Stable isotope constraints on Holocene carbon cycle changes from an Antarctic ice core

Elsig, Joachim; Schmitt, Jochen; Leuenberger, Daiana; Schneider, Robert; Eyer, Marc; Leuenberger, Markus; Joos, Fortunat; Fischer, Hubert; Stocker, Thomas F. (2009). Stable isotope constraints on Holocene carbon cycle changes from an Antarctic ice core. Nature, 461(7263), pp. 507-510. London: Macmillan Journals Ltd. 10.1038/nature08393

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Reconstructions of atmospheric CO2 concentrations based on Antarctic ice cores1,2 reveal significant changes during the Holocene epoch, but the processes responsible for these changes in CO2 concentrations have not been unambiguously identified. Distinct characteristics in the carbon isotope signatures of the major carbon reservoirs (ocean, biosphere, sediments and atmosphere) constrain variations in the CO2 fluxes between those reservoirs. Here we present a highly resolved atmospheric δ13C record for the past 11,000 years from measurements on atmospheric CO2 trapped in an Antarctic ice core. From mass-balance inverse model calculations3,4 performed with a simplified carbon cycle model, we show that the decrease in atmospheric CO2 of about 5 parts per million by volume (p.p.m.v.). The increase in δ13C of about 0.25‰ during the early Holocene is most probably the result of a combination of carbon uptake of about 290 gigatonnes of carbon by the land biosphere and carbon release from the ocean in response to carbonate compensation of the terrestrial uptake during the termination of the last ice age. The 20 p.p.m.v. increase of atmospheric CO2 and the small decrease in δ13C of about 0.05‰ during the later Holocene can mostly be explained by contributions from carbonate compensation of earlier land-biosphere uptake and coral reef formation, with only a minor contribution from a small decrease of the land-biosphere carbon inventory.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Elsig, Joachim; Schmitt, Jochen; Leuenberger, Daiana; Schneider, Robert; Leuenberger, Markus Christian; Joos, Fortunat; Fischer, Hubertus and Stocker, Thomas

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

0028-0836

Publisher:

Macmillan Journals Ltd.

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:23

Last Modified:

14 Oct 2021 16:39

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/nature08393

Web of Science ID:

000270082900036

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/37500

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/37500 (FactScience: 208762)

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