The end-Permian mass extinction event resulted in the loss of approximately 80% to 90% of marine animal species due to drastic changes in climate. Because warming was a major factor in the extinction, it has been theorized the organisms that did survive were able to do so because they moved to higher latitudes and this hypothesis is consistent with tetrapod data. We hypothesized that this relationship holds true for marine mollusks and arthropods as well. Using Changhsingian (Late Permian) and Induan (Early Triassic) data from the Paleobiology Database, we extracted occurrences of classes Bivalvia, Cephalopoda, Gastropoda, and Ostracoda, which had 2433, 395, 379, and 1717 genus occurrences, respectively. Then, we used the paleolatitude data for each genus occurrence to characterize the latitude distribution of each class before and after the Permian/Triassic transition. We compared the paleolatitude medians before and after the mass extinction for each class to quantify the latitude shift for each class: 23.18° for Bivalvia, 37.45° for Cephalopoda, 29.82° for Gastropoda, and 6.29° for Ostracoda. This finding indicates that each individual class had a different latitudinal shift, with all classes exhibiting a poleward shift north. We also conducted Welch t-tests to compare the differences in latitudinal ranges and found that they were significant (Bivalvia: p < 2.2e-16, Cephalopoda: p = 3.83e-6, Gastropoda: p < 2.2e-16, Ostracoda: p = 0.0030). In addition, we ran multiple randomized models to compare them with our original results and found a significant difference between them via the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, which means that the northward migration could be a biological response. Moreover, the results of our study show that the overall latitudinal range of most classes contracted after the extinction event, with the exception of the Cephalopoda class.
Stable carbon (δ¹³C) and oxygen (δ¹⁸O) isotope measurements in lacustrine ostracodes are widely used to infer past climatic conditions. Previous work has used individual ostracode valves to resolve seasonal and subdecadal climate signals, yet environmental controls on geochemical variability within co-occurring specimens from modern samples are poorly constrained. Here we focus on individual ostracode valves in modern-aged Lake Turkana sediments, an alkaline desert lake in tropical East Africa. We present individual ostracode valve analyses (IOVA) of δ¹³C and δ¹⁸O measurements (n = 329) of extant species Sclerocypris clavularis from 17 sites spanning the entire lake (n-avg ~19 specimens per site). We demonstrate that the pooled statistics of individual valve measurements at each site overcome inter-specimen isotopic variance and are driven by hydrological variability in the lake. Mean IOVA-δ¹³C and -δ¹⁸O across the sites exhibit strong spatial trends with higher values at more southerly latitudes, modulated by distance from the inflow of the Omo River. Whereas the latitudinal δ¹³C gradient reflects low riverine δ¹³C and decreasing lacustrine productivity towards the southern part of the lake, the δ¹⁸O gradient is controlled by evaporation superimposed on the waning influence of low-δ¹⁸O Omo River waters, sourced from the Ethiopian highlands. We show that ostracode δ¹⁸Oproximal to Omo River inflow is deposited under near-equilibrium conditions and that inter-specimen δ¹⁸O variability across the basin is consistent with observed temperature and lake water δ¹⁸O variability. IOVA can provide skillful constraints on high-frequency paleoenvironmental signals and, in Omo-Turkana sediments, yield quantitative insights into East African paleohydrology.
Model simulations of past climates are increasingly found to compare well with proxy data at a global scale, but regional discrepancies remain. A persistent issue in modeling past greenhouse climates has been the temperature difference between equatorial and (sub-)polar regions, which is typically much larger in simulations than proxy data suggest. Particularly in the Eocene, multiple temperature proxies suggest extreme warmth in the southwest Pacific Ocean, where model simulations consistently suggest temperate conditions. Here we present new global ocean model simulations at 0.1° horizontal resolution for the middle-late Eocene. The eddies in the high-resolution model affect poleward heat transport and local time-mean flow in critical regions compared to the non-eddying flow in the standard low-resolution simulations. As a result, the high-resolution simulations produce higher surface temperatures near Antarctica and lower surface temperatures near the equator compared to the low-resolution simulations, leading to better correspondence with proxy reconstructions. Crucially, the high-resolution simulations are also much more consistent with biogeographic patterns in endemic-Antarctic and low-latitude-derived plankton, and thus resolve the long-standing discrepancy of warm subpolar ocean temperatures and isolating polar gyre circulation. The results imply that strongly eddying model simulations are required to reconcile discrepancies between regional proxy data and models, and demonstrate the importance of accurate regional paleobathymetry for proxy-model comparisons.
