Articles | Volume 14, issue 10
Clim. Past, 14, 1515–1527, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-1515-2018
Clim. Past, 14, 1515–1527, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-1515-2018

Research article 22 Oct 2018

Research article | 22 Oct 2018

Reduced carbon cycle resilience across the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum

David I. Armstrong McKay and Timothy M. Lenton

Data sets

Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present J. C. Zachos, M. Pagani, L. Sloan, E. Thomas, and K. Billups https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1059412

An early Cenozoic perspective on greenhouse warming and carbon-cycle dynamics J. C. Zachos, G. R. Dickens, and R. E. Zeebe https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06588

A high-resolution benthic stable-isotope record for the South Atlantic: Implications for orbital-scale changes in Late Paleocene--Early Eocene climate and carbon cycling K. Littler, U. Röhl, T. Westerhold, and J. C. Zachos https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2014.05.054

Astronomical calibration of the geological timescale: Closing the middle Eocene gap T. Westerhold, U. Röhl, T. Frederichs, S. M. Bohaty, and J. C. Zachos https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-1181-2015

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Short summary
This study uses statistical analyses to look for signs of declining resilience (i.e. greater sensitivity to small shocks) in the global carbon cycle and climate system across the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a global warming event 56 Myr ago driven by rapid carbon release. Our main finding is that carbon cycle resilience declined in the 1.5 Myr beforehand (a time of significant volcanic emissions), which is consistent with but not proof of a carbon release tipping point at the PETM.