Radiocarbon evidence for enhanced respired carbon storage in the Atlantic at the Last Glacial Maximum

Freeman, E. and Skinner, L. C. and Waelbroeck, C. and Hodell, D. (2016) Radiocarbon evidence for enhanced respired carbon storage in the Atlantic at the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Communications, 7. ISSN 2041-1723 DOI 10.1038/ncomms11998

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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms11998

Abstract

The influence of ocean circulation changes on atmospheric CO2 hinges primarily on the ability to alter the ocean interior's respired nutrient inventory. Here we investigate the Atlantic overturning circulation at the Last Glacial Maximum and its impact on respired carbon storage using radiocarbon and stable carbon isotope data from the Brazil and Iberian Margins. The data demonstrate the existence of a shallow well-ventilated northern-sourced cell overlying a poorly ventilated, predominantly southern-sourced cell at the Last Glacial Maximum. We also find that organic carbon remineralisation rates in the deep Atlantic remained broadly similar to modern, but that ventilation ages in the southern-sourced overturning cell were significantly increased. Respired carbon storage in the deep Atlantic was therefore enhanced during the last glacial period, primarily due to an increase in the residence time of carbon in the deep ocean, rather than an increase in biological carbon export.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2016AREP; IA70;
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Communications
Volume: 7
Identification Number: 10.1038/ncomms11998
Depositing User: Library Administrator
Date Deposited: 09 May 2016 10:14
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 17:24
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3657

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