Ocean bacteria may have shut off ancient global warming

Mineral spikes in sea-floor sediments coincide with halt in temperature rise

By Gabriel Popkin, 13:45 PM April 14, 2014

Ocean-dwelling bacteria may have vacuumed up carbon and halted a period of extreme warmth some 56 million years ago, according to a study published April 13 in Nature Geoscience.

The finding suggests how Earth might once have rapidly reversed a runaway greenhouse effect. However, rapidity is relative: The bacteria would be far too slow to head off today’s human-caused climate impacts.

Scientists seeking to understand the present-day climate often study the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, a ho...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ocean-bacteria-may-have-shut-ancient-global-warming?mode=magazine&context=187892