McCave I. Nick

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I. Nick

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  • Article
    Calibration and application of B/Ca, Cd/Ca, and δ11B in Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral) to constrain CO2 uptake in the subpolar North Atlantic during the last deglaciation
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-05-30) Yu, Jimin ; Thornalley, David J. R. ; Rae, James W. B. ; McCave, I. Nick
    The North Atlantic and Norwegian Sea are prominent sinks of atmospheric CO2 today, but their roles in the past remain poorly constrained. In this study, we attempt to use B/Ca and δ11B ratios in the planktonic foraminifera Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral variety) to reconstruct subsurface water pH and pCO2 changes in the polar North Atlantic during the last deglaciation. Comparison of core-top results with nearby hydrographic data shows that B/Ca in N. pachyderma (s) is mainly controlled by seawater B(OH)4−/HCO3− with a roughly constant partition coefficient of 1.48 ± 0.15 × 10−3 (2σ), and δ11B in this species is offset below δ11B of the borate in seawater by 3.38 ± 0.71‰ (2σ). These values represent our best estimates with the sparse available hydrographic data close to our core-tops. More culturing and sediment trap work is needed to improve our understanding of boron incorporation into N. pachyderma (s). Application of a constant KD of 1.48 × 10−3 to high resolution N. pachyderma (s) B/Ca records from two adjacent cores off Iceland shows that subsurface pCO2 at the habitat depth of N. pachyderma (s) (~50 m) generally followed the atmospheric CO2 trend but with negative offsets of ~10–50 ppmv during 19–10 ka. These B/Ca-based reconstructions are supported by independent estimates from low-resolution δ11B measurements in the same cores. We also calibrate and apply Cd/Ca in N. pachyderma (s) to reconstruct nutrient levels for the same down cores. Like today's North Atlantic, past subsurface pCO2 variability off Iceland was significantly correlated with nutrient changes that might be linked to surface nutrient utilization and mixing within the upper water column. Because surface pCO2 (at 0 m water depth) is always lower than at deeper depths and if the application of a constant KD is valid, our results suggest that the polar North Atlantic has remained a CO2 sink during the calcification seasons of N. pachyderma (s) over the last deglaciation.
  • Article
    Long-term variations in Iceland–Scotland overflow strength during the Holocene
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2013-09-03) Thornalley, David J. R. ; Blaschek, Michael ; Davies, F. J. ; Praetorius, Summer K. ; Oppo, Delia W. ; McManus, Jerry F. ; Hall, Ian R. ; Kleiven, Helga F. ; Renssen, Hans ; McCave, I. Nick
    The overflow of deep water from the Nordic seas into the North Atlantic plays a critical role in global ocean circulation and climate. Approximately half of this overflow occurs via the Iceland–Scotland (I–S) overflow, yet the history of its strength throughout the Holocene (~ 0–11 700 yr ago, ka) is poorly constrained, with previous studies presenting apparently contradictory evidence regarding its long-term variability. Here, we provide a comprehensive reconstruction of I–S overflow strength throughout the Holocene using sediment grain size data from a depth transect of 13 cores from the Iceland Basin. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that the main axis of the I–S overflow on the Iceland slope was shallower during the early Holocene, deepening to its present depth by ~ 7 ka. Our results also reveal weaker I–S overflow during the early and late Holocene, with maximum overflow strength occurring at ~ 7 ka, the time of a regional climate thermal maximum. Climate model simulations suggest a shoaling of deep convection in the Nordic seas during the early and late Holocene, consistent with our evidence for weaker I–S overflow during these intervals. Whereas the reduction in I–S overflow strength during the early Holocene likely resulted from melting remnant glacial ice sheets, the decline throughout the last 7000 yr was caused by an orbitally induced increase in the amount of Arctic sea ice entering the Nordic seas. Although the flux of Arctic sea ice to the Nordic seas is expected to decrease throughout the next century, model simulations predict that under high emissions scenarios, competing effects, such as warmer sea surface temperatures in the Nordic seas, will result in reduced deep convection, likely driving a weaker I–S overflow.