Research NewsPaleoceanography

Did a Blast of Sea-Floor Gas Usher in a New Age?

Science  28 Feb 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5304, pp. 1267
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5304.1267

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The end of the Paleocene epoch 55 million years ago was a puzzling time, in which tiny marine animals died, modern mammals suddenly appeared in North America, and isotopic signals indicate a shift in the global carbon cycle. Now a new mathematical model shows that a release of methane gas from the ocean floor could be at the heart of all these changes.