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Re: Why was Earth a fiery hell 55 million years ago?

Thanks.  That is a good explanation.

Volcanoes are completely missing. Any logical explanation is almost completely missing - events are described but hypothesized to have caused themselves. And how would the coal beds have massively caught fire? Does the odd carbon isotope suggest anything about its origins? It does put the event in perspective, however.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:65_Myr_Climate_Change.png; did it really get as warm again during the middle of the Eocene?

Dora Smith
Austin, TX

----- Original Message ----- From: <tholtz@geol.umd.edu>
To: <villandra@austin.rr.com>
Cc: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2008 7:45 AM
Subject: Re: Why was Earth a fiery hell 55 million years ago?

They are talking about the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximums (PETM), a
massive but very short term spike in temperature triggered by a massive
release of greenhouse gasses (most likely marine methane) triggered by...
Um...  Okay, there is not yet a strong candidate for the actual trigger:
some prefer an impactor, others for terrestrial causes.

A brief wiki-review is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PETM

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661

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