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Climate variability and consequences in the early Cenozoic Greenhouse World

Lisa C. Sloan, Department of Earth Sciences
University of California, Santa Cruz

Wednesday, January 5, 2000
3:00 p.m.—Pacific Forum

Recent paleoceanographic studies document high variability (on time scales less than 1 million years) in deep sea sediment characteristics, and presumably climate, throughout the Cretaceous and early Paleocene. With increasing numbers of high-resolution records, these data suggest that past warm climates were no more stable than their cold, more recent, counterparts. Understanding the nature and causes of the variability associated with past warm, high greenhouse gas climates presents a significant challenge to paleoclimate research, a challenge that must be met if we are to understand the behavior of Earth's climate under conditions dramatically different from the present.

In this talk I will present climate modeling results and their implications from studies which investigate the response of Paleocene (~approximately 65-45 million years ago) global and regional paleoclimates to forcing from an indirect effect of atmospheric methane, and from a combination of orbital insolation changes and high atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

Next: The Subterranean Estuary- A reaction zone of groundwater and ocean water

 Last updated: December 19, 2000