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Stomatal proxy record of CO2 concentrations from the last termination suggests an important role for CO2 at climate change transitions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
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2013 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, Vol. 68, 43-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A new stomatal proxy-based record of CO2 concentrations ([CO2]), based on Betula nana (dwarf birch) leaves from the Hasseldala Port sedimentary sequence in south-eastern Sweden, is presented. The record is of high chronological resolution and spans most of Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1a to 1c, Allerod pollen zone), Greenland Stadial 1 (GS-1, Younger Dryas pollen zone) and the very beginning of the Holocene (Preboreal pollen zone). The record clearly demonstrates that i) [CO2] were significantly higher than usually reported for the Last Termination and ii) the overall pattern of CO2 evolution through the studied time period is fairly dynamic, with significant abrupt fluctuations in [CO2] when the climate moved from interstadial to stadial state and vice versa. A new loss-on-ignition chemical record (used here as a proxy for temperature) lends independent support to the Hasseldala Port [CO2] record. The large-amplitude fluctuations around the climate change transitions may indicate unstable climates and that tipping-point situations were involved in Last Termination climate evolution. The scenario presented here is in contrast to [CO2] records reconstructed from air bubbles trapped in ice, which indicate lower concentrations and a gradual, linear increase of [CO2] through time. The prevalent explanation for the main climate forcer during the Last Termination being ocean circulation patterns needs to re-examined, and a larger role for atmospheric [CO2] considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 68, 43-58 p.
Keyword [en]
Last termination/Lateglacial climate, Stomatal proxy method, Palaeo-CO2 reconstruction, Betula nana, Sweden
National Category
Physical Geography Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91192DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.02.003ISI: 000318383900003OAI: diva2:632107
Swedish Research Council, 623-2011-1048


Available from: 2013-06-24 Created: 2013-06-24 Last updated: 2013-06-27Bibliographically approved

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Steinthorsdottir, MargretWohlfarth, BarbaraKylander, Malin E.
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