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Radiocarbon Variability in the Western North Atlantic

Summary: Radiocarbon Variability
in the Western North Atlantic
During the Last Deglaciation
Laura F. Robinson,1
* Jess F. Adkins,1
Lloyd D. Keigwin,2
John Southon,3
Diego P. Fernandez,1
S-L Wang,1
Daniel S. Scheirer4
We present a detailed history of glacial to Holocene radiocarbon in the deep
western North Atlantic from deep-sea corals and paired benthic-planktonic
foraminifera. The deglaciation is marked by switches between radiocarbon-
enriched and -depleted waters, leading to large radiocarbon gradients in the
water column. These changes played an important role in modulating atmo-
spheric radiocarbon. The deep-ocean record supports the notion of a bipolar
seesaw with increased Northern-source deep-water formation linked to Northern
Hemisphere warming and the reverse. In contrast, the more frequent radiocarbon
variations in the intermediate/deep ocean are associated with roughly
synchronous changes at the poles.


Source: Adkins, Jess F. - Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Geosciences