Ventilation of the Glacial Deep Pacific Ocean

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Science  12 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5699, pp. 1169-1172
DOI: 10.1126/science.1102293

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Measurements of the age difference between coexisting benthic and planktic foraminifera from western equatorial Pacific deep-sea cores suggest that during peak glacial time the radiocarbon age of water at 2-kilometers depth was no greater than that of today. These results make unlikely suggestions that a slowdown in deep-ocean ventilation was responsible for a sizable fraction of the increase of the ratio of carbon-14 (14C) to carbon in the atmosphere and surface ocean during glacial time. Comparison of 14C ages for coexisting wood and planktic foraminifera from the same site suggests that the atmosphere to surface ocean 14C to C ratio difference was not substantially different from today's.

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