The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum: A Perturbation of Carbon Cycle, Climate, and Biosphere with Implications for the Future

  title={The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum: A Perturbation of Carbon Cycle, Climate, and Biosphere with Implications for the Future},
  author={Francesca A. McInerney and Scott L. Wing},
  journal={Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences},
  • F. A. McInerney, S. Wing
  • Published 25 April 2011
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), ∼56 Mya, thousands of petagrams of carbon were released into the ocean-atmosphere system with attendant changes in the carbon cycle, climate, ocean chem- istry, and marine and continental ecosystems. The period of carbon release is thought to have lasted <20 ka, the duration of the whole event was ∼200 ka, and the global temperature increase was 5-8 ◦ C. Terrestrial and marine or- ganisms experienced large shifts in geographic ranges, rapid… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

The Paleocene‐Eocene Thermal Maximum: How much carbon is enough?
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), ∼55.53 million years before present, was an abrupt warming event that involved profound changes in the carbon cycle and led to major perturbations of
A seasonality trigger for carbon injection at the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum
Abstract. The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) represents a ~170 kyr episode of anomalous global warmth ~56 Ma ago. The PETM is associated with rapid and massive injections of 13C-depleted
The seawater carbon inventory at the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum
  • L. Haynes, B. Hönisch
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2020
The reconstruction invokes volcanic emissions as a driver of PETM warming and suggests that the buffering capacity of the ocean increased, which helped to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but estimates confirm that modern CO2 release is occurring much faster than PETM carbon release.
The dynamics of global change at the Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum: A data‐model comparison
We integrate published stable isotopic, chemical, mineralogical, and biotic data from the onset of the Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) at Site 690, Maud Rise in the Southern Ocean. The
A multi-proxy study of the Palaeocene - Eocene Thermal Maximum in northern Spain
The Palaeocene – Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a hyperthermal event that occurred ca. 56 Ma, has been attributed to the release of substantial amounts of carbon, affecting the atmosphere, biosphere
Rapid and sustained surface ocean acidification during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) has been associated with the release of several thousands of petagrams of carbon (Pg C) as methane and/or carbon dioxide into the ocean-atmosphere system
The Italian record of the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
The present paper summarises the state of the art of the studies on Italian Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) records. The PETM (~ 56 Ma) likely represents the most dramatic and rapid event of
Orbital forcing of terrestrial hydrology, weathering and carbon sequestration during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
The response of the Earth System to greenhouse-gas driven warming is of critical importance for the future trajectory of our planetary environment. Hypethermal events – past climate transients with


A humid climate state during the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum
The authors' results provide evidence for a previously unrecognized discrete shift in the state of the climate system during the PETM, characterized by large increases in mid-latitude tropospheric humidity and enhanced cycling of carbon through terrestrial ecosystems.
Productivity feedback did not terminate the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)
Abstract. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) occurred approximately 55 million years ago, and is one of the most dramatic abrupt global warming events in the geological record. This warming
On the duration of the Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum (PETM)
The Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) is one of the best known examples of a transient climate perturbation, associated with a brief, but intense, interval of global warming and a massive
The Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum Super Greenhouse: Biotic and Geochemical Signatures, age Models and Mechanisms of Climate Change
The Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a geologically brief episode of global warming associated with the Palaeocene–Eocene boundary, has been studied extensively since its discovery in 1991.
Nannoplankton Extinction and Origination Across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum was an interval of global warming and ocean acidification attributed to rapid release and oxidation of buried carbon that appears to have driven turnover, preferentially affecting rare taxa living close to their viable limits.
Environment and evolution through the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum.
  • P. Gingerich
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 2006
Sedimentary response to Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum carbon release: A model-data comparison
Possible sources of carbon that may have caused global warming at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary are constrained using an intermediate complexity Earth-system model confi gured with early Eocene
Increased terrestrial carbon storage across the Palaeocene–Eocene boundary
The Source and Fate of Massive Carbon Input During the Latest Paleocene Thermal Maximum.
The deposition of a mud clast interval and seismic evidence for slope disturbance provide evidence to confirm the gas hydrate dissociation hypothesis and identify the Blake Nose as a site of methane release.
Effects of Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary on Neotropical Vegetation
Palynology shows that the tropical rainforest was able to persist under elevated temperatures and high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in contrast to speculations that tropical ecosystems were severely compromised by heat stress.