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"World Without Ice," a feature story in the Oct. 2011 issue of National Geographic, mentions the research of Ellen Currano, assistant professor of geology and environmental earth sciences at Miami University. Scientists have observed that as the Paloecene epoch gave way to the Eocene, around 56 million years ago, “there was a massive and sudden release of carbon... (that) brought on drought, floods, insect plagues, and a few extinctions,” according to the article. The effects of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM — could be a model for global climate change if humans keep burning fossil fuels.
Ancient insects migrated northward and increased in diversity and abundance during a period when global temperatures gradually warmed about 60 million years ago, according to a study by Ellen Currano, assistant professor of geology at Miami University, and colleagues. Their study - the cover article of the November issue of the journal Ecological Monographs - examined the long-term effects of temperature change on plants and insect herbivores in the fossil record of the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming.