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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-03-28
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The circulation and internal structure of the oceans exert a strong influence on Earth’s climate because they control latitudinal heat transport and the segregation of carbon between the atmosphere and the abyss. Circulation change, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean, is widely suggested to have been instrumental in the intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation when large ice sheets first developed on North America and Eurasia during the late Pliocene, approximately 2.7 million years ago. Yet the mechanistic link and cause/effect relationship between ocean circulation and glaciation are debated. Here we present new records of North Atlantic Ocean structure using the carbon and neodymium isotopic composition of marine sediments recording deep water for both the Last Glacial to Holocene (35–5 thousand years ago) and the late Pliocene to earliest Pleistocene (3.3–2.4 million years ago). Our data show no secular change. Instead we document major southern-sourced water incursions into the deep North Atlantic during prominent glacials from 2.7 million years ago. Our results suggest that Atlantic circulation acts as a positive feedback rather than as an underlying cause of late Pliocene Northern Hemisphere glaciation. We propose that, once surface Southern Ocean stratification and/or extensive sea-ice cover was established, cold-stage expansions of southern-sourced water such as those documented here enhanced carbon dioxide storage in the deep ocean, helping to increase the amplitude of glacial cycles.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Heinrich events are intervals of rapid iceberg-sourced freshwater release to the high latitude North Atlantic Ocean that punctuate late Pleistocene glacials. Delivery of fresh water to the main North Atlantic sites of deep water formation during Heinrich events may result in major disruption to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), however, the simple concept of an AMOC shutdown in response to each freshwater input has recently been shown to be overly simplistic. Here we present a new multi-proxy dataset spanning the last 41,000 years that resolves four Heinrich events at a classic mid-depth North Atlantic drill site, employing four independent geochemical tracers of water mass properties: boron/calcium, carbon and oxygen isotopes in foraminiferal calcite and neodymium isotopes in multiple substrates. We also report rare earth element distributions to investigate the fidelity by which neodymium isotopes record changes in water mass distribution in the northeast North Atlantic. Our data reveal distinct geochemical signatures for each Heinrich event, suggesting that the sites of fresh water delivery and/or rates of input played at least as important a role as the stage of the glacial cycle in which the fresh water was released. At no time during the last 41 kyr was the mid-depth northeast North Atlantic dominantly ventilated by southern-sourced water. Instead, we document persistent ventilation by Glacial North Atlantic Intermediate Water (GNAIW), albeit with variable properties signifying changes in supply from multiple contributing northern sources.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-04-15
    Description: © The Author(s), 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Badger, M. P. S., Chalk, T. B., Foster, G. L., Bown, P. R., Gibbs, S. J., Sexton, P. F., Schmidt, D. N., Paelike, H., Mackensen, A., & Pancost, R. D.. Insensitivity of alkenone carbon isotopes to atmospheric CO2 at low to moderate CO2 levels. Climate of the Past, 15(2), (2019):539-554 doi:10.5194/cp-15-539-2019.
    Description: Atmospheric pCO2 is a critical component of the global carbon system and is considered to be the major control of Earth's past, present, and future climate. Accurate and precise reconstructions of its concentration through geological time are therefore crucial to our understanding of the Earth system. Ice core records document pCO2 for the past 800 kyr, but at no point during this interval were CO2 levels higher than today. Interpretation of older pCO2 has been hampered by discrepancies during some time intervals between two of the main ocean-based proxy methods used to reconstruct pCO2: the carbon isotope fractionation that occurs during photosynthesis as recorded by haptophyte biomarkers (alkenones) and the boron isotope composition (δ11B) of foraminifer shells. Here, we present alkenone and δ11B-based pCO2 reconstructions generated from the same samples from the Pliocene and across a Pleistocene glacial–interglacial cycle at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 999. We find a muted response to pCO2 in the alkenone record compared to contemporaneous ice core and δ11B records, suggesting caution in the interpretation of alkenone-based records at low pCO2 levels. This is possibly caused by the physiology of CO2 uptake in the haptophytes. Our new understanding resolves some of the inconsistencies between the proxies and highlights that caution may be required when interpreting alkenone-based reconstructions of pCO2.
