On the relationship between Nd isotopic composition and ocean overturning circulation in idealized freshwater discharge events

Authors

  • Johannes Rempfer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
    2. Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
    • Corresponding author: J. Rempfer, Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstr. 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland. (rempfer@climate.unibe.ch)

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  • Thomas F. Stocker,

    1. Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
    2. Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
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  • Fortunat Joos,

    1. Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
    2. Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
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  • Jean-Claude Dutay

    1. Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), IPSL, CEA/UVSQ/CNRS, Gif sur Yvette, France
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Abstract

[1] Using a cost-efficient climate model, the effect of changes in overturning circulation on neodymium isotopic composition,ϵNd, is systematically examined for the first time. Idealized sequences of abrupt climate changes are induced by the application of periodic freshwater fluxes to the North Atlantic (NA) and the Southern Ocean (SO), thus mainly affecting either the formation of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) or Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW). Variations in ϵNd reflect weakening and strengthening of the formation of NADW and AABW, changes in ϵNdof end-members are relatively small. Relationships betweenϵNd and the strength of NADW or AABW are more pronounced for AABW than for NADW. Atlantic patterns of variations in ϵNd systematically differ between NA and SO experiments. Additionally, the signature of changes in ϵNd in the Atlantic and the Pacific is alike in NA but opposite in SO experiments. Discrimination between NA and SO experiments is therefore possible based on the Atlantic pattern of variations in ϵNd and the contrariwise behavior of ϵNd in the Atlantic and the Pacific. In further experiments we examined the effect of variations in magnitudes of particle export fluxes. Within the examined range, and although settling particles represent the only sink of Nd, their effects on ϵNd are relatively small. Our results confirm the large potential of ϵNd as a paleocirculation tracer but also indicate its limitations of quantitative reconstructions of changes in the Atlantic Meridional Ocean Circulation.

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