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Impact of strong deep ocean stratification on the glacial carbon cycle

Bouttes, N., Roche, D.M. and Paillard, D. (2009) Impact of strong deep ocean stratification on the glacial carbon cycle. Paleoceanography, 24 (PA3203). ISSN 1944-9186

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2008PA001707

Abstract/Summary

During the Last Glacial Maximum, the climate was substantially colder and the carbon cycle was clearly different from the late Holocene. According to proxy data deep oceanic δ13C was very low, and the atmospheric CO2 concentration also reduced. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain these changes, but none can fully explain the data, especially the very low deep ocean δ13C values. Oceanic core data show that the deep ocean was very cold and salty, which would lead to enhanced deep ocean stratification. We show that such an enhanced stratification in the coupled climate model CLIMBER-2 helps get very low deep oceanic δ13C values. Indeed the simulated δ13C reaches values as low as −0.8‰ in line with proxy data evidences. Moreover it increases the oceanic carbon reservoir leading to a small, yet robust, atmospheric CO2 drop of approximately 10 ppm.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:34182
Publisher:Wiley for American Geophysical Union

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