Climate- and gateway-driven cooling of Late Eocene to earliest Oligocene sea surface temperatures in the North Sea Basin.
ABSTRACT: During the late Eocene, the Earth's climate experienced several transient temperature fluctuations including the Vonhof cooling event (C16n.1n; ~35.8?Ma) hitherto known mainly from the southern oceans. Here we reconstruct sea-surface temperatures (SST) and provide ?18O and ?13C foraminiferal records for the late Eocene and earliest Oligocene in the North Sea Basin. Our data reveal two main perturbations: (1), an abrupt brief cooling of ~4.5?°C dated to ~35.8?Ma and synchronous with the Vonhof cooling, which thus may be a global event, and (2) a gradual nearly 10?°C temperature fall starting at 36.1?Ma and culminating near the Eocene-Oligocene transition at ~33.9?Ma. The late Priabonian temperature trend in the North Sea shows some resemblance IODP Site U1404 from the North Atlantic, offshore Newfoundland; and is in contrast to the more abrupt change observed in the deep-sea ?18O records from the southern oceans. The cooling in the North Sea is large compared to the pattern seen in the North Atlantic record. This difference may be influenced by a late Eocene closure of the warm gateways connecting the North Sea with the Atlantic and Tethys oceans.
Project description:Geochemical and modeling studies suggest that the transition from the "greenhouse" state of the Late Eocene to the "icehouse" conditions of the Oligocene 34-33.5 Ma was triggered by a reduction of atmospheric pCO2 that enabled the rapid buildup of a permanent ice sheet on the Antarctic continent. Marine records show that the drop in pCO2 during this interval was accompanied by a significant decline in high-latitude sea surface and deep ocean temperature and enhanced seasonality in middle and high latitudes. However, terrestrial records of this climate transition show heterogeneous responses to changing pCO2 and ocean temperatures, with some records showing a significant time lag in the temperature response to declining pCO2. We measured the ?47 of aragonite shells of the freshwater gastropod Viviparus lentus from the Solent Group, Hampshire Basin, United Kingdom, to reconstruct terrestrial temperature and hydrologic change in the North Atlantic region during the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Our data show a decrease in growing-season surface water temperatures (~10 °C) during the Eocene-Oligocene transition, corresponding to an average decrease in mean annual air temperature of ~4-6 °C from the Late Eocene to Early Oligocene. The magnitude of cooling is similar to observed decreases in North Atlantic sea surface temperature over this interval and occurs during major glacial expansion. This suggests a close linkage between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, Northern Hemisphere temperature, and expansion of the Antarctic ice sheets.
Project description:The Eocene-Oligocene Transition (EOT), approximately 34?Ma ago, marks a period of major global cooling and inception of the Antarctic ice sheet. Proxies of deep circulation suggest a contemporaneous onset or strengthening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). Proxy evidence of gradual salinification of the North Atlantic and tectonically driven isolation of the Arctic suggest that closing the Arctic-Atlantic gateway could have triggered the AMOC at the EOT. We demonstrate this trigger of the AMOC using a new paleoclimate model with late Eocene boundary conditions. The control simulation reproduces Eocene observations of low Arctic salinities. Subsequent closure of the Arctic-Atlantic gateway triggers the AMOC by blocking freshwater inflow from the Arctic. Salt advection feedbacks then lead to cessation of overturning in the North Pacific. These circulation changes imply major warming of the North Atlantic Ocean, and simultaneous cooling of the North Pacific, but no interhemispheric change in temperatures.
Project description:Falling atmospheric CO2 levels led to cooling through the Eocene and the expansion of Antarctic ice sheets close to their modern size near the beginning of the Oligocene, a period of poorly documented climate. Here, we present a record of climate evolution across the entire Oligocene (33.9 to 23.0 Ma) based on TEX86 sea surface temperature (SST) estimates from southwestern Atlantic Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 516 (paleolatitude ?36°S) and western equatorial Atlantic Ocean Drilling Project Site 929 (paleolatitude ?0°), combined with a compilation of existing SST records and climate modeling. In this relatively low CO2 Oligocene world (?300 to 700 ppm), warm climates similar to those of the late Eocene continued with only brief interruptions, while the Antarctic ice sheet waxed and waned. SSTs are spatially heterogenous, but generally support late Oligocene warming coincident with declining atmospheric CO2 This Oligocene warmth, especially at high latitudes, belies a simple relationship between climate and atmospheric CO2 and/or ocean gateways, and is only partially explained by current climate models. Although the dominant climate drivers of this enigmatic Oligocene world remain unclear, our results help fill a gap in understanding past Cenozoic climates and the way long-term climate sensitivity responded to varying background climate states.
