Biological Sciences Mercury isotope signatures record photic zone euxinia in the Mesoproterozoic ocean
"Photic zone euxinia (PZE) is a condition where anoxic, H2S-rich waters occur in the photic zone (PZ). PZE has been invoked as an impediment to the evolution of complex life on early Earth and as a kill mechanism for Phanerozoic mass extinctions. Here, we investigate the potential application of mercury (Hg) stable isotopes in marine sedimentary rocks as a proxy for PZE by measuring Hg isotope compositions in late Mesoproterozoic (∼1.1 Ga) shales that have independent evidence of PZE during discrete intervals. [...]"
Authors: Wang Zheng et al.
Last interglacial ocean changes in the Bahamas: climate teleconnections between low and high latitudes
"Paleorecords and modeling studies suggest that instabilities in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) strongly affect the low-latitude climate, namely via feedbacks on the Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Despite the pronounced millennial-scale overturning and climatic variability documented in the subpolar North Atlantic during the last interglacial period (MIS 5e), studies on cross-latitudinal teleconnections remain very limited. This precludes a full understanding of the mechanisms controlling subtropical climate evolution across the last warm cycle. [...]"
Source: Climate of the Past
Authors: Anastasia Zhuravleva and Henning A. Bauch
Redox condition and nitrogen cycle in the Permian deep mid-ocean: A possible contrast between Panthalassa and Tethys
"To constrain the redox conditions and related nitrogen cycles during the Middle Permian (Guadalupian) to latest Late Permian (Lopingian) deep mid-Panthalassa, we determined the abundances of major, trace, and rare earth elements along with the carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in shales interbedded with deep-sea cherts that are well-exposed at the Gujo-Hachiman section in the Mino-Tanba belt, SW Japan. [...]"
Source: Global and Planetary Change
Authors: Wataru Fujisaki et al.
Transient cooling episodes during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Events with special reference to OAE 1a (Early Aptian)
"The two major oceanic anoxic events of the Cretaceous, those of the Early Aptian (OAE 1a) and the Cenomanian–Turonian boundary (OAE 2), registered some of the highest temperatures reconstructed for the Cretaceous Period, and are thought to be related to the input of volcanically derived carbon dioxide from one or more Large Igneous Provinces. Widely distributed deposition of marine organic matter, the hallmark of OAEs, and intensified silicate weathering in response to a globally accelerated hydrological cycle and/or reaction of seawater with freshly extruded basalt, are both potential mechanisms whereby the content of atmospheric carbon dioxide could have been drawn down to promote cooling, on the assumption that this potential effect was not offset by increased addition of this volcanically derived greenhouse gas. [...]"
Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Author: Hugh C. Jenkyns
Earth's oxygen increased in gradual steps rather than big bursts
"A carbon cycle anomaly discovered in carbonate rocks of the Neoproterozoic Hüttenberg Formation of north-eastern Namibia follows a pattern similar to that found right after the Great Oxygenation Event, hinting at new evidence for how Earth's atmosphere became fully oxygenated.
By using the Hüttenberg Formation, which formed between a billion and half a billion years ago, to study the time between Earth's change from an anoxic environment (i.e. one lacking oxygen) to a more hospitable environment that heralded the animal kingdom, a team of researchers led by Dr. Huan Cui of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison discovered a sustained, high level of carbon. This influx of carbon, coupled with changes in other elements, indicates how changing levels of oceanic oxygen may have lent a helping hand to early animal evolution. [...]"
Hydrochemical properties and chemocline of the Sansha Yongle Blue Hole in the South China Sea
"Blue holes can provide valuable information regarding paleoclimate, climate change, karst processes, marine ecology, and carbonate geochemistry. The Sansha Yongle Blue Hole, located on Yongle Atoll in the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, is the deepest blue hole in the world. A comprehensive investigation of the blue hole was conducted to determine the hydrochemical properties and associated redox processes active in the water column. Results indicate the presence of two thermoclines, one at 13–20 m and a second at 70–150 m, dividing the water column into five stratified water layers. [...]"
Source: Science of the Total Environment
Authors: Linping Xie et al.
Large-scale ocean deoxygenation during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
"The consequences of global warming for fisheries are not well understood, but the geological record demonstrates that carbon cycle perturbations are frequently associated with ocean deoxygenation. Of particular interest is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), where the carbon dioxide input into the atmosphere was similar to the IPCC RCP8.5 emission scenario. Here we present sulfur-isotope data that record a positive 1 per mil excursion during the PETM. Modeling suggests that large parts of the ocean must have become sulfidic. [...]"
Authors: Weiqi Yao, Adina Paytan, Ulrich G. Wortmann
Back to the future of climate change
Researchers are looking to the geologic past to make future projections about climate change. Their research focuses on the ancient Tethys Ocean (site of the present-day Mediterranean Sea) and provides a benchmark for present and future climate and ocean models.
Source: Science Daily
Perturbation to the nitrogen cycle during rapid Early Eocene global warming
"The degree to which ocean deoxygenation will alter the function of marine communities remains unclear but may be best constrained by detailed study of intervals of rapid warming in the geologic past. The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was an interval of rapid warming that was the result of increasing contents of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that had wide ranging effects on ecosystems globally. Here, we present stable nitrogen isotope data from the Eastern Peri-Tethys Ocean that record a significant transition in the nitrogen cycle. [...]"
Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Christopher K. Junium, Alexander J. Dickson & Benjamin T. Uveges
Middle Eocene greenhouse warming facilitated by diminished weathering feedback
"The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) represents a ~500-kyr period of global warming ~40 million years ago and is associated with a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but the cause of this CO2 rise remains enigmatic. Here we show, based on osmium isotope ratios (187Os/188Os) of marine sediments and published records of the carbonate compensation depth (CCD), that the continental silicate weathering response to the inferred CO2 rise and warming was strongly diminished during the MECO—in contrast to expectations from the silicate weathering thermostat hypothesis. [...]"
Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Robin van der Ploeg et al.