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Rapid climate change and conditional instability of the glacial deep ocean from the thermobaric effect and geothermal heating

Adkins, Jess F. and Ingersoll, Andrew P. and Pasquero, Claudia (2005) Rapid climate change and conditional instability of the glacial deep ocean from the thermobaric effect and geothermal heating. Quaternary Science Reviews, 24 (5-6). pp. 581-594. ISSN 0277-3791. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120828-102721930

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Abstract

Previous results from deep-sea pore fluid data demonstrate that the glacial deep ocean was filled with salty, cold water from the South. This salinity stratification of the ocean allows for the possible accumulation of geothermal heat in the deep-sea and could result in a water column with cold fresh water on top of warm salty water and with a corresponding increase in potential energy. For an idealized 4000 dbar two-layer water column, we calculate that there are ∼10^6J/m^2 (∼0.2J/kg) of potential energy available when a 0.4 psu salinity contrast is balanced by a ∼2°C temperature difference. This salt-based storage of heat at depth is analogous to Convectively Available Potential Energy (CAPE) in the atmosphere. The "thermobaric effect" in the seawater equation of state can cause this potential energy to be released catastrophically. Because deep ocean stratification was dominated by salinity at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the glacial climate is more sensitive to charging this "thermobaric capacitor" and can plausibly explain many aspects of the record of rapid climate change. Our mechanism could account for the grouping of Dansgaard/Oeschger events into Bond Cycles and for the different patterns of warming observed in ice cores from separate hemispheres.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2004.11.005DOIUNSPECIFIED
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379104003300PublisherUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information:© 2004 Elsevier Ltd. Accepted 13 November 2004. Early discussions with M. Bender, D. Sigman and T. Schneider helped form our ideas. The manuscript was improved by thoughtful reviews from R. Toggweiller and S. Hostetler. JFA was supported by NSF grant OCE-0096814.
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NSFOCE-0096814
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120828-102721930
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120828-102721930
Official Citation:Jess F. Adkins, Andrew P. Ingersoll, Claudia Pasquero, Rapid climate change and conditional instability of the glacial deep ocean from the thermobaric effect and geothermal heating, Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 24, Issues 5–6, March 2005, Pages 581-594, ISSN 0277-3791, 10.1016/j.quascirev.2004.11.005. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379104003300)
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ID Code:33605
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:28 Aug 2012 17:45
Last Modified:28 Aug 2012 17:45

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