Loss of Earth system resilience during early Eocene transient global warming events

Shruti Setty*, Margot J. Cramwinckel, Egbert H. van Nes, Ingrid A. van de Leemput, Henk A. Dijkstra, Lucas J. Lourens, Marten Scheffer, Appy Sluijs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Superimposed on long-term late Paleocene-early Eocene warming (~59 to 52 million years ago), Earth's climate experienced a series of abrupt perturbations, characterized by massive carbon input into the ocean-atmosphere system and global warming. Here, we examine the three most punctuated events of this period, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum and Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 and 3, to probe whether they were initiated by climate-driven carbon cycle tipping points. Specifically, we analyze the dynamics of climate and carbon cycle indicators acquired from marine sediments to detect changes in Earth system resilience and to identify positive feedbacks. Our analyses suggest a loss of Earth system resilience toward all three events. Moreover, dynamic convergent cross mapping reveals intensifying coupling between the carbon cycle and climate during the long-term warming trend, supporting increasingly dominant climate forcing of carbon cycle dynamics during the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum when these recurrent global warming events became more frequent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)eade5466
JournalScience Advances
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Loss of Earth system resilience during early Eocene transient global warming events'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this