    Description: This study used samples provided by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). We thank Alex Hull and Gemma Bowler for laboratory work, Lisa Schönborn and Günter Meyer for technical assistance, Alison Kuhl and Ian Bull for research support, and Andy Milton at the University of Southampton for maintaining some of the mass spectrometers used in this study. This study was funded by NERC grant NE/H006273/1 to Richard D. Pancost, Daniela N. Schmidt and Gavin L. Foster (which supported Marcus P. S. Badger). We also acknowledge the ERC Award T-GRES and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award to Richard D. Pancost. Gavin L. Foster is also supported by a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. We thank Kirsty Edgar for comments on an early draft of the manuscript, the two anonymous reviewers of this submission, and reviewers through various rounds of review whose comments greatly improved the manuscript. We are grateful to Thomas Bauska for encouraging us to do better at referencing the ice core data, and John Jasper for discussion of the early days of the alkenone palaeobarometer.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: © The Author(s), 2015. This is the author's version of the work and is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 440 (2015): 561-563, doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.09.042.
    Description: Benthic foraminiferal stable isotopic records from a transect of sediment cores south of the Iceland-Scotland Ridge reveal that the penetration depth of Iceland-Scotland Overflow Water (ISOW) varied on orbital timescales with precessional pacing over the past ~ 200 kyr. Similar, higher benthic foraminiferal δ13 C values (~ 1.0 ‰) were recorded at all transect sites downstream of the Iceland-Scotland Ridge during interglacial periods (Marine Isotope Chrons 5 and 1), indicating a deeply penetrating ISOW. During glacial periods (Marine Isotope Chrons 6, 4, and 2), benthic foraminiferal δ13C values from the deeper (2700-3300 m), southern sites within this transect were significantly lower (~ 0.5 ‰) than values from the northern (shallower) portion of the transect (~ 1.0 ‰), reflecting a shoaling of ISOW and greater influence of glacial Southern Component Water (SCW) in the deep Northeast Atlantic. Particularly during intermediate climate states, ISOW strength is driven by precesional cycles, superimposed on the large-scale glacial-interglacial ISOW variability. Millennial-scale variability in the penetration of ISOW, likely caused by high-frequency Heinrich and Dansgaard-Oeschger Events, is most pronounced during intermediate climate states.
    Description: This research was supported by National Science Foundation grant OCE-0095219 to J.D. Wright
    Description: 2016-10-03
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Preprint
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-04-02
    Description: © The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Climate of the Past 13 (2017): 149-170, doi:10.5194/cp-13-149-2017.
    Description: The boron isotope composition (δ11B) of foraminiferal calcite reflects the pH and the boron isotope composition of the seawater the foraminifer grew in. For pH reconstructions, the δ11B of seawater must therefore be known, but information on this parameter is limited. Here we reconstruct Neogene seawater δ11B based on the δ11B difference between paired measurements of planktic and benthic foraminifera and an estimate of the coeval water column pH gradient from their δ13C values. Carbon cycle model simulations underscore that the ΔpH–Δδ13C relationship is relatively insensitive to ocean and carbon cycle changes, validating our approach. Our reconstructions suggest that δ11Bsw was  ∼  37.5 ‰ during the early and middle Miocene (roughly 23–12 Ma) and rapidly increased during the late Miocene (between 12 and 5 Ma) towards the modern value of 39.61 ‰. Strikingly, this pattern is similar to the evolution of the seawater isotope composition of Mg, Li and Ca, suggesting a common forcing mechanism. Based on the observed direction of change, we hypothesize that an increase in secondary mineral formation during continental weathering affected the isotope composition of riverine input to the ocean since 14 Ma.
    Description: The work was supported by NERC grants NE/I006176/1 (Gavin L. Foster and Caroline H. Lear), NE/H006273/1 (Gavin L. Foster), NE/I006168/1 and NE/K014137/1 and a Royal Society Research Merit Award (Paul A. Wilson), a NERC Independent Research Fellowship NE/K00901X/1 (Mathis P. Hain) and a NERC studentship (Rosanna Greenop).
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-12-14
    Description: © The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114 (2017): 13114-13119, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1702143114.
    Description: During the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT; 1,200–800 kya), Earth’s orbitally paced ice age cycles intensified, lengthened from ∼40,000 (∼40 ky) to ∼100 ky, and became distinctly asymmetrical. Testing hypotheses that implicate changing atmospheric CO2 levels as a driver of the MPT has proven difficult with available observations. Here, we use orbitally resolved, boron isotope CO2 data to show that the glacial to interglacial CO2 difference increased from ∼43 to ∼75 μatm across the MPT, mainly because of lower glacial CO2 levels. Through carbon cycle modeling, we attribute this decline primarily to the initiation of substantive dust-borne iron fertilization of the Southern Ocean during peak glacial stages. We also observe a twofold steepening of the relationship between sea level and CO2-related climate forcing that is suggestive of a change in the dynamics that govern ice sheet stability, such as that expected from the removal of subglacial regolith or interhemispheric ice sheet phase-locking. We argue that neither ice sheet dynamics nor CO2 change in isolation can explain the MPT. Instead, we infer that the MPT was initiated by a change in ice sheet dynamics and that longer and deeper post-MPT ice ages were sustained by carbon cycle feedbacks related to dust fertilization of the Southern Ocean as a consequence of larger ice sheets.
