Schefuß Enno

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Preprint
    Global-scale evidence for the refractory nature of riverine black carbon
    ( 2018-05) Coppola, Alysha I. ; Wiedemeier, Daniel B. ; Galy, Valier ; Haghipour, Negar ; Hanke, Ulrich ; Nascimento, Gabriela S. ; Usman, Muhammed ; Blattmann, Thomas M. ; Reisser, Moritz ; Freymond, Chantal V. ; Zhao, Meixun ; Voss, Britta M. ; Wacker, Lukas ; Schefuß, Enno ; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard ; Abiven, Samuel ; Schmidt, Michael W. I. ; Eglinton, Timothy I.
    Wildfires and incomplete combustion of fossil fuel produce large amounts of black carbon. Black carbon production and transport are essential components of the carbon cycle. Constraining estimates of black carbon exported from land to ocean is critical, given ongoing changes in land use and climate, which affect fire occurrence and black carbon dynamics. Here, we present an inventory of the concentration and radiocarbon content (∆14C) of particulate black carbon for 18 rivers around the globe. We find that particulate black carbon accounts for about 15.8 ± 0.9% of river particulate organic carbon, and that fluxes of particulate black carbon co-vary with river-suspended sediment, indicating that particulate black carbon export is primarily controlled by erosion. River particulate black carbon is not exclusively from modern sources but is also aged in intermediate terrestrial carbon pools in several high-latitude rivers, with ages of up to 17,000 14C years. The flux-weighted 14C average age of particulate black carbon exported to oceans is 3,700 ± 400 14C years. We estimate that the annual global flux of particulate black carbon to the ocean is 0.017 to 0.037 Pg, accounting for 4 to 32% of the annually produced black carbon. When buried in marine sediments, particulate black carbon is sequestered to form a long-term sink for CO2.
  • Preprint
    Multiple plant-wax compounds record differential sources and ecosystem structure in large river catchments
    ( 2016-04) Hemingway, Jordon D. ; Schefuß, Enno ; Dinga, Bienvenu J. ; Pryer, Helena V. ; Galy, Valier
    The concentrations, distributions, and stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) of plant waxes carried by fluvial suspended sediments contain valuable information about terrestrial ecosystem characteristics. To properly interpret past changes recorded in sedimentary archives it is crucial to understand the sources and variability of exported plant waxes in modern systems on seasonal to inter-annual timescales. To determine such variability, we present concentrations and δ13C compositions of three compound classes (n-alkanes, n-alcohols, n-alkanoic acids) in a 34-month time series of suspended sediments from the outflow of the Congo River. We show that exported plant-dominated n-alkanes (C25 – C35) represent a mixture of C3 and C4 end members, each with distinct molecular distributions, as evidenced by an 8.1 ± 0.7‰ (±1σ standard deviation) spread in δ13C values across chain-lengths, and weak correlations between individual homologue concentrations (r = 0.52 – 0.94). In contrast, plant-dominated n-alcohols (C26 – C36) and n-alkanoic acids (C26 – C36) exhibit stronger positive correlations (r = 0.70 – 0.99) between homologue concentrations and depleted δ13C values (individual homologues average ≤ -31.3‰ and -30.8‰, respectively), with lower δ13C variability across chain-lengths (2.6 ± 0.6‰ and 2.0 ± 1.1‰, respectively). All individual plant-wax lipids show little temporal δ13C variability throughout the time-series (1σ ≤ 0.9‰), indicating that their stable carbon isotopes are not a sensitive tracer for temporal changes in plant-wax source in the Congo basin on seasonal to inter-annual timescales. Carbon-normalized concentrations and relative abundances of n-alcohols (19 – 58% of total plant-wax lipids) and n-alkanoic acids (26 – 76%) respond rapidly to seasonal changes in runoff, indicating that they are mostly derived from a recently entrained local source. In contrast, a lack of correlation with discharge and low, stable relative abundances (5 – 16%) indicate that n-alkanes better represent a catchment-integrated signal with minimal response to discharge seasonality. Comparison to published data on other large watersheds indicates that this phenomenon is not limited to the Congo River, and that analysis of multiple plant-wax lipid classes and chain lengths can be used to better resolve local vs. distal ecosystem structure in river catchments.
