Palaeoclimate: Methane didn't act alone

    Geology 36, 315–318 (2008) doi:10.1130/G24474A.1

    Methane outbursts from seafloor deposits are unlikely to have been the sole cause of an extreme episode of global warming around the time of the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum some 55 million years ago.

    Karla Panchuk of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and her colleagues configured an Earth-system model with early Eocene geography to assess the involvement of potential carbon sources with distinct isotopic signatures.

    Methane could have produced an observed negative carbon-13 isotope bump, but couldn't have caused the calcium carbonate dissolution in the oceans estimated from sediment layers. The team suggests that a carbon pulse of at least 6,800 gigatonnes — three times what methane could produce — is needed to reconcile the observations.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Palaeoclimate: Methane didn't act alone. Nature 453, 260 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/453260c

    Download citation

    Comments

    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.