The response of atmospheric nitrous oxide to climate variations during the last glacial period Public Deposited

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  • Detailed insight into natural variations of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N₂O) in response to changes in the Earth's climate system is provided by new measurements along the ice core of the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP). The presented record reaches from the early Holocene back into the previous interglacial with a mean time resolution of about 75 years. Between 11 and 120 kyr BP, atmospheric N₂O concentrations react substantially to the last glacial-interglacial transition (Termination 1) and millennial time scale climate variations of the last glacial period. For long-lasting Dansgaard/Oeschger (DO) events, the N₂O increase precedes Greenland temperature change by several hundred years with an increase rate of about 0.8-1.3 ppbv/century, which accelerates to about 3.8-10.7 ppbv/century at the time of the rapid warming in Greenland. Within each bundle of DO events, the new record further reveals particularly low N₂O concentrations at the approximate time of Heinrich events. This suggests that the response of marine and/or terrestrial N₂O emissions on a global scale are different for stadials with and without Heinrich events.
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  • Schilt, A., Baumgartner, M., Eicher, O., Chappellaz, J., Schwander, J., