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Holocene carbon cycle dynamics

Publication Date
  • Holocene
  • Carbon Cycle
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Mathematical & Earth Sciences :: Earth Sciences & Physical Geography [G02]
  • Physique
  • Chimie
  • Mathématiques & Sciences De La Terre :: Sciences De La Terre & Géographie Physique [G02]


We are investigating the late Holocene rise in CO2 by performing four experiments with the climate-carbon-cycle model CLIMBER2-LPJ. Apart from the deep sea sediments, important carbon cycle processes considered are carbon uptake or release by the vegetation, carbon uptake by peatlands, and CO2 release due to shallow water sedimentation of CaCO3. Ice core data of atmospheric CO2 between 8 ka BP and preindustrial climate can only be reproduced if CO2 outgassing due to shallow water sedimentation of CaCO3 is considered. In this case the model displays an increase of nearly 20 ppmv CO2 between 8 ka BP and present day. Model configurations that do not contain this forcing show a slight decrease in atmospheric CO2. We can therefore explain the late Holocene rise in CO2 by invoking natural forcing factors only, and anthropogenic forcing is not required to understand preindustrial CO2 dynamics.

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