Articles | Volume 17, issue 6
Clim. Past, 17, 2515–2536, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-17-2515-2021
Clim. Past, 17, 2515–2536, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-17-2515-2021
Research article
03 Dec 2021
Research article | 03 Dec 2021

Climate and ecology in the Rocky Mountain interior after the early Eocene Climatic Optimum

Rebekah A. Stein et al.

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Short summary
Modern climate change drives us to look to the past to understand how well prior life adapted to warm periods. In the early Eocene, a warm period approximately 50 million years ago, southwestern Wyoming was covered by a giant lake. This lake and surrounding environments made for excellent preservation of ancient soils, plant fossils, and more. Using geochemical tools and plant fossils, we determine the region was a warm, wet forest and that elevated temperatures were maintained by volcanoes.