Birds are some of the most diverse organisms on Earth, with species inhabiting nearly every conceivable niche in every major biome. As such, birds are vital to our understanding of modern ecosystems. Unfortunately, this is hampered by knowledge gaps relating to the origin of this modern diversity and its role in ecosystems. A crucial part of addressing these shortcomings is improving our understanding of the earliest birds, the non-avian avialans i.e. non-crown birds. The diet of non-avian avialans has been a matter of substantial debate, partly related to some of the ambiguous qualitative approaches that have been used to reconstruct it. Here we review the methods of determining diet in both modern avians and fossil avian and non-avian theropods, and comment on their usefulness when applied to non-avian avialans. We use this to propose a set of comparable, quantitative approaches to ascertain fossil bird diet and on this basis provide a consensus of what we currently know about fossil bird diet. While no single approach can precisely predict diet in birds, each can exclude some diets and narrow the dietary possibilities. We recommend combining  dental microwear,  landmark-based muscular reconstruction,  stable isotope geochemistry,  body mass estimations,  traditional and/or geometric morphometric analysis, and  finite element analysis to accurately reconstruct fossil bird diet. Our review provides specific methodologies to implement each approach and discusses complications future researchers should keep in mind. On this basis we report the current state of knowledge of non-avian avialan diet which remains very incomplete. The ancestral dietary condition in non-avian avialans remains unclear due to a scarcity of data and contradictory evidence in Archaeopteryx. Among early non-avian pygostylians, Confuciusornis has finite element analysis and mechanical advantage evidence pointing to herbivory, whilst Sapeornis only has mechanical advantage evidence indicating granivory, which agrees with fossilised ingested material known for this taxon. The enantiornithine ornithothoracine Shenqiornis has mechanical advantage and pedal morphometric evidence pointing to carnivory. In the hongshanornithid ornithuromorph Hongshanornis, only mechanical advantage evidence indicates granivory, but this is congruent with evidence of fossilised ingested material in this taxon. The same is true for the songlingornithid ornithuromorph Yanornis and its inferred carnivorous diet. Due to the sparsity of robust dietary assignments, no clear trends in non-avian avialan dietary evolution have yet emerged. Dietary diversity may seem to increase through time, but this is a preservational bias associated with a predominance of data from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Lagerstatte. With this new framework and our current synthesis of current knowledge of non-avian non-avialan diet, we expect dietary knowledge and evolutionary trends to become much clearer[…]
The East China Sea (ECS) seasonally receives a high organic input due to the terrestrial organic matter influx, which is controlled by the East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM), and the increased productivity driven by upwelling of the subsurface Kuroshio Current (KC). Changes in benthic foraminiferal assemblage composition in combination with paleoceanographic proxy data (CaCO3 (%), TOC (%), δ13Cpf, and δ18Obf) are used to reconstruct bottom water oxygenation and organic export flux variability over the last 400 kyr in the ECS. Multivariate analyses of benthic foraminiferal census data identified six biofacies characteristic of varying environmental conditions. These results suggest that enhanced EASM precipitation and KC upwelling directly influenced organic export flux and bottom water oxygen content in the ECS. The ECS bottom water was suboxic during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 to 8; suboxic to dysoxic between MIS 7 and 6, strongly dysoxic between mid-MIS 5 and 4, and exhibited high variability between MIS 3 and 1. Spectral analysis of relative abundances of representative genera Quinqueloculina (oxic), Bulimina (suboxic), and Globobulimina (dysoxic) reveals a robust 23 kyr signal, which we attribute to precessionally-paced changes in surface productivity and bottom water oxygenation related to EASM and KC variability over the past 400 kyr.
The boundary between the solar wind (SW) and the Earths magnetosphere, the magnetopause (MP), is highly dynamic. Its location and shape depend on SW dynamic pressure and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientation. We use a 3D kinetic Particle-In-Cell code (IAPIC) to simulate an event observed by THEMIS spacecraft on July 16, 2007. We investigate the impact of radial (θBx=0◦) and non-radial (θBx=50◦) IMF on the shape and size of Earths MP for a dipole tilt of 31◦ using maximum density gradient and pressure balance methods. Using the Shue model as a reference (MP at 10.3 RE), we find that for non-radial IMF the MP expands by 1.4 and 1.7RE along the the Sun-Earth (OX) and tilted magnetic equatorial (Tilt) axes, respectively, and it expands by 0.5 and 1.6RE for radial IMF along the same respective axes. When the effect of backstreaming ions is removed from the bulk flow, the expansion ranges are 1.0 and 1.3RE and 0.2, and 1.2RE, respectively. It is found that the percentage of backstreaming to bulk flow ions are 16.5% and 20% for radial and non-radial IMF. We also show that when the backstreaming ions are not identified, up to 40% of the observed expansion that is due to backstreaming particles can be inadvertently attributed to a change in the SW upstream properties. Finally, we quantified the temperature anisotropy in the magnetosheath, and observe a strong dawn-dusk asymmetry in the MP location, being more extended on the duskside than on the dawnside.
