Clumped isotope evidence for Early Jurassic extreme polar warmth and high climate sensitivity

Thomas Letulle, Guillaume Suan, Mathieu Daëron, Mikhail Rogov, Christophe Lécuyer, Arnauld Vinçon-Laugier, Bruno Reynard, Gilles Montagnac, Oleg Lutikov, Jan Schlögl
2022 Climate of the Past  
Abstract. Periods of high atmospheric CO2 levels during the Cretaceous–early Paleogene (∼ 140 to 34 Myr ago) were marked by very high polar temperatures and reduced latitudinal gradients relative to the Holocene. These features represent a challenge for most climate models, implying either higher-than-predicted climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 or systematic biases or misinterpretations in proxy data. Here, we present a reconstruction of marine temperatures at polar (> 80∘) and middle (∼
more » ... ∘) paleolatitudes during the Early Jurassic (∼ 180 Myr ago) based on the clumped isotope (Δ47) and oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) analyses of shallow buried pristine mollusc shells. Reconstructed calcification temperatures range from ∼ 8 to ∼ 18 ∘C in the Toarcian Arctic and from ∼ 24 to ∼ 28 ∘C in Pliensbachian mid-paleolatitudes. These polar temperatures were ∼ 10–20 ∘C higher than present along with reduced latitudinal gradients. Reconstructed seawater oxygen isotope values (δ18Ow) of −1.5 ‰ to 0.5 ‰ VSMOW and of −5 ‰ to −2.5 ‰ VSMOW at middle and polar paleolatitudes, respectively, point to a significant freshwater contribution in Arctic regions. These data highlight the risk of assuming the same δ18Osw value for δ18O-derived temperature from different oceanic regions. These findings provide critical new constraints for model simulations of Jurassic temperatures and δ18Osw values and suggest that high climate sensitivity has been a hallmark of greenhouse climates for at least 180 Myr.
doi:10.5194/cp-18-435-2022 fatcat:md5kvkrfknf25ozfxxbwpm2hum