COLLOQUIUM: Extreme Global Warming: Examples from the Past
Earth’s climate 50 million years ago was the warmest time of the Cenozoic and characterized by expansive high-latitude warmth and low meridional temperature gradients. Starting at about 55 million years ago, a series of rapid and extreme carbon-induced global warming events, known as hyperthermals, are evident. This presentation will explore what is known of the largest of these hyperthermals—the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum —which is considered an analog for future increases in atmospheric CO2. An evaluation of triggers, carbon sources, and implications for climate sensitivity will be discussed.