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Coccolith chemistry reveals secular variations in the global ocean carbon cycle?

Rickaby, R. E. M., Bard, E., Sonzogni, C., Rostek, F., Beaufort, L., Barker, Stephen, Rees, G. and Schrag, D. P. 2007. Coccolith chemistry reveals secular variations in the global ocean carbon cycle? Earth and Planetary Science Letters 253 (1-2) , pp. 83-95. 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.10.016

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Abstract

The mismatch between the 100 and 400 k.y. components of Pleistocene climate and the relative power of those terms from the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit remains a challenge to the Milankovitch hypothesis. Coccolithophores have the potential to respond to parameters of orbital forcing other than insolation, and, as a critical component of the ocean carbon cycle, can act to modify the climate response. The first direct comparison of coccolith fraction Sr/Ca, alkenone abundance and automated coccolithophore counts, shows that CF Sr/Ca is largely driven by changing production of bloom species, with unusually high Sr/Ca ratios. The periods of high CF Sr/Ca and high bloom production mark periods of high global coccolithophore production, which correlate inversely with the low amplitude 100 and higher amplitude 400 k.y. eccentricity orbital frequency. ∼ 400 k.y. cycles of coccolithophore bloom production correspond to periods of enhanced carbonate accumulation in some parts of the ocean, deep ocean dissolution in others, positive shifts in global ocean δ13C, and acmes of Gephyrocapsa caribbeanica and Emiliania huxleyi. The link between production of coccolithophore blooms and eccentricity may be due to orbital control of silica leakage from the Southern Ocean, to the orbitally defined inverse correlation between insolation and growing season length and the asymptotic growth response to these parameters, or to changes in nutrient input from weathering. During the Pleistocene, the eccentricity induced coccolithophore acmes have no apparent influence on atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2) due to the shift towards small bloom coccolithophores, or to coupling with increased diatom productivity, or the ballast effect of the calcium carbonate rain, such that Pleistocene climate has no significant variance at the largest amplitude eccentricity forcing of 400 k.y. Coccolithophores and their influence on the carbon cycle may act as a filter between the incident orbital forcing and resultant climate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Coccolithophore; Sr/Ca; Eccentricity; 400 k.y.; pCO2; Productivity
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0012-821X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:27
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/11129

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