We applied a polarization analysis of InSight seismic data to estimate the temporal variation and frequency dependence of the Martian ambient noise field. Low-frequency (<1 Hz) P-waves show a diurnal variation in their dominant back-azimuths that are apparently related to wind and the direction of sunlight in a distant area. Low-frequency Rayleigh waves (0.25–1 Hz) show diurnal variations and a dominant back-azimuth related to the wind direction in a nearby area. Low-frequency signals that are derived mainly from wind may be sensitive to subsurface structure deeper than the lithological boundary derived from an autocorrelation analysis. On the other hand, dominant back-azimuths of high-frequency (>1 Hz) waves point toward the InSight lander, especially in daytime, indicating that wind-induced lander noise is dominant at high frequencies. These results point to the presence of several ambient noise sources as well as geologic structure at the landing site.
Collision between the Pontides and Anatolide-Tauride Block along the İzmir-Ankara-Erzincan suture in Anatolia has been variously estimated from the Late Cretaceous to Eocene. It remains unclear whether this age range results from a protracted, multi-phase collision or differences between proxies of collision age and along strike. Here, we leverage the Cretaceous-Eocene evolution of the forearc-to-foreland Central Sakarya Basin system in western Anatolia to determine when and how collision progressed. New detrital zircon and sandstone petrography results indicate that the volcanic arc was the main source of sediment to the forearc basin in the Late Cretaceous. The first appearance of Pontide basement-aged detrital zircons, in concert with exhumation of the accretionary prism and a decrease in regional convergence rates indicates intercontinental collision initiated no later than 76 Ma. However, this first contractional phase does not produce thick-skinned deformation and basin partitioning until ca. 54 Ma, coeval to regional syn-collisional magmatism. We propose three non-exclusive and widely applicable mechanisms to reconcile the observed ~20 Myr delay between initial intercontinental collision and thick-skinned upper plate deformation: relict basin closure north and south of the İAES, gradual underthrusting of thicker lithosphere, and Paleocene slab breakoff. These mechanisms highlight the links between upper plate deformation and plate coupling during continental collision.
In the face of ongoing marine deoxygenation, understanding timescales and drivers of past oxygenation change is of critical importance. Marine sediment cores from tiered silled basins provide a natural laboratory to constrain timing and implications of oxygenation changes across multiple depths. Here, we reconstruct oxygenation and environmental change over time using benthic foraminiferal assemblages from sediment cores from three basins across the Southern California Borderlands: Tanner Basin (EW9504-09PC, 1194 m water depth), San Nicolas Basin (EW9504-08PC, 1442 m), and San Clemente Basin (EW9504-05PC ,1818 m). We utilize indicator taxa, community ecology, and an oxygenation transfer function to reconstruct past oxygenation, and we directly compare reconstructed dissolved oxygen to modern measured dissolved oxygen. We generate new, higher resolution carbon and oxygen isotope records from planktic (Globigerina bulloides) and benthic foraminifera (Cibicides mckannai) from Tanner Basin. Geochemical and assemblage data indicate limited ecological and environmental change through time in each basin across the intervals studied. Early to mid-Holocene (11.0-4.7 ka) oxygenation below 1400 m (San Clemente and San Nicolas) was relatively stable and reduced relative to modern. San Nicolas Basin experienced a multi-centennial oxygenation episode from 4.7-4.3 ka and oxygenation increased in Tanner Basin gradually from 1.7-0.8 ka. Yet across all three depths and time intervals studied, dissolved oxygen is consistently within a range of intermediate hypoxia (0.5-1.5 ml L-1 [O2]). Variance in reconstructed dissolved oxygen was similar to decadal variance in modern dissolved oxygen and reduced relative to Holocene-scale changes in shallower basins.
Committees touch nearly every facet in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research enterprise. However, the role of gatekeeping through committee work has received little attention in Earth and space sciences. We propose a novel concept called, “regenerative gatekeeping” to challenge institutional inertia, cultivate belonging, accessibility, justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in committee work. Three examples, a hiring committee process, a seminar series innovation, and an awards committee, highlight the need to self-assess policies and practices, ask critical questions and engage in generative conflict. Rethinking committee work can activate distributed mechanisms needed to promote change.
