Role of marine biology in glacial-interglacial CO2 cycles

Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2005
Authors  Kohfeld, K. E.; Le Quere, C.; Harrison, S. P.; Anderson, R. F.
Journal Title  Science
Volume  308
Issue  5718
Pages  74-78
Journal Date  Apr 1
ISBN Number  0036-8075
Accession Number  ISI:000228221500035
Key Words  southern-ocean; atmospheric co2; phytoplankton bloom; iron fertilization; carbon-cycle; box models; sea; pacific; climate; maximum

It has been hypothesized that changes in the marine biological pump caused a major portion of the glacial reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide by 80 to 100 parts per million through increased iron fertilization of marine plankton, increased ocean nutrient content or utilization, or shifts in dominant plankton types. We analyze sedimentary records of marine productivity at the peak and the middle of the last glacial cycle and show that neither changes in nutrient utilization in the Southern Ocean nor shifts in plankton dominance explain the CO2 drawdown. Iron fertilization and associated mechanisms can be responsible for no more than half the observed drawdown.


914IQTimes Cited:35Cited References Count:53

URL  <Go to ISI>://000228221500035
DOI  DOI 10.1126/science.1105375