Deep ocean carbonate ion increase during mid Miocene CO2 decline

Kender, Sev; Yu, Jimin; Peck, Victoria L. ORCID: 2014 Deep ocean carbonate ion increase during mid Miocene CO2 decline. Scientific Reports, 4, 4187.

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Characterised by long term cooling and abrupt ice sheet expansion on Antarctica ~14 Ma ago, the mid Miocene marked the beginning of the modern ice-house world, yet there is still little consensus on its causes, in part because carbon cycle dynamics are not well constrained. In particular, changes in carbonate ion concentration ([CO32−]) in the ocean, the largest carbon reservoir of the ocean-land-atmosphere system, are poorly resolved. We use benthic foraminiferal B/Ca ratios to reconstruct relative changes in [CO32−] from the South Atlantic, East Pacific, and Southern Oceans. Our results suggest an increase of perhaps ~40 μmol/kg may have occurred between ~15 and 14 Ma in intermediate to deep waters in each basin. This long-term increase suggests elevated alkalinity input, perhaps from the Himalaya, rather than other shorter-term mechanisms such as ocean circulation or ecological changes, and may account for some of the proposed atmospheric CO2 decline before ~14 Ma.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Chemistry and Past Climate
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Keywords: palaeoclimate, geology, palaeoceanography, marine chemistry
Date made live: 10 Mar 2014 12:12 +0 (UTC)

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