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A coccolithophore concept for constraining the Cenozoic carbon cycle
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology and Geochemistry.
2007 (English)In: Biogeosciences, ISSN 1726-4170, Vol. 4, 323-329 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An urgent question for future climate, in light of increased burning of fossil fuels, is the temperature sensitivity of the climate system to atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO(2)). To date, no direct proxy for past levels of pCO(2) exists beyond the reach of the polar ice core records. We propose a new methodology for placing a constraint on pCO(2) over the Cenozoic based on the physiological plasticity of extant coccolithophores. Specifically, our premise is that the contrasting calcification tolerance(1) of various extant species of coccolithophore to raised pCO(2) reflects an "evolutionary memory" of past atmospheric composition. The different times of evolution of certain morphospecies allows an upper constraint of past pCO(2) to be placed on Cenozoic timeslices. Further, our hypothesis has implications for the response of marine calcifiers to ocean acidification. Geologically "ancient" species, which have survived large changes in ocean chemistry, are likely more resilient to predicted acidification.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 4, 323-329 p.
Keyword [en]
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-21251ISI: 000247572200006OAI: diva2:187777
Available from: 2007-12-06 Created: 2007-12-06 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Henderiks, Jorijntje
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