Publications by authors named "Brian T Huber"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Past climates inform our future.

Science 2020 11;370(6517)

Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA.

As the world warms, there is a profound need to improve projections of climate change. Although the latest Earth system models offer an unprecedented number of features, fundamental uncertainties continue to cloud our view of the future. Past climates provide the only opportunity to observe how the Earth system responds to high carbon dioxide, underlining a fundamental role for paleoclimatology in constraining future climate change. Here, we review the relevancy of paleoclimate information for climate prediction and discuss the prospects for emerging methodologies to further insights gained from past climates. Advances in proxy methods and interpretations pave the way for the use of past climates for model evaluation-a practice that we argue should be widely adopted.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aay3701DOI Listing
November 2020

Rapid ocean acidification and protracted Earth system recovery followed the end-Cretaceous Chicxulub impact.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 11 21;116(45):22500-22504. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Department of Geology & Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520;

Mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary coincides with the Chicxulub bolide impact and also falls within the broader time frame of Deccan trap emplacement. Critically, though, empirical evidence as to how either of these factors could have driven observed extinction patterns and carbon cycle perturbations is still lacking. Here, using boron isotopes in foraminifera, we document a geologically rapid surface-ocean pH drop following the Chicxulub impact, supporting impact-induced ocean acidification as a mechanism for ecological collapse in the marine realm. Subsequently, surface water pH rebounded sharply with the extinction of marine calcifiers and the associated imbalance in the global carbon cycle. Our reconstructed water-column pH gradients, combined with Earth system modeling, indicate that a partial ∼50% reduction in global marine primary productivity is sufficient to explain observed marine carbon isotope patterns at the K-Pg, due to the underlying action of the solubility pump. While primary productivity recovered within a few tens of thousands of years, inefficiency in carbon export to the deep sea lasted much longer. This phased recovery scenario reconciles competing hypotheses previously put forward to explain the K-Pg carbon isotope records, and explains both spatially variable patterns of change in marine productivity across the event and a lack of extinction at the deep sea floor. In sum, we provide insights into the drivers of the last mass extinction, the recovery of marine carbon cycling in a postextinction world, and the way in which marine life imprints its isotopic signal onto the geological record.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1905989116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6842625PMC
November 2019

Ammonite habitat revealed via isotopic composition and comparisons with co-occurring benthic and planktonic organisms.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015 Dec 16;112(51):15562-7. Epub 2015 Nov 16.

Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 10024;

Ammonites are among the best-known fossils of the Phanerozoic, yet their habitat is poorly understood. Three common ammonite families (Baculitidae, Scaphitidae, and Sphenodiscidae) co-occur with well-preserved planktonic and benthic organisms at the type locality of the upper Maastrichtian Owl Creek Formation, offering an excellent opportunity to constrain their depth habitats through isotopic comparisons among taxa. Based on sedimentary evidence and the micro- and macrofauna at this site, we infer that the 9-m-thick sequence was deposited at a paleodepth of 70-150 m. Taxa present throughout the sequence include a diverse assemblage of ammonites, bivalves, and gastropods, abundant benthic foraminifera, and rare planktonic foraminifera. No stratigraphic trends are observed in the isotopic data of any taxon, and thus all of the data from each taxon are considered as replicates. Oxygen isotope-based temperature estimates from the baculites and scaphites overlap with those of the benthos and are distinct from those of the plankton. In contrast, sphenodiscid temperature estimates span a range that includes estimates of the planktonic foraminifera and of the warmer half of the benthic values. These results suggest baculites and scaphites lived close to the seafloor, whereas sphenodiscids sometimes inhabited the upper water column and/or lived closer to shore. In fact, the rarity and poorer preservation of the sphenodiscids relative to the baculites and scaphites suggests that the sphenodiscid shells may have only reached the Owl Creek locality by drifting seaward after death.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1507554112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4697401PMC
December 2015

Using cathodoluminescence spectroscopy of cretaceous calcareous microfossils to distinguish biogenic from early-diagenetic calcite.

Microsc Microanal 2012 Dec 20;18(6):1313-21. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, MRC 121, Washington, DC 20560, USA.

A comparative cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopic study of extraordinarily well-preserved versus diagenetically altered Turonian (∼92 Ma before present) calcitic and aragonitic microfossils was performed to document the cathodoluminescence characteristics of two common Cretaceous carbonate producers, foraminifera and calcareous dinoflagellates. Unaltered specimens reveal a conspicuous peak in the blue CL band at ≈ 400 nm that has rarely been previously reported for biogenic carbonates. We interpret this luminescence as an indicative feature of the primary bio-mineralized shells of calcareous dinoflagellates and foraminifera. Orange luminescence as the second important CL emission band (≈ 620 nm) in calcite generally increases with diagenetic cement overgrowth and recrystallization but can also be present in unaltered material. Thus, orange CL of biogenic calcite is not an unequivocal diagenetic indicator. Accordingly, spectroscopic investigation of both the ≈ 400 and ≈ 620 nm peaks represents a more objective criterion to evaluate the degree of diagenetic alteration. The ratio of relative intensities of the blue CL versus orange CL can provide a semiquantitative measure with relative intensity ratios blue:orange >2 occurring in the least diagenetically altered microfossils. Comparison of unaltered specimens of separate species reveals elemental differences that potentially indicate species-specific biomineralization or habitats.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1431927612001353DOI Listing
December 2012

Correlated terrestrial and marine evidence for global climate changes before mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2003 Jan 10;100(2):599-604. Epub 2003 Jan 10.

Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

Terrestrial climates near the time of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction are poorly known, limiting understanding of environmentally driven changes in biodiversity that occurred before bolide impact. We estimate paleotemperatures for the last approximately 1.1 million years of the Cretaceous ( approximately 66.6-65.5 million years ago, Ma) by using fossil plants from North Dakota and employ paleomagnetic stratigraphy to correlate the results to foraminiferal paleoclimatic data from four middle- and high-latitude sites. Both plants and foraminifera indicate warming near 66.0 Ma, a warming peak from approximately 65.8 to 65.6 Ma, and cooling near 65.6 Ma, suggesting that these were global climate shifts. The warming peak coincides with the immigration of a thermophilic flora, maximum plant diversity, and the poleward range expansion of thermophilic foraminifera. Plant data indicate the continuation of relatively cool temperatures across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary; there is no indication of a major warming immediately after the boundary as previously reported. Our temperature proxies correspond well with recent pCO(2) data from paleosol carbonate, suggesting a coupling of pCO(2) and temperature. To the extent that biodiversity is correlated with temperature, estimates of the severity of end-Cretaceous extinctions that are based on occurrence data from the warming peak are probably inflated, as we illustrate for North Dakota plants. However, our analysis of climate and facies considerations shows that the effects of bolide impact should be regarded as the most significant contributor to these plant extinctions.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0234701100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC141042PMC
January 2003