More efficient North Atlantic carbon pump during the Last Glacial Maximum

Yu, J. and Menviel, L. and Jin, Z. D. and Thornalley, D. J. R. and Foster, G. L. and Rohling, E. J. and McCave, I. N. and McManus, J. F. and Dai, Y. and Ren, H. and He, F. and Zhang, F. and Chen, P. J. and Roberts, A. P. (2019) More efficient North Atlantic carbon pump during the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Communications, 10 (1). ISSN 2041-1723 DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10028-z

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Abstract

During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ~20,000 years ago), the global ocean sequestered a large amount of carbon lost from the atmosphere and terrestrial biosphere. Suppressed CO2 outgassing from the Southern Ocean is the prevailing explanation for this carbon sequestration. By contrast, the North Atlantic Ocean—a major conduit for atmospheric CO2 transport to the ocean interior via the overturning circulation—has received much less attention. Here we demonstrate that North Atlantic carbon pump efficiency during the LGM was almost doubled relative to the Holocene. This is based on a novel proxy approach to estimate air–sea CO2 exchange signals using combined carbonate ion and nutrient reconstructions for multiple sediment cores from the North Atlantic. Our data indicate that in tandem with Southern Ocean processes, enhanced North Atlantic CO2 absorption contributed to lowering ice-age atmospheric CO2.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2019AREP; IA76
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: 10
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10028-z
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 13 May 2020 12:06
Last Modified: 13 May 2020 12:06
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4738

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