  • Article
    Forcing of tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures during the mid-Pleistocene transition
    (American Geophysical Union, 2004-12-28) Schefuß, Enno ; Sinninghe Damste, Jaap S. ; Jansen, J. H. Fred
    We compare a new mid-Pleistocene sea surface temperature (SST) record from the eastern tropical Atlantic to changes in continental ice volume, orbital insolation, Atlantic deepwater ventilation, and Southern Ocean front positions to resolve forcing mechanisms of tropical Atlantic SST during the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT). At the onset of the MPT, a strong tropical cooling occurred. The change from a obliquity- to a eccentricity-dominated cyclicity in the tropical SST took place at about 650 kyr BP. In orbital cycles, tropical SST changes significantly preceded continental ice-volume changes but were in phase with movements of Southern Ocean fronts. After the onset of large-amplitude 100-kyr variations, additional late glacial warming in the eastern tropical Atlantic was caused by enhanced return flow of warm waters from the western Atlantic driven by strong trade winds. Pronounced 80-kyr variations in tropical SST occurred during the MPT, in phase with and likely directly forced by transitional continental ice-volume variations. During the MPT, a prominent anomalous long-term tropical warming occurred, likely generated by extremely northward displaced Southern Ocean fronts. While the overall pattern of global climate variability during the MPT was determined by changes in mean state and frequency of continental ice volume variations, tropical Atlantic SST variations were primarily driven by early changes in Subantarctic sea-ice extent and coupled Southern Ocean frontal positions.
  • Preprint
    Hydrologic control of carbon cycling and aged carbon discharge in the Congo River basin
    ( 2016-07) Schefuß, Enno ; Eglinton, Timothy I. ; Spencer-Jones, Charlotte L. ; Rullkötter, Jürgen ; De Pol-Holz, Ricardo ; Talbot, Helen M. ; Grootes, Pieter M. ; Schneider, Ralph R.
    The age of organic material discharged by rivers provides information about its sources and carbon cycling processes within watersheds. While elevated ages in fluvially-transported organic matter are usually explained by erosion of soils and sediments deposits it is commonly assumed that mainly young organic material is discharged from flat tropical watersheds due to their extensive plant cover and rapid carbon turnover. Here we present compound-specific radiocarbon data of terrigenous organic fractions from a sedimentary archive offshore the Congo River in conjunction with molecular markers for methane-producing land cover reflecting wetland extent. We find that the Congo River has been discharging aged organic matter for several thousand years with apparently increasing ages from the Mid- to the Late Holocene. This suggests that aged organic matter in modern samples is concealed by radiocarbon from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. By comparison to indicators for past rainfall changes we detect a systematic control of organic matter sequestration and release by continental hydrology mediating temporary carbon storage in wetlands. As aridification also leads to exposure and rapid remineralization of large amounts of previously stored labile organic matter we infer that this process may cause a profound direct climate feedback currently underestimated in carbon cycle assessments.
  • Article
    Climate control on terrestrial biospheric carbon turnover
    (National Academy of Sciences, 2021-02-23) Eglinton, Timothy I. ; Galy, Valier ; Hemingway, Jordon D. ; Feng, Xiaojuan ; Bao, Hongyan ; Blattmann, Thomas M. ; Dickens, Angela F. ; Gies, Hannah ; Giosan, Liviu ; Haghipour, Negar ; Hou, Pengfei ; Lupker, Maarten ; McIntyre, Cameron P. ; Montlucon, Daniel B. ; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard ; Ponton, Camilo ; Schefuß, Enno ; Schwab, Melissa S. ; Voss, Britta M. ; Wacker, Lukas ; Wu, Ying ; Zhao, Meixun
    Terrestrial vegetation and soils hold three times more carbon than the atmosphere. Much debate concerns how anthropogenic activity will perturb these surface reservoirs, potentially exacerbating ongoing changes to the climate system. Uncertainties specifically persist in extrapolating point-source observations to ecosystem-scale budgets and fluxes, which require consideration of vertical and lateral processes on multiple temporal and spatial scales. To explore controls on organic carbon (OC) turnover at the river basin scale, we present radiocarbon (14C) ages on two groups of molecular tracers of plant-derived carbon—leaf-wax lipids and lignin phenols—from a globally distributed suite of rivers. We find significant negative relationships between the 14C age of these biomarkers and mean annual temperature and precipitation. Moreover, riverine biospheric-carbon ages scale proportionally with basin-wide soil carbon turnover times and soil 14C ages, implicating OC cycling within soils as a primary control on exported biomarker ages and revealing a broad distribution of soil OC reactivities. The ubiquitous occurrence of a long-lived soil OC pool suggests soil OC is globally vulnerable to perturbations by future temperature and precipitation increase. Scaling of riverine biospheric-carbon ages with soil OC turnover shows the former can constrain the sensitivity of carbon dynamics to environmental controls on broad spatial scales. Extracting this information from fluvially dominated sedimentary sequences may inform past variations in soil OC turnover in response to anthropogenic and/or climate perturbations. In turn, monitoring riverine OC composition may help detect future climate-change–induced perturbations of soil OC turnover and stocks.
