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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-77
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Jul 2018

Research article | 03 Jul 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Ocean carbon inventory under warmer climate - the case of the LIG

Augustin Kessler1, Eirik Vinje Galaasen2, Ulysses Silas Ninnemann2, and Jerry Tjiputra1 Augustin Kessler et al.
  • 1Uni Research Climate, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
  • 2Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway

Abstract. During the Last Interglacial period (LIG), the transition from 125ka to 115ka provides a case study for assessing the response of the carbon system to different levels of high-latitude warmth. Elucidating the mechanisms responsible for interglacial changes in the ocean carbon inventory provides constraints on natural carbon sources and sinks and their climate sensitivity which are essential for assessing potential future changes. However, the mechanisms leading to modifications of the ocean's carbon budget during this period remain poorly documented and not well understood. Using a state-of-the-art Earth System model, we analyze the changes in oceanic carbon dynamics by comparing two quasi equilibrium states: the early, warm Eemian (125ka) versus the cooler, late Eemian (115ka). We find a considerable weaker ocean dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC; −314.1PgC) storage under the warm climate state in 125ka as compared to 115ka, mainly attributed to changes in the biological pump and ocean DIC disequilibrium components. Due to its large size, the Pacific accounts for the largest DIC-loss, approximately 57% of the global decrease. However, the largest simulated DIC differences per unit-volume are found in the southern sourced waters of the Atlantic. Our study shows that the deep water geometry and ventilation in the South Atlantic is altered between the two climate states where warmer climatic conditions cause southern sourced waters to retreat southward and northern sourced waters to extend further south. This process is mainly responsible for the simulated DIC reduction by restricting the extend of DIC rich southern sourced water reducing the storage of biological remineralized carbon at depth.

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We analyze the changes in oceanic carbon dynamics, using a state-of-the-art Earth System model, by comparing two quasi equilibrium states: the early, warm Eemian (125 ka) versus the cooler, late Eemian (115 ka). Our results suggest a considerable weaker ocean dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) storage in 125 ka, an alteration of the deep water geometry and ventilation in the South Atlantic, and heterogeneous changes in phosphate availability and carbon export between the Pacific and Atlantic basins.
We analyze the changes in oceanic carbon dynamics, using a state-of-the-art Earth System model,...
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