Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Boron isotope evidence for oceanic carbon dioxide leakage during the last deglaciation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

M A Martínez-Botí, G Marino, G L Foster, P Ziveri, M J Henehan, J W B Rae, P G Mortyn, D Vance

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Atmospheric CO2 fluctuations over glacial-interglacial cycles remain a major challenge to our understanding of the carbon cycle and the climate system. Leading hypotheses put forward to explain glacial-interglacial atmospheric CO2 variations invoke changes in deep-ocean carbon storage, probably modulated by processes in the Southern Ocean, where much of the deep ocean is ventilated. A central aspect of such models is that, during deglaciations, an isolated glacial deep-ocean carbon reservoir is reconnected with the atmosphere, driving the atmospheric CO2 rise observed in ice-core records. However, direct documentation of changes in surface ocean carbon content and the associated transfer of carbon to the atmosphere during deglaciations has been hindered by the lack of proxy reconstructions that unambiguously reflect the oceanic carbonate system. Radiocarbon activity tracks changes in ocean ventilation, but not in ocean carbon content, whereas proxies that record increased deglacial upwelling do not constrain the proportion of upwelled carbon that is degassed relative to that which is taken up by the biological pump. Here we apply the boron isotope pH proxy in planktic foraminifera to two sediment cores from the sub-Antarctic Atlantic and the eastern equatorial Pacific as a more direct tracer of oceanic CO2 outgassing. We show that surface waters at both locations, which partly derive from deep water upwelled in the Southern Ocean, became a significant source of carbon to the atmosphere during the last deglaciation, when the concentration of atmospheric CO2 was increasing. This oceanic CO2 outgassing supports the view that the ventilation of a deep-ocean carbon reservoir in the Southern Ocean had a key role in the deglacial CO2 rise, although our results allow for the possibility that processes operating in other regions may also have been important for the glacial-interglacial ocean-atmosphere exchange of carbon.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-22
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume518
Issue number7538
Early online date11 Feb 2015
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Feb 2015

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. CO2 storage and release in the deep Southern Ocean on millennial to centennial timescales

    Rae, J. W. B., Burke, A., Robinson, L. F., Adkins, J. F., Chen, T., Cole, C., Greenop, R., Li, T., Littley, E., Nita, D. C., Stewart, J. A. & Taylor, B. 24 Oct 2018 In : Nature. 562, p. 569-573 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

  2. The effect of ocean acidification on tropical coral calcification: insights from calcification fluid DIC chemistry

    Allison, N., Cole, C., Hintz, C., Hintz, K., Rae, J. & Finch, A. 10 Oct 2018 In : Chemical Geology. 497, p. 162-169 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Distribution and ecology of planktic foraminifera in the North Pacific: implications for paleo-reconstructions

    Taylor, B. J., Rae, J. W. B., Gray, W. R., Darling, K., Burke, A., Gersonde, R., Abelmann, A., Maier, E., Esper, O. & Ziveri, P. 1 Jul 2018 In : Quaternary Science Reviews. 191, p. 256-274 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. What fraction of the Pacific and Indian oceans' deep water is formed in the Southern Ocean?

    Rae, J. W. B. & Broecker, W. 21 Jun 2018 In : Biogeosciences. 15, p. 3779-3794 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Deglacial upwelling, productivity and CO2 outgassing in the North Pacific Ocean

    Gray, W. R., Rae, J. W. B., Wills, R. C. J., Shevenell, A. E., Taylor, B., Burke, A., Foster, G. L. & Lear, C. H. 23 Apr 2018 In : Nature Geoscience. 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Nature (Journal)

    Cresswell, W. (Reviewer)
    21 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Nature (Journal)

    Cresswell, W. (Reviewer)
    11 Nov 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Nature (Journal)

    Dritschel, D. G. (Editor)
    2005 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  4. Nature (Journal)

    Samuel, I. D. W. (Editor)
    2005 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Amphioxus functional genomics and the origins of vertebrate gene regulation

    Marletaz, F. , Firbas, P. , Maeso, I. , Tena, J. , Bogdanovic, O. , Perry, M. , Wyatt, C. , de la Calle-Mustienes, E. , Bertrand, S. , Burguera, D. , Acemel, R. , van Heeringen, S. , Naranjo, S. , Herrera-Ubeda, C. , Skvortsova, K. , Jimenez-Gancedo, S. , Aldea, D. , Marquez, Y. , Buono, L. , Kozmikova, I. & 41 others Permanyer, J., Louis, A., Albuixech-Crespo, B., Le Petillon, Y., Leon Florian, A., Subirana, L., Balwierz, P. J., Duckett, P., Farahani, E., Aury, J. M., Mangenot, S., Wincker, P., Albalat, R., Benito-Gutierrez, E., Canestro, C., Castro, F., D'Aniello, S., Ferrier, D. E. K., Huang, S., Laudet, V., Marais, G., Pontarotti, P., Schubert, M., Seitz, H., Somorjai, I. M. L., Takahashi, T., Mirabeau, O., Xu, A., Yu, J-K., Carninci, P., Martinez-Morales, J., Crollius, H., Kozmik, Z., Weirauch, M., Garcia-Fernandez, J., Lister, R., Lenhard, B., Holland, P., Escriva, H., Gomez-Skarmeta, J. L. & Irimia, M. 21 Nov 2018 In : Nature. 564, 7734, p. 64-70 29 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. An absolute sodium abundance for a cloud-free 'hot Saturn' exoplanet

    Nikolov, N. , Sing, D. K. , Fortney, J. J. , Goyal, J. M. , Drummond, B. , Evans, T. M. , Gibson, N. P. , De Mooj, E. J. W. , Rustamkulov, Z. , Wakeford, H. R. , Smalley, B. , Burgasser, A. J. , Hellier, C. , Helling, C. , Mayne, N. J. , Madhusudhan, N. , Kataria, T. , Baines, J. , Carter, A. L. , Ballester, G. E. & 3 others Barstow, J. K., McCleery, J. & Spake, J. J. 7 May 2018 In : Nature. 557, p. 526-529

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. CO2 storage and release in the deep Southern Ocean on millennial to centennial timescales

    Rae, J. W. B., Burke, A., Robinson, L. F., Adkins, J. F., Chen, T., Cole, C., Greenop, R., Li, T., Littley, E., Nita, D. C., Stewart, J. A. & Taylor, B. 24 Oct 2018 In : Nature. 562, p. 569-573 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

  4. Does the galaxy NGC1052-DF2 falsify Milgromian dynamics?

    Kroupa, P., Haghi, H., Javanmardi, B., Zonoozi, A. H., Müller, O., Banik, I., Wu, X., Zhao, H. & Dabringhausen, J. 12 Sep 2018 In : Nature. 561, p. E4-E5 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

  5. Exciton-polariton topological insulator

    Klembt, S., Harder, T. H., Egorov, O. A., Winkler, K., Ge, R., Bandres, M. A., Emmerling, M., Worschech, L., Liew, T. C. H., Segev, M., Schneider, C. & Höfling, S. 8 Oct 2018 In : Nature. 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 169143724