Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration across the mid-Pleistocene transition.

  • Hönisch B
  • Hemming N
  • Archer D
 et al. 
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Abstract

The dominant period of Pleistocene glacial cycles changed during the mid-Pleistocene from 40,000 years to 100,000 years, for as yet unknown reasons. Here we present a 2.1-million-year record of sea surface partial pressure of CO2 (Pco2), based on boron isotopes in planktic foraminifer shells, which suggests that the atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 (pco2) was relatively stable before the mid-Pleistocene climate transition. Glacial Pco2 was approximately 31 microatmospheres higher before the transition (more than 1 million years ago), but interglacial Pco2 was similar to that of late Pleistocene interglacial cycles (

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Authors

  • Bärbel Hönisch

  • N. G. Hemming

  • D. Archer

  • M. Siddall

  • J. F. McManus

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