An oceanic origin for the increase of atmospheric radiocarbon during the Younger Dryas

Joy S. Singarayer, David A. Richards, Andy Ridgwell, Paul J. Valdes, William Austin, J. Warren Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Variations in carbon-14 to carbon-12 ratio in the atmosphere (Delta C-14(atm)) provide a powerful diagnostic for elucidating the timing and nature of geophysical and anthropological change. The ( Atlantic) marine archive suggests a rapid Delta C-14(atm) increase of 50% at the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) cold reversal (12.9-11.7 kyr BP), which has not yet been satisfactorily explained in terms of magnitude or causal mechanism, as either a change in ocean ventilation or production rate. Using Earth-system model simulations and comparison of marine-based radiocarbon records from different ocean basins, we demonstrate that the YD Delta C-14(atm) increase is smaller than suggested by the marine archive. This is due to changes in reservoir age, predominantly caused by reduced ocean ventilation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL14707
Number of pages6
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume35
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

Keywords

  • EARTH SYSTEM MODEL
  • PAPUA-NEW-GUINEA
  • CIRCULATION CHANGES
  • LAST DEGLACIATION
  • CARBON-CYCLE
  • KYR BP
  • CALIBRATION
  • C-14
  • RECONSTRUCTIONS
  • CHRONOLOGY

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