Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations over
the Last Glacial Termination

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations over
the last glacial termination

Science, Volume 291, 112-114, 5 January 2001.

Eric Monnin, Andreas Inderm�hle, Andr� D�llenbach,
Jacqueline Fl�ckiger, Bernhard Stauffer, Thomas F. Stocker
Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute,
University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland

Dominique Raynaud and Jean-Marc Barnola
CNRS Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de G�ophysique
de l'Environnement, Grenoble, France

A record of atmospheric CO2 concentration during the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene, obtained from the Dome Concordia (Antarctica) ice core, reveals that an increase of 76 parts per million by volume (ppmv) occurred over a period of 6 thousand years in four clearly distinguishable intervals. The close correlation between CO2 concentration and Antarctic temperature indicates that the Southern Ocean played an important role in causing the CO2 increase. However, the similarity of changes in CO2 concentration and variations of atmospheric methane concentration suggests that processes in the tropics and in the northern hemisphere, where the main sources for methane are located, also had significant effects on atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Download the Dome C CO2 and CH4 data and data description from the WDC Paleo Archive.

Fig. 1.
The solid curve indicates the Dome C delta D in the ice as a proxy for local temperature (Jouzel et al., in preparation). Solid circles represent CO2 data from Dome C (mean of six samples; error bars, 1 sigma of the mean). Diamonds show methane data from Dome C (the 1 sigma uncertainty is 10 ppbv). The time scale used for the gas-ice age is from work by Schwander et al. (the depth at the top of the figure is only valid for the CO2 and methane records). In the CO2 and methane records, four intervals (I through IV) can be distinguished during the transition. The delta D record is highly correlated with the CO2 record, with the exception that the increased rates during intervals I and II are not significantly different in the deuterium record. The YD and the B/A events recorded in Greenland ice cores are indicated by shaded bars according to the GRIP time scale. Comparisons of the methane record with that of GRIP demonstrate that the YD corresponds to interval IV and the B/A event corresponds to interval III.

To read or view the full study, please visit the Science website.
It was published in Science Volume 291, 112-114, 5 January 2001.

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11 Jan 2001