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Moderate levels of Eocene pCO(2) indicated by Southern Hemisphere fossil plant stomata
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.
Number of Authors: 42019 (English)In: Geology, ISSN 0091-7613, E-ISSN 1943-2682, Vol. 47, no 10, p. 914-918Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reducing the uncertainty in predictions of future climate change is one of today's greatest scientific challenges, with many significant problems unsolved, including the relationship between pCO(2 )and global temperature. To better constrain these forecasts, it is meaningful to study past time intervals of global warmth, such as the Eocene (56.0-33.9 Ma), serving as climatic analogues for the future. Here we reconstructed pCO(2) using the stomatal densities of a large fossil Lauraceae (laurel) leaf database from ten sites across the Eocene of Australia and New Zealand. We show that mostly moderate pCO(2) levels of similar to 450-600 ppm prevailed throughout the Eocene, levels that are considerably lower than the pCO(2) forcing currently needed to recreate Eocene temperatures in climate models. Our data record significantly lower pCO(2) than inferred from marine isotopes, but concur with previously published Northern Hemisphere Eocene stomatal proxy pCO(2). We argue that the now globally consistent stomatal proxy pCO(2 )record for the Eocene is robust and that climate sensitivity was elevated and/or that additional climate forcings operated more powerfully than previously assumed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 47, no 10, p. 914-918
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175021DOI: 10.1130/G46274.1ISI: 000487674000011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175021DiVA, id: diva2:1367398
Available from: 2019-11-04 Created: 2019-11-04 Last updated: 2019-11-04Bibliographically approved

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