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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 8 | Copyright

Special issue: Paleoclimate data synthesis and analysis of associated uncertainty...

Clim. Past, 14, 1229-1252, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 16 Aug 2018

Research article | 16 Aug 2018

Deglacial carbon cycle changes observed in a compilation of 127 benthic δ13C time series (20–6 ka)

Carlye D. Peterson1,2 and Lorraine E. Lisiecki2 Carlye D. Peterson and Lorraine E. Lisiecki
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of California Riverside, Riverside, California, USA
  • 2Department of Earth Science, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA

Abstract. We present a compilation of 127 time series δ13C records from Cibicides wuellerstorfi spanning the last deglaciation (20–6ka) which is well-suited for reconstructing large-scale carbon cycle changes, especially for comparison with isotope-enabled carbon cycle models. The age models for the δ13C records are derived from regional planktic radiocarbon compilations (Stern and Lisiecki 2014). The δ13C records were stacked in nine different regions and then combined using volume-weighted averages to create intermediate, deep, and global δ13C stacks. These benthic δ13C stacks are used to reconstruct changes in the size of the terrestrial biosphere and deep ocean carbon storage. The timing of change in global mean δ13C is interpreted to indicate terrestrial biosphere expansion from 19–6ka. The δ13C gradient between the intermediate and deep ocean, which we interpret as a proxy for deep ocean carbon storage, matches the pattern of atmospheric CO2 change observed in ice core records. The presence of signals associated with the terrestrial biosphere and atmospheric CO2 indicates that the compiled δ13C records have sufficient spatial coverage and time resolution to accurately reconstruct large-scale carbon cycle changes during the glacial termination.

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Our study presents an analysis of a four-dimensional compilation of globally distributed carbon isotope time series that span 20 to 6 thousand years ago. We explore carbon cycle connections between the deep ocean, atmosphere, and land-based carbon storage on thousand-year time scales to provide useful constraints for global carbon cycle reconstructions. Additionally, these carbon isotope time series are suitable for comparison with deglacial simulations from isotope-enabled Earth system models.
Our study presents an analysis of a four-dimensional compilation of globally distributed carbon...