DISCLAIMER: This article is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at last review, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information.
Latest Paleocene thermal maximum
Dickens, Gerald James Cook University, School of Earth Sciences, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
- Abrupt ocean warming
- Benthic foraminiferal extinctions
- Radiation of mammalian orders
- Global carbon isotope excursion
- Methane release from sea floor
- Related Primary Literature
Superimposed on generally warm climates of the early Tertiary Period was an abrupt and extreme warming interval at the end of the Paleocene Epoch some 55 million years ago. This event, the latest Paleocene thermal maximum (LPTM), coincided with a mass extinction of deep-sea organisms and a sudden radiation of terrestrial mammalian orders, including primates. The LPTM also was characterized by a global carbon-isotope excursion that was caused by a massive injection of carbon into the ocean and atmosphere. All of these phenomena were likely related to the escape of large amounts of biogenic methane from gas hydrate deposits on the sea floor. Although many details surrounding the LPTM are poorly known, it is probably the best past analog for understanding long-term effects of future fossil fuel inputs to the atmosphere.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information