Thursday, September 28, 2006

 

Dramatic Climate Changes During Dinosaur-Dominated Mesozoic Era

Ancient rocks from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean suggest dramatic climate changes during the dinosaur-dominated Mesozoic Era, a time once thought to have been monotonously hot and humid.

In this month's Geology journal, scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research present new evidence that ocean surface temperatures varied as much as 6 degrees Celsius (about 11 degrees Fahrenheit) during the Aptian Epoch of the Cretaceous Period 120 million years ago.

The finding is relevant to the ongoing climate change discussion, IUB geologist Simon Brassell (homepage) says, because it portrays an ancient Earth whose temperatures shifted erratically due to changes in carbon cycling and did so without human input. [Journal, Evolution, Dinosaurs, Temperature]

Continued at "Dramatic Climate Changes During Dinosaur-Dominated Mesozoic Era"
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Based on "Instability in tropical Pacific sea-surface temperatures during the early Aptian" (Abstract).

Update: Monday, 16th October, 2006: See the Washington Post's "Climate Change Is Nothing New"

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