Stomatal proxy record of CO2 concentrations from the last termination suggests an important role for CO2 at climate change transitions

Margaret Steinthorsdottir, Barbara Wohlfarth, Malin E. Kylander, Maarten Blaauw, Paula J. Reimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A new stomatal proxy-based record of CO2 concentrations ([CO2]), based on Betula nana (dwarf birch) leaves from the Hässeldala Port sedimentary sequence in south-eastern Sweden, is presented. The record is of high chronological resolution and spans most of Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1a to 1c, Allerød pollen zone), Greenland Stadial 1 (GS-1, Younger Dryas pollen zone) and the very beginning of the Holocene (Preboreal pollen zone). The record clearly demonstrates that i) [CO2] were significantly higher than usually reported for the Last Termination and ii) the overall pattern of CO2 evolution through the studied time period is fairly dynamic, with significant abrupt fluctuations in [CO2] when the climate moved from interstadial to stadial state and vice versa. A new loss-on-ignition chemical record (used here as a proxy for temperature) lends independent support to the Hässeldala Port [CO2] record. The large-amplitude fluctuations around the climate change transitions may indicate unstable climates and that " tipping-point" situations were involved in Last Termination climate evolution. The scenario presented here is in contrast to [CO2] records reconstructed from air bubbles trapped in ice, which indicate lower concentrations and a gradual, linear increase of [CO2] through time. The prevalent explanation for the main climate forcer during the Last Termination being ocean circulation patterns needs to re-examined, and a larger role for atmospheric [CO2] considered.
LanguageEnglish
Pages43-58
Number of pages16
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume68
Early online date07 Mar 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2013

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climate change
carbon dioxide
climate
fluctuation
pollen
interstadial
harbors (waterways)
Greenland
Preboreal
Sweden
air bubble
air
Younger Dryas
scenario
sedimentary sequence
Betula nana
Climate Change
Climate
Holocene
bubbles

Cite this

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title = "Stomatal proxy record of CO2 concentrations from the last termination suggests an important role for CO2 at climate change transitions",
abstract = "A new stomatal proxy-based record of CO2 concentrations ([CO2]), based on Betula nana (dwarf birch) leaves from the H{\"a}sseldala Port sedimentary sequence in south-eastern Sweden, is presented. The record is of high chronological resolution and spans most of Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1a to 1c, Aller{\o}d pollen zone), Greenland Stadial 1 (GS-1, Younger Dryas pollen zone) and the very beginning of the Holocene (Preboreal pollen zone). The record clearly demonstrates that i) [CO2] were significantly higher than usually reported for the Last Termination and ii) the overall pattern of CO2 evolution through the studied time period is fairly dynamic, with significant abrupt fluctuations in [CO2] when the climate moved from interstadial to stadial state and vice versa. A new loss-on-ignition chemical record (used here as a proxy for temperature) lends independent support to the H{\"a}sseldala Port [CO2] record. The large-amplitude fluctuations around the climate change transitions may indicate unstable climates and that {"} tipping-point{"} situations were involved in Last Termination climate evolution. The scenario presented here is in contrast to [CO2] records reconstructed from air bubbles trapped in ice, which indicate lower concentrations and a gradual, linear increase of [CO2] through time. The prevalent explanation for the main climate forcer during the Last Termination being ocean circulation patterns needs to re-examined, and a larger role for atmospheric [CO2] considered.",
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Stomatal proxy record of CO2 concentrations from the last termination suggests an important role for CO2 at climate change transitions. / Steinthorsdottir, Margaret; Wohlfarth, Barbara; Kylander, Malin E.; Blaauw, Maarten; Reimer, Paula J.

In: Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 68, 15.05.2013, p. 43-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Blaauw, Maarten

AU - Reimer, Paula J.

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