    Description: Research was supported by National Environmental Research Council (NERC) Studentship NE/I528626/1 (to T.B.C.); NERC Grant NE/P011381/1 (to T.B.C., M.P.H., G.L.F., E.J.R., and P.A.W.); NERC Fellowships NE/K00901X/1 (to M.P.H.), NE/I006346/1 (to G.L.F. and R.D.P), and NE/H006273/1 (to R.D.P.); Royal Society Wolfson Awards (to G.L.F. and P.A.W.); Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship FL1201000050 (to E.J.R.); Swiss National Science Foundation Grant PP00P2-144811 (to S.L.J.); ETH Research Grant ETH-04 11-1 (to S.L.J.); European Research Council Consolidator Grant (ERC CoG) Grant 617462 (to H.P.); and NERC UK IODP Grant NE/F00141X/1 (to P.A.W.).
    Keywords: Boron isotopes ; MPT ; Geochemistry ; Carbon dioxide ; Paleoclimate
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 8
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    In:  Supplement to: Greenop, Rosanna; Hain, Mathis P; Sosdian, Sindia M; Oliver, Kevin I C; Goodwin, Philip; Chalk, Thomas B; Lear, Caroline H; Wilson, Paul A; Foster, Gavin L (2017): A record of Neogene seawate d11B reconstructed from paired d11B analyses on benthic and planktic foraminifera. Climate of the Past, 13(2), 149-170, https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-149-2017
    Publication Date: 2020-01-17
    Description: The boron isotope composition (d11B) of planktic foraminiferal calcite, which reflects seawater pH, is a well-established proxy for reconstructing palaeo-atmospheric CO2 and seawater carbonate chemistry. However, to translate d11B measurements determined in calcareous fossils into pH we need to know the boron isotope composition of the parent seawater (d11Bsw). While a number of d11Bsw reconstructions exist, the discrepancies between them reveals uncertainties and deficiencies that need to be addressed. Here we present a new d11Bsw record based on the d11B difference between planktic and benthic foraminifera and an estimate of the pH gradient between surface and deep water. We then calculate d11Bsw two different ways. One variant of our method assumes that the pH gradient between surface and deep has remained the same as today over the past 23 Ma; the other uses the d13C gradient between surface and deep to represent change in the pH gradient through time. The results of these two methods of calculating d11Bsw are broadly consistency with each other, however, based on extensive carbon cycle modelling using CYCLOPS and GENIE we favour the d13C gradient method. In our favoured d11Bsw reconstruction, d11Bsw is around 2 per mil lower than today at ~37.5 per mil during the early and middle Miocene and increases to the modern value (39.61 per mil) by ~5 Ma. A similar pattern of change is evident in the seawater composition of three other stable isotope systems, Mg, Li and Ca. Concurrent shifts in the seawater isotopic composition of all four of these elements during the late Miocene, suggest a common forcing mechanism. We hypothesise the most likely cause of these shifts is a change in the isotopic composition of the riverine input, potentially driven by an increase in secondary mineral formation since ~15 Ma.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: application/zip, 2 datasets
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: The response of the marine carbon cycle to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations will be determined, in part, by the relative response of calcifying and non-calcifying organisms to global change. Planktonic foraminifera are responsible for a quarter or more of global carbonate production, therefore understanding the sensitivity of calcification in these organisms to environmental change is critical. Despite this, there remains little consensus as to whether, or to what extent, chemical and physical factors affect foraminiferal calcification. To address this, we directly test the effect of multiple controls on calcification in culture experiments and core-top measurements of Globigerinoides ruber. We find that two factors, body size and the carbonate system, strongly influence calcification intensity in life, but that exposure to corrosive bottom waters can overprint this signal post mortem. Using a simple model for the addition of calcite through ontogeny, we show that variable body size between and within datasets could complicate studies that examine environmental controls on foraminiferal shell weight. In addition, we suggest that size could ultimately play a role in determining whether calcification will increase or decrease with acidification. Our models highlight that knowledge of the specific morphological and physiological mechanisms driving ontogenetic change in calcification in different species will be critical in predicting the response of foraminiferal calcification to future change in atmospheric pCO2.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
    Format: archive
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2020-02-07
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 128 data points
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