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Covariant Glacial-Interglacial Dust Fluxes in the Equatorial Pacific and Antarctica

Science  04 Apr 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5872, pp. 93-96
DOI: 10.1126/science.1150595

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Abstract

Dust plays a critical role in Earth's climate system and serves as a natural source of iron and other micronutrients to remote regions of the ocean. We have generated records of dust deposition over the past 500,000 years at three sites spanning the breadth of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Equatorial Pacific dust fluxes are highly correlated with global ice volume and with dust fluxes to Antarctica, which suggests that dust generation in interhemispheric source regions exhibited a common response to climate change over late-Pleistocene glacial cycles. Our results provide quantitative constraints on the variability of aeolian iron supply to the equatorial Pacific Ocean and, more generally, on the potential contribution of dust to past climate change and to related changes in biogeochemical cycles.

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