Radiocarbon evidence for alternating northern and southern sources of ventilation of the deep Atlantic carbon pool during the last deglaciation

Type Article
Date 2014-04-15
Language English
Author(s) Skinner Luke C.1, Waelbroeck Claire2, Scrivner Adam E.1, Fallon Stewart J.3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Cambridge, Dept Earth Sci, Godwin Lab Palaeoclimate Res, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, England.
2 : Univ Versailles St Quentin, Lab Sci Climat & Environm, Lab Ctr Natl Rech Sci, Inst Pierre Simon Lapl,Commissariat Energie Atom, F-91198 Gif Sur Yvette, France.
3 : Australian Natl Univ, Res Sch Earth Sci, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
Source Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America (0027-8424) (Natl Acad Sciences), 2014-04-15 , Vol. 111 , N. 15 , P. 5480-5484
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1400668111
WOS© Times Cited 66
Keyword(s) ocean circulation, carbon cycle, abrupt change
Abstract Recent theories for glacial-interglacial climate transitions call on millennial climate perturbations that purged the deep sea of sequestered carbon dioxide via a "bipolar ventilation seesaw." However, the viability of this hypothesis has been contested, and robust evidence in its support is lacking. Here we present a record of North Atlantic deep-water radiocarbon ventilation, which we compare with similar data from the Southern Ocean. A striking coherence in ventilation changes is found, with extremely high ventilation ages prevailing across the deep Atlantic during the last glacial period. The data also reveal two reversals in the ventilation gradient between the deep North Atlantic and Southern Ocean during Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Younger Dryas. These coincided with periods of sustained atmospheric CO2 rise and appear to have been driven by enhanced ocean-atmosphere exchange, primarily in the Southern Ocean. These results confirm the operation of a bipolar ventilation seesaw during deglaciation and underline the contribution of abrupt regional climate anomalies to longer-term global climate transitions.
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Skinner Luke C., Waelbroeck Claire, Scrivner Adam E., Fallon Stewart J. (2014). Radiocarbon evidence for alternating northern and southern sources of ventilation of the deep Atlantic carbon pool during the last deglaciation. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 111(15), 5480-5484. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1400668111 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00290/40153/