Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tropical oceans were overheated during prehistoric greenhouse effect

22.12.2003


Biogeochemists from the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research have shown that prehistoric tropical oceans were no less than five to eight degrees warmer than they are now. Their findings have been published in the December issue of the renowned American journal Geology.



During the mid-Cretaceous period, some 90 to 120 million years ago, the seawater around the equator had a temperature of 30 to 37 degrees Celsius, which is five to eight degrees higher than the temperature now. This was revealed in research that used a new method to determine the temperatures of oceans in the distant past.

The finding concurs with recently developed climate models, which indicate that higher carbon dioxide concentrations in the greenhouse climate of 90 to 120 million years ago resulted in warmer tropical oceans. The biogeochemists’ findings reveal how seawater temperatures changed when large quantities of greenhouse gases entered the atmosphere. Scientists had suspected that seawater temperatures were significantly higher then, but no method had been available to precisely determine these.


The new method is based on the chemical structure of membrane lipids in archaea, which are also referred to as archeabacteria. These organisms live in the surface waters of oceans. The composition of the membrane lipids was found to depend on the seawater temperature. At higher temperatures, the organisms produce greater quantities of lipid molecules containing rings.

The researchers examined fossil remains taken from the floors of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The remains were located in deposits from the mid-Cretaceous period, which is known for its very high concentrations of greenhouse gases.

Earlier research by the biogeochemists had demonstrated that the membrane lipids of archaea remained conserved in sediments. In a paper published in Science two years ago, scientists described the discovery of fossil remains containing membrane lipids 112 million years old. Since then the researchers have found remains as old as 140 million years.

Sonja Jacobs | NWO
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past
28.04.2017 | National Science Foundation

nachricht Citizen science campaign to aid disaster response
28.04.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>