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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 02 May 2018

Research article | 02 May 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Carbon burial in deep-sea sediment and implications for oceanic inventories of carbon and alkalinity over the last glacial cycle

Olivier Cartapanis1,2, Eric D. Galbraith2,3,4, Daniele Bianchi5, and Samuel L. Jaccard1 Olivier Cartapanis et al.
  • 1Institute of Geological Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Earth and Planetary Sciences McGill University, Montreal H3A 2A7, Canada
  • 3Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Pg. Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
  • 4Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA) and Department of Mathematics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
  • 5Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1565, USA

Abstract. Although long assumed that the glacial-interglacial cycles of atmospheric CO2 occurred despite a constant active carbon inventory, there are signs that the geological CO2 supply rates varied. However, changes of the carbon inventory cannot be assessed without constraining the removal rates from the system, which mainly occurs in marine sediments. Here, we present the first global reconstruction of carbon and alkalinity burial in deep-sea sediments over the last glacial cycle. Although subject to large uncertainties, the reconstruction provides a first order constraint on changes in carbon and alkalinity inventories over the last glacial cycle. The results suggest that reduced burial of carbonate in the Atlantic Ocean was not entirely compensated by the increased burial in the Pacific basin during the last glacial period. The burial-driven inventory variations are likely to have significantly altered the δ13C of the ocean-atmosphere carbon, as well as the DIC and alkalinity budget, confirming that the active carbon inventory was a dynamic, interactive component of the glacial cycles.

Olivier Cartapanis et al.
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Olivier Cartapanis et al.
Olivier Cartapanis et al.
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