North Atlantic climate variability in early Palaeogene time: a climate modelling sensitivity study
Lisa Cirbus Sloan, Matthew Huber, 2001. "North Atlantic climate variability in early Palaeogene time: a climate modelling sensitivity study", Western North Atlantic Palaeogene and Cretaceous Palaeoceanography, Dick Kroon, R. D. Norris, A. Klaus
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Understanding the nature and causes of the variability associated with past warm, high pCO2 climates presents a significant challenge to palaeoclimate research. In this paper we investigate the early Eocene climatic response in the North Atlantic region to forcing from an indirect effect of atmospheric methane (via polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs)), and we investigate the response of the climate system to forcing from a combination of orbital insolation changes and high atmospheric pCO2 concentration. We find that sea surface temperatures (SSTs), sea ice extent, net surface moisture, continental runoff and upwelling in the North Atlantic Ocean are all sensitive to those forcing factors, and that the degree of sensitivity is a function of location and season. Our results suggest that high-latitude SST values can vary by as much as 20 °C during the winter season in response to precessional and polar cloud forcing, whereas in contrast summer temperature varies by 4 °C or less. Model predictions of net surface moisture balance also vary substantially with our prescribed forcing. There is a large difference in variability between the localized net surface moisture results and the mean North Atlantic Ocean results, which suggests that large-scale assumptions about past surface ocean salinities and seawater δ18O may need to be reassessed. According to model results, the influx of terrigenous material via continental runoff to the North Atlantic Ocean should be highly seasonal, with greatest runoff occurring in spring. Our model results also indicate that changes in wind-driven upwelling and in continental runoff on a precessional time scale should be seen in regions of the central North Atlantic.
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Palaeogene and Cretaceous palaeoceanography has been the focus of intense international interest in the last few years, spurred by deep ocean drilling at Blake Nose in the North Atlantic as well as the need to use past climate change as input for modelling future climate change. This book brings together a number of review papers that describe ancient oceans and unique events in the Earth’s climatic history and evolution of biota. The papers show evidence of periods characterized by exceptional global warmth such as the Late Palaeocene Thermal Maximum and Cretaceous anoxic events. Geochemical records and modelling will make the reader aware that these periods were forced by greenhouse gases. This information is essential for understanding the response of the ocean—climate system to the current input of fossil fuels. In this sense, the book contributes to the understanding of fundamental aspects of Earth’s climate, the carbon cycle, and marine ecosystems. A number of papers describe massive mass wasting deposits resulting from the energy released by the bolide impact at the Cretaceous—Tertiary boundary as well as the geochemistry of the boundary itself. Additional papers cover aspects of cyclostratigraphy and biostratigraphy of Palaeogene and Cretaceous records.
This book will be of interest to a broad audience of Earth Scientists interested in Palaeogene—Cretaceous palaeoceanography, extreme climate modelling, Cretaceous—Tertiary boundary, Late Palaeocene Thermal Maximum, Cretaceous anoxic events, as well as those specifically interested in radiolarian, dinoflagellate and coccolithophorid stratigraphy.