Reconstructions of Common-Era sea level are informative of relationships between sea level and natural climate variation, and the uniqueness of modern sea-level rise. Kench et al. recently reconstructed Common-Era sea level in the Maldives, Indian Ocean, using coral microatolls. They reported periods of 150-500 yr when sea level fell and rose at average rates of 2.7-4.3 mm/yr. These periods coincided with intervals of cooling and warming inferred from proxy reconstructions of sea-surface temperature (SST) and radiative forcing (ref. 2, Fig. 2). Kench et al. reasoned that these 0.6-1.4-m centennial-scale sea-level fluctuations were driven by climate, specifically thermal contraction and expansion of seawater. In contrast to previous studies, Kench et al. argued that modern rates and magnitudes of sea-level rise caused by climate change have precedent during the Common Era. We use principles of sea-level physics to argue that pre-industrial radiative forcing and SST changes were insufficient to cause thermosteric sea-level (TSL) trends as large as reported for the Maldives.
Hydrogen isotope ratios of sedimentary leaf waxes (δ2HWax values) are increasingly used to reconstruct past hydroclimate. Here, we add δ2HWax values from 19 lakes and four swamps on 15 tropical Pacific islands to an updated global compilation of published data from surface sediments and soils. Globally, there is a strong positive linear correlation between δ2H values of mean annual precipitation (δ2HP values) and the leaf waxes n-C29-alkane (R2 = 0.74, n = 665) and n-C28-acid (R2 = 0.74, n = 242). Tropical Pacific δ2HWax values fall within the predicted range of values based on the global calibration, and the largest residuals from the global regression line are no greater than those observed elsewhere, despite large uncertainties in δ2HP values at some Pacific sites. However, tropical Pacific δ2HWax values in isolation are not correlated with estimated δ2HP values from isoscapes or from isotope-enabled general circulation models. Palynological analyses from these same Pacific sediment samples suggest no systematic relationship between any particular type of pollen distribution and deviations from the global calibration line. Rather, the poor correlations observed in the tropical Pacific are likely a function of the small range of δ2HP values relative to the typical residuals around the global calibration line. Our results suggest that δ2HWax values are currently most suitable for use in detecting large changes in precipitation in the tropical Pacific and elsewhere, but that ample room for improving this threshold exits in both improved understanding of δ2H variability in plants, as well as in precipitation.
Increased adoption and improved methodology in carbonate clumped isotope thermometry has greatly enhanced our ability to interrogate a suite of Earth-system processes. However, interlaboratory discrepancies in quantifying Increased use and improved methodology of carbonate clumped isotope thermometry has greatly enhanced our ability to interrogate a suite of Earth-system processes. However, inter-laboratory discrepancies in quantifying carbonate clumped isotope (Δ47) measurements persist, and their specific sources remain unclear. To address inter-laboratory differences, we first provide consensus values from the clumped isotope community for four carbonate standards relative to heated and equilibrated gases with 1,819 individual analyses from 10 laboratories. Then we analyzed the four carbonate standards along with three additional standards, spanning a broad range of δ47 and Δ47 compositions, for a total of 5,329 analyses on 25 individual mass spectrometers from 22 different laboratories. Treating three of the materials as known standards and the other four as unknowns, we find that the use of carbonate reference materials is a robust method for standardization that yields inter-laboratory discrepancies entirely consistent with in-laboratory analytical uncertainties. Carbonate reference materials, along with measurement and data processing practices described herein, provide the carbonate clumped isotope community with a robust approach to achieve inter-laboratory agreement as we continue to use and improve this powerful geochemical tool. We propose that carbonate clumped isotope data normalized to the carbonate reference materials described in this publication should be reported as Δ47 (I-CDES) for Intercarb-Carbon Dioxide Equilibrium Scale.
The Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL) is a vast continuous peatland in Northern Canada. The landscape is a mosaic of mostly bogs and fens, with more limited swamp, marsh, forest and open water. Owing to rapid rates of isostatic uplift, younger peats are found closer to the coasts of Hudson and James Bays, with fen-type peatlands somewhat more prevalent on these younger surfaces. More than 30 Pg of carbon have accumulated in the HBL over the Holocene. The rates of Holocene carbon accumulation vary considerably both spatially and temporally, with some sites showing more rapid rates of carbon accumulation in the first 2-3 millennia following peatland initiation. We evaluate here the hypothesis that vegetation changes over the course of the Holocene, including fen-to-bog transitions, partially explain the variability in carbon accumulation. We find that in some cases, more rapid rates of C accumulation in the middle Holocene (5000-8000 yrs before present) are associated with early successional minerotrophic fens with higher carbon densities. Fen-to-bog transitions are recorded in many peat cores collected from present day bogs; however, these transitions are time transgressive, and can depend on the time since initiation, suggesting that climate changes may play a secondary role, relative to hydrological changes and local ecological processes. Fens are highly prevalent in the HBL landscape (covering about 38% of land cover). Cores taken from present day fens and analyzed for carbon accumulation and vegetation change indicate that many fen sites have remained fens since peat initiation. Variability in rates of Holocene carbon accumulation within fen records which have not been subject to any major vegetation change may more closely reflect climate drivers.
