Glacial – Deglacial – Interglacial Ocean Biogeochemistry

The recurring Pleistocene cycles of ice ages and intervening interglacial stages arguably constitute the best-studied period of earth history. It has become clear that these climate variations are closely coupled to changes of atmospheric CO2, ocean circulation, and the ocean’s cycling of carbon and nutrients. And yet, many important aspects of glacial ocean overturning and carbon sequestration via the biological pump still await a comprehensive explanation. In the age of man-made climate change it becomes a high-priority to understand this coupling between climate, biology and geochemistry on a mechanistic level.
Pleistocene ice age cycles of climate and atmospheric CO2, influenced by ocean circulation and the biological pump
A particularly large number of observational datasets exists for the end of the last ice age, the last deglaciation and the current Holocene interglacial epoch, aided by the availability of radiocarbon (14C) dating. This presents the paleoclimate and paleoceanography communities with perhaps the best opportunity to investigate the operation of the climate system. Using numerical techniques I work to refine the understanding of down-core geochemical reconstructions with the goal to improve their interpretation in terms of environmental conditions and global versus regional geochemical implications.

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INTCAL13 radiocarbon calibration curve corrected for 14C production

The role of ocean overturning and ventilation in reducing ice age CO2.Observations over last glacial-interglacial cycle relating to the biological pump and atmospheric CO2