Special Section: Quaternary Deep-Water Circulation
Global variations of surface ocean productivity in low and mid latitudes: Influence on CO2 reservoirs of the deep ocean and atmosphere during the last 21,000 years
Article first published online: 4 MAY 2010
Copyright 1988 by the American Geophysical Union.
Volume 3, Issue 3, pages 361–399, June 1988
How to Cite
1988), Global variations of surface ocean productivity in low and mid latitudes: Influence on CO2 reservoirs of the deep ocean and atmosphere during the last 21,000 years, Paleoceanography, 3(3), 361–399, doi:10.1029/PA003i003p00361., , , and (
- Issue published online: 4 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 4 MAY 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 APR 1988
- Manuscript Received: 6 DEC 1987
Based on detailed reconstructions of global distribution patterns, both paleoproductivity and the benthic δ13C record of CO2, which is dissolved in the deep ocean, strongly differed between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene. With the onset of Termination I about 15,000 years ago, the new (export) production of low- and mid-latitude upwelling cells started to decline by more than 2-4 Gt carbon/year. This reduction is regarded as a main factor leading to both the simultaneous rise in atmospheric CO2 as recorded in ice cores and, with a slight delay of more than 1000 years, to a large-scale gradual CO2 depletion of the deep ocean by about 650 Gt C. This estimate is based on an average increase in benthic δ13C by 0.4–0.5‰. The decrease in new production also matches a clear 13C depletion of organic matter, possibly recording an end of extreme nutrient utilization in upwelling cells. As shown by Sarnthein et al., , the productivity reversal appears to be triggered by a rapid reduction in the strength of meridional trades, which in turn was linked via a shrinking extent of sea ice to a massive increase in high-latitude insolation, i.e., to orbital forcing as primary cause.