Oxygen depletion recorded in upper waters of the glacial Southern Ocean

Zunli Lu, Babette A. A. Hoogakker, Claus Dieter Hillenbrand, Xiaoli Zhou, Ellen Thomas, Kristina M. Gutchess, Wanyi Lu, Luke Jones, Rosalind E. M. Rickaby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Oxygen depletion in the upper ocean is commonly associated with poor ventilation and storage of respired carbon, potentially linked to atmospheric CO2 levels. Iodine to calcium ratios (I/Ca) in recent planktonic foraminifera suggest that values less than ∼2.5 μmol mol-1 indicate the presence of O2-depleted water. Here we apply this proxy to estimate past dissolved oxygen concentrations in the near surface waters of the currently well-oxygenated Southern Ocean, which played a critical role in carbon sequestration during glacial times. A down-core planktonic I/Ca record from south of the Antarctic Polar Front (APF) suggests that minimum O2 concentrations in the upper ocean fell below 70 μmol kg-1 during the last two glacial periods, indicating persistent glacial O2 depletion at the heart of the carbon engine of the Earth's climate system. These new estimates of past ocean oxygenation variability may assist in resolving mechanisms responsible for the much-debated ice-age atmospheric CO2 decline.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11146
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2016

Fingerprint

Oceans and Seas
oceans
depletion
Carbon
Oxygen
Water
oxygen
water
carbon
Oxygenation
Carbon Sequestration
Foraminifera
Ice
Dissolved oxygen
Surface waters
Iodine
Ventilation
oxygenation
ventilation
Proxy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Lu, Z., Hoogakker, B. A. A., Hillenbrand, C. D., Zhou, X., Thomas, E., Gutchess, K. M., ... Rickaby, R. E. M. (2016). Oxygen depletion recorded in upper waters of the glacial Southern Ocean. Nature Communications, 7, [11146]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11146
Lu, Zunli ; Hoogakker, Babette A. A. ; Hillenbrand, Claus Dieter ; Zhou, Xiaoli ; Thomas, Ellen ; Gutchess, Kristina M. ; Lu, Wanyi ; Jones, Luke ; Rickaby, Rosalind E. M. / Oxygen depletion recorded in upper waters of the glacial Southern Ocean. In: Nature Communications. 2016 ; Vol. 7.
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Lu, Z, Hoogakker, BAA, Hillenbrand, CD, Zhou, X, Thomas, E, Gutchess, KM, Lu, W, Jones, L & Rickaby, REM 2016, 'Oxygen depletion recorded in upper waters of the glacial Southern Ocean', Nature Communications, vol. 7, 11146. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11146

Oxygen depletion recorded in upper waters of the glacial Southern Ocean. / Lu, Zunli; Hoogakker, Babette A. A.; Hillenbrand, Claus Dieter; Zhou, Xiaoli; Thomas, Ellen; Gutchess, Kristina M.; Lu, Wanyi; Jones, Luke; Rickaby, Rosalind E. M.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 7, 11146, 31.03.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Thomas, Ellen

AU - Gutchess, Kristina M.

AU - Lu, Wanyi

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