Late Pleistocene Carbon Cycle Revisited by Considering Solid Earth Processes.

Köhler, Peter and Munhoven, Guy (2020) Late Pleistocene Carbon Cycle Revisited by Considering Solid Earth Processes. Open Access Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 35 (12). Art.Nr. e2020PA004020. DOI 10.1029/2020PA004020.

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The importance of volcanic CO2 release, continental weathering, and coral reef growth on the global carbon cycle has been highlighted by several different studies. Based on these independent approaches, we here revisit the last 800 kyr with the box model BICYCLE, which has been extended to be able to address these solid Earth contributions to the carbon cycle. We show that the volcanic outgassing of CO2 as a function of sea level change from mid‐ocean ridges and hot spot island volcanoes cannot be the generic process that leads during phases of falling obliquity to a sea level‐CO2 decoupling as has been suggested before. The combined contribution from continental and marine volcanism, if both lagging sea level change by 4 kyr, might have added up to 13 ppm to the glacial/interglacial CO2 rise. Coral reef growth as suggested by an independent model is during glacial terminations about an order of magnitude too high to be reconciled with meaningful carbon cycle dynamics. Global riverine input of bicarbonate caused by silicate and carbonate weathering is suggested to have been stable over Termination I. However, if weathering fluxes are changed by up to 50% in sensitivity experiments, the corresponding bicarbonate input might contribute less than 20 ppm to the deglacial atmospheric CO2 rise. The overall agreement of results with the new process‐based sediment module and the previously applied time‐delayed response function to mimic carbonate compensation gives confidence in the results obtained in previous applications of the BICYCLE model without solid Earth processes.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: carbon cycle; Pleistocene; volcanic CO2 release; weathering; coral reefs; modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Projects: PalMod in-kind
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2021 12:52
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2023 09:38

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