Dr Cesca McInerney and her former PhD student Allison Baczynsk have been analysing 56million year old plant and animal fossils from the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a period of extreme global warming caused by a rapid rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, their research analysed the chemical signatures of mammal teeth and leaf wax fossils at Bighorn Basin, USA. They found that plants may have adapted to the high temperatures of PETM by flushing leaves during the cool season. This exciting research could mean that similar changes occur today as the temperature increases from climate change.
Read the paper to find out more.