Global-mean marine δ13C and its uncertainty in a glacial state estimate
Gebbie, Geoffrey A.
Peterson, Carlye D.
Lisiecki, Lorraine E.
Spero, Howard J.
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KeywordPaleoceanography; Physical Oceanography; Carbon reservoirs; Last Glacial Maximum; Inverse methods
A paleo-data compilation with 492 δ13C and δ18O observations provides the opportunity to better sample the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and infer its global properties, such as the mean δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon. Here, the paleocompilation is used to reconstruct a steady-state water-mass distribution for the LGM, that in turn is used to map the data onto a 3D global grid. A global-mean marine δ13C value and a self-consistent uncertainty estimate are derived using the framework of state estimation (i.e., combining a numerical model and observations). The LGM global-mean δ13C is estimated to be 0:14h±0:20h at the two standard error level, giving a glacial-to-modern change of 0:32h±0:20h. The magnitude of the error bar is attributed to the uncertain glacial ocean circulation and the lack of observational constraints in the Pacific, Indian, and Southern Oceans. Observations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans generally have 10 times the weight of an Atlantic point in the computation of the global mean. To halve the error bar, roughly four times more observations are needed, although strategic sampling may reduce this number. If dynamical constraints can be used to better characterize the LGM circulation, the error bar can also be reduced to 0:05 to 0:1h, emphasizing that knowledge of the circulation is vital to accurately map δ13CDIC in three dimensions.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2015. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Quaternary Science Reviews 125 (2015): 144-159, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.08.010.
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