Research Article

Temporal Relationships of Carbon Cycling and Ocean Circulation at Glacial Boundaries

Science  25 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5717, pp. 1933-1938
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104883

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Abstract

Evidence from high-sedimentation-rate South Atlantic deep-sea cores indicates that global and Southern Ocean carbon budget shifts preceded thermohaline circulation changes during the last ice age initiation and termination and that these were preceded by ice-sheet growth and retreat, respectively. No consistent lead-lag relationships are observed during abrupt millennial warming events during the last ice age, allowing for the possibility that ocean circulation triggered some millenial climate changes. At the major glacial-interglacial transitions, the global carbon budget and thermohaline ocean circulation responded sequentially to the climate changes that forced the growth and decline of continental ice sheets.

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