Changes in CO2 concentration and carbon cycle during the last glacial termination
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Ice cores from Antarctica have revealed that atmospheric CO2 concentration is strongly linked with climate over the past hundreds of thousands years. During the last glacial termination CO2 concentration increased by ~80 ppm and the increase rate changed with abrupt climate events such as Bølling-Allerød and Younger Dryas. Precise and high-resolution CO2 records during the events may help us better understand climate-carbon cycle feedbacks. However, most of the existing ice core records are severely smoothed by gradual bubble close-off and gas diffusion in the firn layer. Recently, a CO2 record with an unprecedented temporal resolution was obtained from West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide ice core, where glaciological conditions permit a relatively small gas smoothing effect. The WAIS Divide record shows three abrupt CO2 increases of 10-15 ppm in less than 200 years during the last glacial termination. The ancient air extracted from the WAIS Divide ice core was in a form of air hydrates and the results must yet be confirmed with other ice cores. Here we present a new high-resolution atmospheric CO2 record from the Siple Dome ice core, in which air is preserved only in bubbles. Our data cover 11.0-21.0 ka with an average time resolution of 65 yrs. The Siple Dome records show that abrupt CO2 increases of ~ 10 ppm within 100-200 years at 11.7, 14.7, and 16.3 ka, confirming the rapid CO2 increases observed in the WAIS Divide record. We are analyzing the common and uncommon features during the three rapid CO2 increases in order to decipher the control mechanisms. The updated results will be presented at the meeting.