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Deep water formation in the North Pacific and deglacial CO_2 rise

Rae, James W. B. and Sarnthein, Michael and Foster, Gavin L. and Ridgwell, Andy and Grootes, Pieter M. and Elliott, Tim (2014) Deep water formation in the North Pacific and deglacial CO_2 rise. Paleoceanography, 29 (6). pp. 645-667. ISSN 0883-8305. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140918-101910842

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Abstract

Deep water formation in the North Atlantic and Southern Ocean is widely thought to influence deglacial CO_2 rise and climate change; here we suggest that deep water formation in the North Pacific may also play an important role. We present paired radiocarbon and boron isotope data from foraminifera from sediment core MD02-2489 at 3640 m in the North East Pacific. These show a pronounced excursion during Heinrich Stadial 1, with benthic-planktic radiocarbon offsets dropping to ~350 years, accompanied by a decrease in benthic δ^(11)B. We suggest that this is driven by the onset of deep convection in the North Pacific, which mixes young shallow waters to depth, old deep waters to the surface, and low-pH water from intermediate depths into the deep ocean. This deep water formation event was likely driven by an increase in surface salinity, due to subdued atmospheric/monsoonal freshwater flux during Heinrich Stadial 1. The ability of North Pacific Deep Water (NPDW) formation to explain the excursions seen in our data is demonstrated in a series of experiments with an intermediate complexity Earth system model. These experiments also show that breakdown of stratification in the North Pacific leads to a rapid ~30 ppm increase in atmospheric CO_2, along with decreases in atmospheric δ^(13)C and Δ^(14)C, consistent with observations of the early deglaciation. Our inference of deep water formation is based mainly on results from a single sediment core, and our boron isotope data are unavoidably sparse in the key HS1 interval, so this hypothesis merits further testing. However, we note that there is independent support for breakdown of stratification in shallower waters during this period, including a minimum in δ^(15)N, younging in intermediate water ^(14)C, and regional warming. We also re-evaluate deglacial changes in North Pacific productivity and carbonate preservation in light of our new data and suggest that the regional pulse of export production observed during the Bølling-Allerød is promoted by relatively stratified conditions, with increased light availability and a shallow, potent nutricline. Overall, our work highlights the potential of NPDW formation to play a significant and hitherto unrealized role in deglacial climate change and CO_2 rise.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2013PA002570DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013PA002570/abstractPublisherArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013PA002570/suppinfoPublisherSupporting Information
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Rae, James W. B.0000-0003-3904-2526
Alternate Title:Deep water formation in the North Pacific and deglacial CO2 rise
Additional Information:© 2014 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. Received 7 October 2013; Accepted 23 May 2014; Accepted article online 1 June 2014; Published online 27 June 2014. The data presented in this paper are available online in supplementary data tables associated with this article, and at Pangaea and the NCDC. We thank Jess Adkins, Andrea Burke, Ian Eisenman, Jake Gebbie, Ingrid Hendy, Phoebe Lam, Naomi Levine, Tom Marchitto, Laura Robinson, Tapio Schneider, Andrew Thompson, Derek Vance, Robb Wills, and several anonymous reviewers, for constructive conversations and comments that helped shape the ideas in this manuscript. Chris Charles provided sound editorial advice. We thank IMAGES, Yvon Balut, and the crew of Marion Dufresne for obtaining a unique largediameter sediment core that permitted numerous multiproxy studies. This work was supported by: a NERC studentship to JR; a NERC small grant (NE/I017240/1) to AR, GF, and JR; a NOAA/UCAR Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, administered by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, to JR; a NERC fellowship (NE/C00876X/2) to GF; and a DFG grant (Sa207/48-1) to MS and PG.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Environment Research Council (NERC) StudentshipUNSPECIFIED
National Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/I017240/1
NOAA/UCAR Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
National Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/C00876X/2
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)Sa207/48-1
Subject Keywords:radiocarbon; boron isotopes; North Pacific; deglacial CO2; deep water formation; atmospheric teleconnections
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140918-101910842
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140918-101910842
Official Citation:Rae, J. W. B., M. Sarnthein, G. L. Foster, A. Ridgwell, P. M. Grootes, and T. Elliott (2014), Deep water formation in the North Pacific and deglacial CO2 rise, Paleoceanography, 29, 645–667, doi:10.1002/2013PA002570.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49813
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:22 Sep 2014 18:23
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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