2011-10-04 11:41:57Nature study: Rising CO2 levels at end of Ice Age not tied to Pacific Ocean
John Hartz
John Hartz

Click here.

2011-10-04 12:33:30
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Originally posted this here:


So if I'm wrong I'm a double-wronger.  :)

My two cents:  A very interesting and thought-provoking piece.  That being said, not a major impactor to SkS articles.  The premise is that the deep waters of the Northern Pacific served as a trigger for the rising CO2 levels at the end of the last glaciation.  But what investigators found was that the ventilation time was much shorter than expected.  This indicates that the Northern Pacific deeps were not a major carbon sink during the last glaciation.

What it does imply is two-fold (IMHO):

  1. The waters of the Southern Ocean, the South Atlantic and the South Pacific are the most likely source of the rising CO2 levels.  An added side effect of this is that it is incremental ammunition for the clathrate-gun hypothesis.
  2. The oceans ventilate faster than is thought.  If this is true, then oceanic response to the CO2 we are forcing into it occurs quickly, not slowly.  This faster ventilation can be considered a marker and testimony to the ability of the oceans to cycle surface heat into the deeps as well.  This may be a first indirect confirmation as to where Trenberth's "missing heat" has gone:  for the oceans to ventilate more quickly implies greater mixing (vertically and horizontally) than is currently thought to occur.

Good news for science, if so.  And if so, bad news for us.