Global Warming; Shrinking Mammals – #365papers – 2017 – 76

#365papers for March 17, 2017

D’Ambrosia, Clyde, Fricke, Gringerich, Abels, 2017, Repetitive mammalian dwarfing during ancient greenhouse warming events: Science Advances, v. 3, e1601430.

What’s it about?

Rapid global warming in Earth’s past had occurred more than once. The most commonly studied episode occurred 55 million years ago, at the boundary between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs (Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum, PETM). Several other episodes have happened, including the ETM2 and H2 episodes which are discussed in this paper.

Dwarfing of mammalian species has been documented at the PETM. This paper shows dwarfing of mammals also occurred at the ETM2.

Why does it matter?

This paper shows how climate change can affect mammal species. We care because we are amidst an episode of rapid warming and this will help us understand what to expect.

Why did I read this?

I already do research involving the PETM in Wyoming. It’s possible that the ETM2 and H2 are also present where I’m working. I’m interested to see what these subsequent warming episodes look like, isotopically.

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