Report

Glacial/Interglacial Changes in Subarctic North Pacific Stratification

Science  13 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5724, pp. 1003-1006
DOI: 10.1126/science.1108696

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Abstract

Since the first evidence of low algal productivity during ice ages in the Antarctic Zone of the Southern Ocean was discovered, there has been debate as to whether it was associated with increased polar ocean stratification or with sea-ice cover, shortening the productive season. The sediment concentration of biogenic barium at Ocean Drilling Program site 882 indicates low algal productivity during ice ages in the Subarctic North Pacific as well. Site 882 is located southeast of the summer sea-ice extent even during glacial maxima, ruling out sea-ice–driven light limitation and supporting stratification as the explanation, with implications for the glacial cycles of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

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