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Article: Stratification-induced variations in nutrient utilization in the Polar North Atlantic during past interglacials

TitleStratification-induced variations in nutrient utilization in the Polar North Atlantic during past interglacials
Authors
Issue Date2017
PublisherElsevier BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/epsl
Citation
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2017, v. 457, p. 127-135 How to Cite?
AbstractVertical water mass structure in the Polar North Atlantic Ocean plays a critical role in planetary climate by influencing the formation rate of North Atlantic deepwater, which in turn affects surface heat transfer in the northern hemisphere, ventilation of the deep sea, and ocean circulation on a global scale. However, the response of upper stratification in the Nordic seas to near-future hydrologic forcing, as surface water warms and freshens due to global temperature rise and Greenland ice demise, remains poorly known. While past major interglacials are viewed as potential analogues of the present, recent findings suggest that very different surface ocean conditions prevailed in the Polar North Atlantic during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e and 11 compared to the Holocene. It is thus crucial to identify the causes of those differences in order to understand their role in climatic and oceanographic variability. To resolve this, we pair here bulk sediment 15N isotopic signatures with planktonic foraminiferal assemblages and their isotopic composition across major past interglacials. The comparison defines for the first time stratification-induced variations in nitrate utilization up to 25% between and within all of these warm periods that highlight changes in the thickness of the mixed-layer throughout the previous interglacials. That thickness directly controls the depth-level of Atlantic water inflow. The major changes of nitrate utilization recorded here thus suggest that a thicker mixed-layer prevailed during past interglacials, probably related to longer freshwater input associated with the preceding glacial termination. This would have caused the Atlantic water to flow at greater depth during MIS 5e and 11. These results call for caution when using older interglacials as modern or near-future climate analogues and contribute to the improvement of our general comprehension of the impact of freshwater input near a globally important deep-water formation site like the Nordic Seas. This is crucial when assessing the negative impacts on the Greenland Ice Sheet of climate change and global warming.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/234563
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 4.326
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 3.628

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorThibodeau, B-
dc.contributor.authorBauch, HA-
dc.contributor.authorPedersen, TF-
dc.date.accessioned2016-10-14T13:47:42Z-
dc.date.available2016-10-14T13:47:42Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationEarth and Planetary Science Letters, 2017, v. 457, p. 127-135-
dc.identifier.issn0012-821X-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/234563-
dc.description.abstractVertical water mass structure in the Polar North Atlantic Ocean plays a critical role in planetary climate by influencing the formation rate of North Atlantic deepwater, which in turn affects surface heat transfer in the northern hemisphere, ventilation of the deep sea, and ocean circulation on a global scale. However, the response of upper stratification in the Nordic seas to near-future hydrologic forcing, as surface water warms and freshens due to global temperature rise and Greenland ice demise, remains poorly known. While past major interglacials are viewed as potential analogues of the present, recent findings suggest that very different surface ocean conditions prevailed in the Polar North Atlantic during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e and 11 compared to the Holocene. It is thus crucial to identify the causes of those differences in order to understand their role in climatic and oceanographic variability. To resolve this, we pair here bulk sediment 15N isotopic signatures with planktonic foraminiferal assemblages and their isotopic composition across major past interglacials. The comparison defines for the first time stratification-induced variations in nitrate utilization up to 25% between and within all of these warm periods that highlight changes in the thickness of the mixed-layer throughout the previous interglacials. That thickness directly controls the depth-level of Atlantic water inflow. The major changes of nitrate utilization recorded here thus suggest that a thicker mixed-layer prevailed during past interglacials, probably related to longer freshwater input associated with the preceding glacial termination. This would have caused the Atlantic water to flow at greater depth during MIS 5e and 11. These results call for caution when using older interglacials as modern or near-future climate analogues and contribute to the improvement of our general comprehension of the impact of freshwater input near a globally important deep-water formation site like the Nordic Seas. This is crucial when assessing the negative impacts on the Greenland Ice Sheet of climate change and global warming.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherElsevier BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/epsl-
dc.relation.ispartofEarth and Planetary Science Letters-
dc.rightsPosting accepted manuscript (postprint): © 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/-
dc.titleStratification-induced variations in nutrient utilization in the Polar North Atlantic during past interglacials-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailThibodeau, B: bthib@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityThibodeau, B=rp02033-
dc.identifier.authorityBauch, HA=rp02224-
dc.identifier.authorityPedersen, TF=rp02224-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.epsl.2016.09.060-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84994107397-
dc.identifier.hkuros270198-
dc.identifier.volume457-
dc.identifier.spage127-
dc.identifier.epage135-
dc.publisher.placeNetherlands-

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