World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Cretaceous Thermal Maximum

Article Id: WHEBN0024844634
Reproduction Date:

Title: Cretaceous Thermal Maximum  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Historical geology, Cretaceous
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Cretaceous Thermal Maximum

Cretaceous Thermal Maximum, also known as Cretaceous Thermal Optimum, was a period early in the Late Cretaceous notable for its dramatic increase in global temperatures.


Carbon dioxide levels reached astounding heights and the sea levels elevated. Plants such as plankton became "glassy" and temperatures increased. Scientists predicted that the Cretaceous Thermal Maximum occurred during the Cenomanian/Turonian transition based from the fact that there was a major downfall in global climate. It was also shown to be the most extreme carbon cycle recorded in the past 100 million years.[1][2]


Late Cenomanian sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean (~33°C) were substantially warmer than today (~27-29°C).[1] They may have been as high as 36°C.[3] The interval of peak warmth in the Turonian has been attributed to very high atmospheric CO2 and possibly enhanced by the changing geography of the oceans including an "Atlantic Gateway".[2] However, during the Turonian age, several pronounced but relatively short-lived cooler intervals punctuate this otherwise remarkably stable interval of extreme warmth and shows that rapid tropical sea surface temperature changes occurred during the Cretaceous thermal maximum, and implies that even the mid-Cretaceous "super-greenhouse" climate may have been less stable than previously thought.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Foster, A., et al. "The Cretaceous Thermal Maximum and Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 in the Tropics: Sea- Surface Temperature and Stable Organic Carbon Isotopic Records from the Equatorial Atlantic." American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2006. The Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System. Web. 20 Oct. 2009.
  2. ^ a b Poulsen, Christopher J., Andrew S. Gendaszek, and Robert L. Jacob. "Did the rifting of the Atlantic Ocean cause the Cretaceous thermal maximum?" Geology 31.2 (2003): 115-118. Web. 20 Oct. 2009. .
  3. ^ Wilson, Paul A., Richard D. Norris, and Matthew J. Cooper. "Testing the Cretaceous greenhouse hypothesis using glassy foraminiferal calcite from the core of the Turonian tropics on Demerara Rise." Geology 30.7 (2002):607-610. Web. Oct.2009..
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.