Late Cretaceous climates and foraminiferid distributions
Published:January 01, 2007
M. B. Hart, 2007. "Late Cretaceous climates and foraminiferid distributions", Deep-Time Perspectives on Climate Change: Marrying the Signal from Computer Models and Biological Proxies, M. Williams, A. M. Haywood, F. J. Gregory, D. N. Schmidt
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The late Cretaceous records a warm, greenhouse, period of Earth history with a distinct ‘hot greenhouse’ interval in the latest Cenomanian and earliest Turonian. This was coupled with the highest sea levels of the Mesozoic and very low N–S temperature gradients. Polar regions are thought to have been temperate, rather than cold, although there is a body of opinion that regards some of the late Cretaceoussea-level changes as being glacioeustatic. Towards the end of the Cretaceous, there was a brief period of warming and poleward migration of planktic foraminifera that was followed by a near end-Cretaceous cooling event.
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Deep-Time Perspectives on Climate Change: Marrying the Signal from Computer Models and Biological Proxies
This book unites climate modelling, palaeoceanography and palaeontology to address fundamental events in the climate history of Earth over the past 600 million years. Understanding the ‘tipping points’ that have led to rapid changes in the Earth's climate is vitally important with the realization that humans modify global climate. In an effort to better understand past and future climate change, general circulation models have become the forerunners of attempts to simulate future climate. Although extraordinarily sophisticated, they remain imperfect tools that require ‘grounding’ in geological data. In this, the study of past major climate transitions like the Palaeozoic icehouse worlds and the extreme greenhouse of the Cretaceous are invaluable. Both the mechanisms that forced changes in the Earth's climate as well as the proxies that track these changes are discussed. The central message of the book is that general circulation models tested with geological data in an iterative ‘ground truth’ process provide the best estimates of the Earth's ancient climate.