Project description:The Pleurotus ostreatus species complex is saprotrophic and of significant economic and ecological importance. However, species delimitation has long been problematic because of phenotypic plasticity and morphological stasis. In addition, the evolutionary history is poorly understood due to limited sampling and insufficient gene fragments employed for phylogenetic analyses. Comprehensive sampling from Asia, Europe, North and South America and Africa was used to run phylogenetic analyses of the P. ostreatus species complex based on 40 nuclear single-copy orthologous genes using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses. Here, we present a robust phylogeny of the P. ostreatus species complex, fully resolved from the deepest nodes to species level. The P. ostreatus species complex was strongly supported as monophyletic, and 20 phylogenetic species were recognized, with seven putatively new species. Data from our molecular clock analyses suggested that divergence of the genus Pleurotus probably occurred in the late Jurassic, while the most recent common ancestor of the P. ostreatus species complex diversified about 39?Ma in East Asia. Species of the P. ostreatus complex might migrate from the East Asia into North America across the North Atlantic Land Bridge or the Bering Land Bridge at different times during the late Oligocene, late Miocene and late Pliocene, and then diversified in the Old and New Worlds simultaneously through multiple dispersal and vicariance events. The dispersal from East Asia to South America in the middle Oligocene was probably achieved by a long-distance dispersal event. Intensification of aridity and climate cooling events in the late Miocene and Quaternary glacial cycling probably had a significant influence on diversification patterns of the complex. The disjunctions among East Asia, Europe, North America and Africa within Clade IIc are hypothesized to be a result of allopatric speciation. Substrate transitions to Apiaceae probably occurred no earlier than 6?Ma. Biogeographic analyses suggested that the global cooling of the late Eocene, intensification of aridity caused by rapid uplift of the QTP and retreat of the Tethys Sea in the late Miocene, climate cooling events in Quaternary glacial cycling, and substrate transitions have contributed jointly to diversification of the species complex.
Project description:The first major build-up of Antarctic glaciation occurred in two consecutive stages across the Eocene-Oligocene transition (EOT): the EOT-1 cooling event at ~34.1-33.9?Ma and the Oi-1 glaciation event at ~33.8-33.6?Ma. Detailed orbital-scale terrestrial environmental responses to these events remain poorly known. Here we present magnetic and geochemical climate records from the northeastern Tibetan Plateau margin that are dated precisely from ~35.5 to 31?Ma by combined magneto- and astro-chronology. These records suggest a hydroclimate transition at ~33.7?Ma from eccentricity dominated cycles to oscillations paced by a combination of eccentricity, obliquity, and precession, and confirm that major Asian aridification and cooling occurred at Oi-1. We conclude that this terrestrial orbital response transition coincided with a similar transition in the marine benthic ?18O record for global ice volume and deep-sea temperature variations. The dramatic reorganization of the Asian climate system coincident with Oi-1 was, thus, a response to coeval atmospheric CO2 decline and continental-scale Antarctic glaciation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The lake deposits of the informal Ruby Paper Shale unit, part of the Renova Formation of Montana, have yielded abundant plant fossils that document Late Eocene - Early Oligocene global cooling in western North America. A nearly complete small bird with feather impressions was recovered from this unit in in 1959, but has only been informally mentioned. RESULTS:Here we describe this fossil and identify it as a new species of Zygodactylus, a stem lineage passerine with a zygodactyl foot. The new taxon shows morphological traits that are convergent on crown Passeriformes, including an elongate hallux, reduced body size, and a comparative shortening of proximal limb elements. The fossil documents the persistence of this lineage into the earliest Oligocene (~?33?Ma) in North America. It is the latest occurring North American species of a group that persists in Europe until the Miocene. CONCLUSIONS:Eocene-Oligocene global cooling is known to have significantly remodeled both Palearctic and Nearctic mammal faunas but its impact on related avifaunas has remained poorly understood. The geographic and temporal range expansion provided by the new taxon together with avian other taxa with limited fossil records suggests a similar pattern of retraction in North America followed by Europe.
