Stable carbon isotope ratios of alkane of IODP Hole 302-M0004A


The Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum represents a period of rapid, extreme global warming approx ~55 million years ago, superimposed on an already warm world (Zachos et al., 2003, doi:10.1126/science.1090110; Bowen et al., 2004, doi:10.1038/nature03115; Thomas et al., 2002, doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2002)0302.0.CO;2). This warming is associated with a severe shoaling of the ocean calcite compensation depth **4 and a >2.5 per mil negative carbon isotope excursion in marine and soil carbonates (Zachos et al., 2003, doi:10.1126/science.1090110; Bowen et al., 2004, doi:10.1038/nature03115; Thomas et al., 2002, doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2002)0302.0.CO;2; Zachos et al., doi:10.1126/science.1109004). Together these observations indicate a massive release of 13C-depleted carbon (Zachos et al., doi:10.1126/science.1109004) and greenhouse-gas-induced warming. Recently, sediments were recovered from the central Arctic Ocean (Backman et al., 2006, doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.302.2006), providing the first opportunity to evaluate the environmental response at the North Pole at this time. Here we present stable hydrogen and carbon isotope measurements of terrestrial-plant- and aquatic-derived n-alkanes that record changes in hydrology, including surface water salinity and precipitation, and the global carbon cycle. Hydrogen isotope records are interpreted as documenting decreased rainout during moisture transport from lower latitudes and increased moisture delivery to the Arctic at the onset of the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum, consistent with predictions of poleward storm track migrations during global warming (Backman et al., 2006, doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.302.2006). The terrestrial-plant carbon isotope excursion (about ~4.5 to ~6 per mil) is substantially larger than those of marine carbonates. Previously, this offset was explained by the physiological response of plants to increases in surface humidity (Bowen et al., 2004, doi:10.1038/nature03115). But this mechanism is not an effective explanation in this wet Arctic setting, leading us to hypothesize that the true magnitude of the excursion - and associated carbon input - was greater than originally surmised. Greater carbon release and strong hydrological cycle feedbacks may help explain the maintenance of this unprecedented warmth.of this unprecedented warmth.

Depth, sediment=Depth (mcd)

Supplement to: Pagani, Mark; Pedentchouk, Nikolai; Huber, Matthew; Sluijs, Appy; Schouten, Stefan; Brinkhuis, Henk; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Dickens, Gerald Roy; Expedition 302 Scientists (2006): Arctic hydrology during global warming at the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum. Nature, 442(10), 671-675

Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Pagani, Mark; Pedentchouk, Nikolai (ORCID: 0000-0002-2923-966X); Huber, Matthew (ORCID: 0000-0002-2771-9977); Sluijs, Appy (ORCID: 0000-0003-2382-0215); Schouten, Stefan; Brinkhuis, Henk (ORCID: 0000-0003-0253-6610); Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S (ORCID: 0000-0002-8683-1854); Dickens, Gerald Roy (ORCID: 0000-0003-2869-4860); Expedition 302 Scientists
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 2006
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 417 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (136.177 LON, 87.867 LAT); Arctic Ocean