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      Comment (2) on “Formation of the Isthmus of Panama” by O’Dea et al.

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          Abstract

          Evidence used to infer a 3-Ma Isthmus of Panama ignores widespread concurrent environmental changes that are irrelevant to Panama.

          Abstract

          O’Dea et al. challenged the inference that the Isthmus of Panama has been in place for the last 10 million years or more and from “an exhaustive review and reanalysis of geological, paleontological, and molecular records,” they argued for a “formation of the Isthmus of Panama sensu stricto around 2.8 Ma.” I review environmental changes since ~5 Ma throughout Earth, and I argue that environmental changes in the Central American-Caribbean region have been part of a concurrent, worldwide phenomenon that requires a global, not local, explanation. Accordingly, evidence of environmental change from the Central American-Caribbean region does not implicate the emergence of the Isthmus of Panama.

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          Evolution of Asian monsoons and phased uplift of the Himalaya-Tibetan plateau since Late Miocene times.

          The climates of Asia are affected significantly by the extent and height of the Himalayan mountains and the Tibetan plateau. Uplift of this region began about 50 Myr ago, and further significant increases in altitude of the Tibetan plateau are thought to have occurred about 10-8 Myr ago, or more recently. However, the climatic consequences of this uplift remain unclear. Here we use records of aeolian sediments from China and marine sediments from the Indian and North Pacific oceans to identify three stages of evolution of Asian climates: first, enhanced aridity in the Asian interior and onset of the Indian and east Asian monsoons, about 9-8 Myr ago; next, continued intensification of the east Asian summer and winter monsoons, together with increased dust transport to the North Pacific Ocean, about 3.6-2.6 Myr ago; and last, increased variability and possible weakening of the Indian and east Asian summer monsoons and continued strengthening of the east Asian winter monsoon since about 2.6 Myr ago. The results of a numerical climate-model experiment, using idealized stepwise increases of mountain-plateau elevation, support the argument that the stages in evolution of Asian monsoons are linked to phases of Himalaya-Tibetan plateau uplift and to Northern Hemisphere glaciation.
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            The paleoclimatic record provided by eolian deposition in the deep sea: The geologic history of wind

            David Rea (1994)
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              Middle Miocene closure of the Central American Seaway.

              Uranium-lead geochronology in detrital zircons and provenance analyses in eight boreholes and two surface stratigraphic sections in the northern Andes provide insight into the time of closure of the Central American Seaway. The timing of this closure has been correlated with Plio-Pleistocene global oceanographic, atmospheric, and biotic events. We found that a uniquely Panamanian Eocene detrital zircon fingerprint is pronounced in middle Miocene fluvial and shallow marine strata cropping out in the northern Andes but is absent in underlying lower Miocene and Oligocene strata. We contend that this fingerprint demonstrates a fluvial connection, and therefore the absence of an intervening seaway, between the Panama arc and South America in middle Miocene times; the Central American Seaway had vanished by that time.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sci Adv
                Sci Adv
                SciAdv
                advances
                Science Advances
                American Association for the Advancement of Science
                2375-2548
                June 2017
                14 June 2017
                : 3
                : 6
                : e1602320
                Affiliations
                Department of Geological Sciences, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309–0399, USA.
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. Email: molnar@ 123456colorado.edu
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3523-9172
                Article
                1602320
                10.1126/sciadv.1602320
                5470827
                28630902
                088fcd87-4ce7-40d1-8a05-cce334784d0f
                Copyright © 2017, The Authors

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 21 September 2016
                : 25 April 2017
                Categories
                Technical Comment
                Technical Comments
                SciAdv t-comment
                Ecology
                Custom metadata
                Ken Marvin Ortega

                isthmus of panama,global climate change,ice ages,great american biotic interchange

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