Why did the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide rise so much and so quickly during the last deglaciation? 

During the Last Glacial Maximum, the deep southern Pacific waters were stratified, efficiently accumulating old, CO2 rich waters. Basak and co-authors (2018, see reference below) measured neodymium isotopes in sediment cores that clearly show that when these deep waters became less stratified as the climate warmed they released their carbon which could escape to the atmosphere…what a tempting prospect and beautiful teaser for the forthcoming PAGES-GEOTRACES workshop of December 2018!

 18 Pahnke l
Figure: View from RV Polarstern while collecting sediment samples used in the study by Basak et al. Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-scientists-theory-role-south-pacific.html#jCp
Credit: Dr. Katharina Pahnke


Basak, C., Fröllje, H., Lamy, F., Gersonde, R., Benz, V., Anderson, R. F., Molina-Kescher, M., Pahnke, K. (2018). Breakup of last glacial deep stratification in the South Pacific. Science, 359(6378), 900–904. http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aao2473

Read more also at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-scientists-theory-role-south-pacific.html#jCp


Latest highlights

Science Highlights

Icebergs as sources of trace metals to the ocean: which impact?

Earth’s Ice Sheets are known to release significant quantities of lithogenic particles into the ocean every year, but how does this material affect trace metal availability in the ocean?


Science Highlights

Microbial trace metal trafficking on marine particles

This study provides evidence for the processing of nine particulate trace metals in multiple manners by diverse microbial communities.


Science Highlights

Volcanic emissions in the Southern Ocean: an efficient and unexpected source of iron for this remote area

This study suggests that volcanic emission can represent a significant source of bioavailable Fe to open ocean anaemic ecosystems.


Science Highlights

Surprisingly heavy silicon isotopes in the surface and deep Arctic Ocean

Brzezinski and his colleagues report on a comprehensive study of the Arctic Ocean silicic acid concentrations and silicon isotopic composition…