Project description:Rapid global cooling at the Eocene - Oligocene Transition (EOT), ~33.9-33.5?Ma, is widely considered to mark the onset of the modern icehouse world. A large and rapid drop in atmospheric pCO2 has been proposed as the driving force behind extinctions in the marine realm and glaciation on Antarctica. However, the global terrestrial response to this cooling is uncertain. Here we present the first global vegetation and terrestrial temperature reconstructions for the EOT. Using an extensive palynological dataset, that has been statistically grouped into palaeo-biomes, we show a more transitional nature of terrestrial climate change by indicating a spatial and temporal heterogeneity of vegetation change at the EOT in both hemispheres. The reconstructed terrestrial temperatures show for many regions a cooling that started well before the EOT and continued into the Early Oligocene. We conclude that the heterogeneous pattern of global vegetation change has been controlled by a combination of multiple forcings, such as tectonics, sea-level fall and long-term decline in greenhouse gas concentrations during the late Eocene to early Oligocene, and does not represent a single response to a rapid decline in atmospheric pCO2 at the EOT.
Project description:Tectonically induced changes in oceanic seaways had profound effects on global and regional climate during the Late Neogene. The constriction of the Central American Seaway reached a critical threshold during the early Pliocene ~4.8-4 million years (Ma) ago. Model simulations indicate the strengthening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) with a signature warming response in the Northern Hemisphere and cooling in the Southern Hemisphere. Subsequently, between ~4-3?Ma, the constriction of the Indonesian Seaway impacted regional climate and might have accelerated the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation. We here present Pliocene Atlantic interhemispheric sea surface temperature and salinity gradients (deduced from foraminiferal Mg/Ca and stable oxygen isotopes, ?18O) in combination with a recently published benthic stable carbon isotope (?13C) record from the southernmost extent of North Atlantic Deep Water to reconstruct gateway-related changes in the AMOC mode. After an early reduction of the AMOC at ~5.3?Ma, we show in agreement with model simulations of the impacts of Central American Seaway closure a strengthened AMOC with a global climate signature. During ~3.8-3?Ma, we suggest a weakening of the AMOC in line with the global cooling trend, with possible contributions from the constriction of the Indonesian Seaway.
Project description:Although the responses of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) is deeply connected to orbital rhythms, those under different tectonic and atmospheric boundary conditions remain unknown. Here, we report suborbitally resolved benthic foraminiferal stable isotope data from J-anomaly Ridge in the North Atlantic from ca. 26.4-26.0 Ma. Our results indicate that the formation of NADW during that time interval was increased during the obliquity-paced interglacial periods, similar to in the Plio-Pleistocene. During the late Oligocene, the interglacial poleward shifts of the stronger westerlies in the southern hemisphere, which occurred due to the higher thermal contrasts near the upper limit of the troposphere, reinforced the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and, in turn, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). However, such a response mode in deep ocean circulation did not occur during the middle Eocene because of different tectonic boundary conditions and the immature states of the ACC. Instead, the middle Eocene interglacial conditions weakened the formation of the proto-type NADW due to less heat loss rate in high-latitude regions of the North Atlantic during high obliquity periods. Our findings highlight the different responses of deep ocean circulation to orbital forcing and show that climate feedbacks can be largely sensitive to boundary conditions.
Project description:The influence of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean on Late Pliocene global climate reconstructions has remained ambiguous due to a lack of well-dated Antarctic-proximal, paleoenvironmental records. Here we present ice sheet, sea-surface temperature, and sea ice reconstructions from the ANDRILL AND-1B sediment core recovered from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf. We provide evidence for a major expansion of an ice sheet in the Ross Sea that began at ?3.3 Ma, followed by a coastal sea surface temperature cooling of ?2.5 °C, a stepwise expansion of sea ice, and polynya-style deep mixing in the Ross Sea between 3.3 and 2.5 Ma. The intensification of Antarctic cooling resulted in strengthened westerly winds and invigorated ocean circulation. The associated northward migration of Southern Ocean fronts has been linked with reduced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation by restricting surface water connectivity between the ocean basins, with implications for heat transport to the high latitudes of the North Atlantic. While our results do not exclude low-latitude mechanisms as drivers for Pliocene cooling, they indicate an additional role played by southern high-latitude cooling during development of the bipolar world.