Contribution of Southern Ocean surface-water stratification to low atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the last glacial period

Roger François, Mark A. Altabett, Ein Fen Yu, Daniel Mikhail Sigman, Michael P. Bacon, Martin Frank, Gerhard Bohrmann, Gilles Bareille, Laurent D. Labeyrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

430 Scopus citations

Abstract

The nitrogen-isotope record preserved in Southern Ocean sediments, along with several geochemical tracers for the settling fluxes of biogenic matter, reveals patterns of past nutrient supply to phytoplankton and surface-water stratification in this oceanic region. Areal averaging of these spatial patterns indicates that reduction of the CO2 'leak' from ocean to atmosphere by increased surface-water stratification south of the Polar Front made a greater contribution to the lowering of atmospheric CO2 concentration during the Last Glacial Maximum than did the increased export of organic carbon from surface to deep waters occurring further north.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-935
Number of pages7
JournalNature
Volume389
Issue number6654
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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