Global reorganization of deep-sea circulation and carbon storage after the last ice age

Patrick Rafter*, William Gray, Sophia K. V. Hines, Andrea Burke, Kassandra M. Costa, Julia Gottschalk, Mathis P. Hain, James W. B. Rae, John R. Southon, Maureen H. Walczak, Jimin Yu, Jess F. Adkins, Tim DeVries

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Using new and published marine fossil radiocarbon (14C/C) measurements, a tracer uniquely sensitive to circulation and air-sea gas exchange, we establish several benchmarks for Atlantic, Southern, and Pacific deep-sea circulation and ventilation since the last ice age. We find the most 14C-depleted water in glacial Pacific bottom depths, rather than the mid-depths as they are today, which is best explained by a slowdown in glacial deep-sea overturning in addition to a “flipped” glacial Pacific overturning configuration. These observations cannot be produced by changes in air-sea gas exchange alone, and they underscore the major role for changes in the overturning circulation for glacial deep-sea carbon storage in the vast Pacific abyss and the concomitant drawdown of atmospheric CO2.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabq5434
Number of pages9
JournalScience Advances
Volume8
Issue number46
Early online date16 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2022

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