The Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) and associated carbon pulse “are often touted as the best geologic analog for the current” manmade rise in CO2 levels, as a new study notes.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper, “Evidence for a rapid release of carbon at the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum,” concludes that sediment data indicates the carbon was released in the geologic blink of an eye. As the news release explains, Rutgers geologists Morgan Schaller and James Wright argue that:
… following a doubling in carbon dioxide levels, the surface of the ocean turned acidic over a period of weeks or months and global temperatures rose by 5 degrees centigrade – all in the space of about 13 years. Scientists previously thought this process happened over 10,000 years.