Ice Core Records of Atmospheric CO2 Around the Last Three Glacial Terminations

Hubertus Fischer, Martin Wahlen, Jesse Smith, Derek Mastroianni, and Bruce Deck

 Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Published: © by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Science, 283, 1712-1714

Download Vostok CO2 Data and Data Description from this study.

Air trapped in bubbles in polar ice cores constitutes an archive for the reconstruction of the global carbon cycle and the relation between greenhouse gases and climate in the past. High-resolution records from Antarctic ice cores show that carbon dioxide concentrations increased by 80 to 100 parts per million by volume 600 +/- 400 years after the warming of the last three deglaciations. Despite strongly decreasing temperatures, high carbon dioxide concentrations can be sustained for thousands of years during glaciations; the size of this phase lag is probably connected to the duration of the preceding warm period, which controls the change in land ice coverage and the buildup of the terrestrial biosphere.

NOAA NOAA Paleoclimatology Program / WDC for Paleoclimatology
8 February 2000