EGU23-15404, updated on 26 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Temperature-related stresses as a unifying principle in ancient extinctions (TERSANE)

Wolfgang Kiessling1 and the TERSANE consortium*
Wolfgang Kiessling and the TERSANE consortium
  • 1Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Erlangen, Germany (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a driver of modern ecological changes including local extinctions. However, global species extinctions are still rarely attributed to climate change. In contrast, the fossil record offers a rich suite of examples of climate-driven extinctions including mass extinctions. Temperature, oxygen and pH were the dominant climate-related extinction drivers in the marine realm.

Over the last six years, the Germany-based TERSANE research unit with nine collaborating research teams has explored the role of climate changes over timescales ranging from hours to millions of years and genealogical scales from individual organisms to ecosystems. We focused empirically on physiological responses of bivalves, the abiotic and biotic changes across the end-Permian and Pliensbachian-Toarcian hyperthermals, and Phanerozoic-scale patterns focusing on extinction selectivity, body size changes, the role of climate history, and the vulnerability of reef systems across ancient warming events. This talk will summarize TERSANE’s accomplishments focusing on the relevance of results for current climate warming with special reference to different time scales.

TERSANE consortium:

Martin Aberhan, Kenneth De Baets, Daniel Burt, Danijela Dimitrievic, Jana Gliwa, Juan Camilo Gómez Gutiérrez, Sandra Götze, Tatiana Ilyina, Michael Joachimski, Simone Kasemann, Adam Kocsis, Dieter Korn, Gregor Mathes, Johann Müller, Paulina Nätscher, Nussabaih Raja, Hans-Otto Pörtner, Carl Reddin, Manuel Steinbauer, Yadong Sun

How to cite: Kiessling, W. and the TERSANE consortium: Temperature-related stresses as a unifying principle in ancient extinctions (TERSANE), EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15404,, 2023.