Journal cover Journal topic
Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Clim. Past, 12, 2145-2160, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-12-2145-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
29 Nov 2016
Modelled interglacial carbon cycle dynamics during the Holocene, the Eemian and Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11
Thomas Kleinen1, Victor Brovkin1, and Guy Munhoven2 1Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
2LPAP, Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium
Abstract. Trends in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 during three recent interglacials – the Holocene, the Eemian and Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 – are investigated using an earth system model of intermediate complexity, which we extended with process-based modules to consider two slow carbon cycle processes – peat accumulation and shallow-water CaCO3 sedimentation (coral reef formation). For all three interglacials, model simulations considering peat accumulation and shallow-water CaCO3 sedimentation substantially improve the agreement between model results and ice core CO2 reconstructions in comparison to a carbon cycle set-up neglecting these processes. This enables us to model the trends in atmospheric CO2, with modelled trends similar to the ice core data, forcing the model only with orbital and sea level changes. During the Holocene, anthropogenic CO2 emissions are required to match the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 after 3 ka BP but are not relevant before this time. Our model experiments show a considerable improvement in the modelled CO2 trends by the inclusion of the slow carbon cycle processes, allowing us to explain the CO2 evolution during the Holocene and two recent interglacials consistently using an identical model set-up.

Citation: Kleinen, T., Brovkin, V., and Munhoven, G.: Modelled interglacial carbon cycle dynamics during the Holocene, the Eemian and Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11, Clim. Past, 12, 2145-2160, https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-12-2145-2016, 2016.
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Short summary
We investigate trends in atmospheric CO2 during three recent interglacials – the Holocene, the Eemian and MIS 11 – using an earth system model of intermediate complexity. Our model experiments show a considerable improvement in the modelled CO2 trends for all three interglacials if peat accumulation and shallow water CaCO3 sedimentation are included, forcing the model only with orbital and sea level changes. The Holocene CO2 trend requires anthropogenic emissions of CO2 only after 3 ka BP.
We investigate trends in atmospheric CO2 during three recent interglacials – the Holocene, the...
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