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Keywords:

  • abrupt climate change;
  • atmospheric CO2;
  • carbon cycle

[1] Using new and existing ice core CO2 data from 65 ∼ 30 ka a new chronology for CO2 is established and synchronized with Greenland ice core records to study how high latitude climate change and the carbon cycle were linked during the last glacial period. Atmospheric CO2 rose several thousand years before abrupt warming in Greenland associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events, 8, 12, 14, 17, four large warm events that follow Heinrich events. The CO2 rise terminated at the onset of Greenland warming for each of these events. Atmospheric CO2 is strongly correlated with the Antarctic isotopic temperature proxy with an average time lag of 720 ± 370 yr (mean ± 1σ) during the time interval studied. The new data and chronology should provide a better target for models attempting to explain CO2 variability and abrupt climate change.