  • Preprint
    Hydrologic controls on seasonal and inter-annual variability of Congo River particulate organic matter source and reservoir age
    ( 2017-06) Hemingway, Jordon D. ; Schefuß, Enno ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Dinga, Bienvenu J. ; Eglinton, Timothy I. ; McIntyre, Cameron P. ; Galy, Valier
    We present dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, particulate organic matter (POM) composition (δ13C, δ15N, ∆14C, N/C), and particulate glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) distributions from a 34-month time-series near the mouth of the Congo River. An end-member mixing model using δ13C and N/C indicates that exported POM is consistently dominated by C3 rainforest soil sources, with increasing contribution from C3 vegetation and decreasing contribution from phytoplankton at high discharge. Large C4 inputs are never observed despite covering ≈ 13 % of the catchment. Low and variable ∆14C values during 2011 [annual mean = (-148 ± 82) ‰], when discharge from left-bank tributaries located in the southern hemisphere reached record lows, likely reflect a bias toward pre-aged POM derived from the Cuvette Congolaise swamp forest. In contrast, ∆14C values were stable near -50 ‰ between January and June 2013, when left-bank discharge was highest. We suggest that headwater POM is replaced and/or diluted by C3 vegetation and pre-aged soils during transit through the Cuvette Congolaise, whereas left-bank tributaries export significantly less pre-aged material. GDGT distributions provide further evidence for seasonal and inter-annual variability in soil provenance. The cyclization of branched tetraethers and the GDGT-0 to crenarchaeol ratio are positively correlated with discharge (r ≥ 0.70; p-value ≤ 4.3×10-5) due to the incorporation of swamp-forest soils when discharge from right-bank tributaries located in the northern hemisphere is high. Both metrics reach record lows during 2013, supporting our interpretation of increased left-bank contribution at this time. We conclude that hydrologic variability is a major control of POM provenance in the Congo River Basin and that tropical wetlands can be a significant POM source despite their small geographic coverage.
  • Article
    Correction to “Forcing of tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures during the mid-Pleistocene transition”
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-03-30) Schefuß, Enno ; Sinninghe Damste, Jaap S. ; Jansen, J. H. Fred
  • Article
    North Atlantic cooling triggered a zonal mode over the Indian Ocean during Heinrich Stadial 1
    (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2023-01-04) Du, Xiaojing ; Russell, James M. ; Liu, Zhengyu ; Otto-Bliesner, Bette L. ; Oppo, Delia W. ; Mohtadi, Mahyar ; Zhu, Chenyu ; Galy, Valier V. ; Schefuß, Enno ; Yan, Yan ; Rosenthal, Yair ; Dubois, Nathalie ; Arbuszewski, Jennifer ; Gao, Yu
    Abrupt changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) are thought to affect tropical hydroclimate through adjustment of the latitudinal position of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS1) involves the largest AMOC reduction in recent geological time; however, over the tropical Indian Ocean (IO), proxy records suggest zonal anomalies featuring intense, widespread drought in tropical East Africa versus generally wet but heterogeneous conditions in the Maritime Continent. Here, we synthesize proxy data and an isotope-enabled transient deglacial simulation and show that the southward ITCZ shift over the eastern IO during HS1 strengthens IO Walker circulation, triggering an east-west precipitation dipole across the basin. This dipole reverses the zonal precipitation anomalies caused by the exposed Sunda and Sahul shelves due to glacial lower sea level. Our study illustrates how zonal modes of atmosphere-ocean circulation can amplify or reverse global climate anomalies, highlighting their importance for future climate change.