The Subantarctic Southern Ocean has long been thought to be an important contributor to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2) during glacial-interglacial transitions. Extensive studies suggest that a weakened biological pump, a process associated with nutrient utilization efficiency, drove up surface-water pCO2 in this region during deglaciations. By contrast, regional influences of the solubility pump, a process mainly linked to temperature variations, have been largely overlooked. Here, we evaluate relative roles of the biological and solubility pumps in determining surface-water pCO2 variabilities in the Subantarctic Southern Ocean during the last deglaciation, based on paired reconstructions of surface-water pCO2, temperature, and nutrient utilization efficiency. We show that compared to the biological pump, the solubility pump imposed a strong impact on deglacial Subantarctic surface-water pCO2 variabilities. Our findings therefore reveal a previously underappreciated role of the solubility pump in modulating deglacial Subantarctic CO2 release and possibly past atmospheric pCO2 fluctuations.
Deglacial Subantarctic CO2 outgassing driven by a weakened solubility pump
Nature Communications volume 13, Article number: 5193 (2022)