Studies reconstructing surface paleoproductivity and benthic conditions allow us to measure the effectiveness of the biological pump, an important mechanism in the global climate system. In order to assess surface productivity changes and their effect on the seafloor, we studied the core SAT-048A, recovered from the continental slope of the southernmost Brazilian continental margin, in the western South Atlantic. We assessed the sea surface productivity, the organic matter flux to the seafloor and the dissolution effects, based on micropaleontological (benthic and planktonic foraminifers, ostracods), geochemical (benthic and planktonic δ13C isotopes) and sedimentological data (carbonate and bulk sand content). Superimposed on the climate-induced changes related to the last glacial-interglacial transition, the reconstruction indicates paleoproductivity changes synchronized with the precessional cycle. From the reconstructed data, it was possible to identify high (low) surface productivity, high (low) organic matter flux to the seafloor, and high (low) dissolution rates of planktonic Foraminifera tests during the glacial (postglacial). Furthermore, within the glacial, enhanced productivity was associated with higher insolation values, explained by increased NE summer winds that promoted meandering and upwelling of the nutrient-rich South Atlantic Central Water. Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and the reorganization of bottom water masses could also have changed the CO3 2- saturation levels and have influenced the carbonate preservation. However, changes in the Uvigerina spp. δ13C values are very likely linked to the organic matter flux and not to the sea bottom dissolved inorganic matter δ13C values.
41 thousand years ago, the Laschamps geomagnetic excursion caused Earth’s geomagnetic field to drastically diminish to ~4% of modern values and modified the geomagnetic dipole axis. While the impact of this geomagnetic event on environmental factors and human lifestyle has been contemplated to be linked with modifications in the geospace environment, no concerted investigation has been conducted to study this until recently. We present an initial investigation of the global space environment and related plasma environments during the several phases of the Lachamps event using an advanced multi-model approach. We use recent paleomagnetic field models of this event to study the paleomagnetosphere with help of the global magnetohydrodynamic model BATS-R-US. Here we go beyond a simple dipole approximation but consider a realistic geomagnetic field configuration. The field is used within BATS-R-US to generate the magnetosphere during discrete epochs spanning the peak of the event. Since solar conditions have remained fairly constant over the last ~100k years, modern estimates of the solar wind were used to drive the model. Finally, plasma pressure and currents generated by BATS-R-US at their inner boundary are used to compute auroral fluxes using a stand-alone version of the MAGNIT model, an adiabatic kinetic model of the aurora. Our results show that changes in the geomagnetic field, both in strength and the dipole tilt angle, have profound effects on the space environment and the ensuing auroral pattern. Magnetopause distances during the deepest phase of the excursion match previous predictions by studies like Cooper et al. (2021), while high-resolution mapping of magnetic fields allow close examination of magnetospheric structure for non-dipolar configurations. Temporal progression of the event also exhibits rapid locomotion of the auroral region over ~250 years along with the movement of the geomagnetic poles. Our estimates suggest that the aurora extended further down, with the center of the oval located at near-equatorial latitudes during the peak of the event. While the study does not find evidence of any link between geomagnetic variability and habitability conditions, geographic locations of the auroral oval coincide with early human activity in the Iberian peninsula and South China Sea.
It is now understood that if life had ever erose on Mars, it might have been preserved in the simplest form. Therefore, studying the traces of simple life forms from the rock records of various Earth environments and climatic conditions perhaps helps to narrow down the region of interest while searching for life on the red planet. The Precambrian era covered almost 80% of Earth’s geologic history, witnessed the appearance of life on Earth and experienced prolonged extreme climatic events that delayed biological evolution. During this extreme period, primitive lifeforms such as microbial mats had a strong influence on sedimentation, and they facilitated the formation of a variety of mat-induced sedimentary structures (MISS) in siliciclastic and carbonate sedimentary environments. In the last two decades MISS have been identified from several Precambrian successions of India for example, Vindhyan, Marwar, Chhattisgarh and, Cuddapah Supergroup. In this study we tried to provide an updated catalogue based on the chronologic, stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental occurrences of MISS from the Indian Precambrian successions. We further explore their potential in understanding extreme habitability, searching biomarkers and biosignatures on Mars and propose a few potential sites for astrobiological research.