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Readjustment of glacial radiocarbon chronologies by self-consistent three-dimensional ocean circulation modeling

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Butzin, M. , Prange, M. and Lohmann, G. (2012): Readjustment of glacial radiocarbon chronologies by self-consistent three-dimensional ocean circulation modeling , Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 317 , pp. 177-184 .
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Abstract:

A critical problem in radiocarbon dating is the spatial and temporal variability of marine 14C reservoir ages. This is particularly true for the time scale beyond the tree-ring calibration range. Here, we propose a method to assess the evolution of marine reservoir ages during the last deglaciation by numerical modeling. We apply a self-consistent iteration scheme in which existing radiocarbon chronologies can be readjusted by transient, three-dimensional simulations of marine and atmospheric Δ14C. To estimate the uncertainties regarding the ocean ventilation during the last deglaciation, we consider various ocean overturning scenarios which are based on different climatic background states. An example readjusting 14C data from the Caribbean points to marine reservoir ages varying between 200 and 900 a during the last deglaciation. Correspondingly, the readjustment leads to enhanced variability of atmospheric Δ14C by ± 30‰, and increases the mysterious drop of atmospheric Δ14C between 17.5 and 14.5 cal ka BP by about 20‰.

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