would exhibit a big redistribution of pelagic sediments relative to 1942. Extra of the seafloor could be lined with siliceous ooze and much much less could be lined by calcareous ooze. If anybody is conscious of a current map, just like the one in my marine science textual content ebook, please let me know.


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Tripati, A.Okay., C.D. Roberts, and R.A. Eagle. 2009.  “Coupling of CO2 and Ice Sheet Stability Over Main Local weather Transitions of the Final 20 Million Years”.  Science, Vol. 326, pp. 1394 1397, four December 2009.  DOI: 10.1126/science.1178296

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Zeebe, R. E., A. Ridgwell, and J. C. Zachos (2016), “Anthropogenic carbon launch price unprecedented in the course of the previous 66 million years”.  Nat. Geosci., 9(four), 325–329, doi:10.1038/ngeo2681.

Zeebe, Richard E. and Dieter A. Wolf-Gladrow CARBON DIOXIDE, DISSOLVED (OCEAN)

Watts Up With That? Rooster Little of the Sea/PETM posts by David Middleton

Ocean Acidification: Rooster Little of the Sea Strikes Once more

Rooster Little of the Sea Visits Station ALOHA

The Whole Fantasy of Ocean Acidification

The Whole Fantasy of Ocean Acidification, Half Deux: The Scientific Foundation

Rooster Little of the Sea Is Dissolving the Sea Flooring!!! Run Away!!!

New Paper: PETM Was Attributable to Local weather Change… Historic Local weather Change Precipitated Local weather Change… AEUHHH????

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