Late Pleistocene carbon cycle revisited by considering solid Earth processes

Peter Köhler, Guy Munhoven
2020 Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology  
The importance of volcanic CO 2 release, continental weathering, and coral reef growth on the global carbon cycle has been highlighted by several different studies. Based on these independent approaches, we here revisit the last 800 kyr with the box model BICYCLE, which has been extended to be able to address these solid Earth contributions to the carbon cycle. We show that the volcanic outgassing of CO 2 as a function of sea level change from mid-ocean ridges and hot spot island volcanoes
more » ... t be the generic process that leads during phases of falling obliquity to a sea level-CO 2 decoupling as has been suggested before. The combined contribution from continental and marine volcanism, if both lagging sea level change by 4 kyr, might have added up to 13 ppm to the glacial/interglacial CO 2 rise. Coral reef growth as suggested by an independent model is during glacial terminations about an order of magnitude too high to be reconciled with meaningful carbon cycle dynamics. Global riverine input of bicarbonate caused by silicate and carbonate weathering is suggested to have been stable over Termination I. However, if weathering fluxes are changed by up to 50% in sensitivity experiments, the corresponding bicarbonate input might contribute less than 20 ppm to the deglacial atmospheric CO 2 rise. The overall agreement of results with the new process-based sediment module and the previously applied time-delayed response function to mimic carbonate compensation gives confidence in the results obtained in previous applications of the BICYCLE model without solid Earth processes.
doi:10.1029/2020pa004020 fatcat:gbd5fbc7lvcavlhrh22atmjgx4