Deep Ocean Storage of Heat and CO2 in the Fram Strait, Arctic Ocean During the Last Glacial Period

Ezat, Mohamed M.; Rasmussen, Tine L.; Hain, Mathis P.; Greaves, Mervyn; Rae, James W. B.; Zamelczyk, Katarzyna; Marchitto, Thomas M.; Szidat, Sönke; Skinner, Luke C. (2021). Deep Ocean Storage of Heat and CO2 in the Fram Strait, Arctic Ocean During the Last Glacial Period. Paleoceanography and paleoclimatology, 36(8) American Geophysical Union 10.1029/2021PA004216

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The Fram Strait is the only deep gateway between the Arctic Ocean and the Nordic Seas and thus is a key area to study past changes in ocean circulation and the marine carbon cycle. Here, we study deep ocean temperature, δ18O, carbonate chemistry (i.e., carbonate ion concentration [CO3 2−]), and nutrient content in the Fram Strait during the late glacial (35,000–19,000 years BP) and the Holocene based on benthic foraminiferal geochemistry and carbon cycle modeling. Our results indicate a thickening of Atlantic water penetrating into the northern Nordic Seas, forming a subsurface Atlantic intermediate water layer reaching to at least ∼2,600 m water depth during most of the late glacial period. The recirculating Atlantic layer was characterized by relatively high [CO3 2−] and low δ13C during the late glacial, and provides evidence for a Nordic Seas source to the glacial North Atlantic intermediate water flowing at 2,000–3,000 m water depth, most likely via the Denmark Strait. In addition, we discuss evidence for enhanced terrestrial carbon input to the Nordic Seas at ∼23.5 ka. Comparing our δ13C and qualitative [CO3 2−] records with results of carbon cycle box modeling suggests that the total terrestrial CO2 release during this carbon input event was low, slow, or directly to the atmosphere.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Szidat, Sönke


500 Science > 540 Chemistry




American Geophysical Union




Sönke Szidat

Date Deposited:

10 Aug 2021 08:59

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:52

Publisher DOI:





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