The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum in the Northern Hemisphere – #365papers – 2017 – 67

#365papers for March 8, 2017

Jovane, Florindo Coccioni, Dianares-Turell, Marsili, Monechi, Roberts, Sprovieri, 2007, The middle Eocene climatic optimum event in the Contessa Highway section, Umbrian Apennines, Italy: GSA Bulletin, v. 119, p. 413-427.

What’s it about?

This paper like others I’ve read recently discusses the abundance of single-celled organisms in the ocean called foraminifera (forams). The overall abundance of different species plus isotopic analysis of the fossils themselves can provide insights about climate during the middle Eocene.

Why does it matter?

This paper in particular is important because the site is in the northern hemisphere and it has very good age control through the use of paleomagnetism (which isn’t so good for the southern hemisphere localities).

Why did I read this?

Two reasons: 1) Most of the evidence of the MECO comes from cores around Antarctica. I’m working in North America. Seeing the MECO in a northern hemisphere locality is super important. 2) The authors here put the MECO at about 40 Ma, whereas other authors from southern hemisphere localities put it at abut 41.2 Ma. That’s not a trivial difference. I wanted to know why…

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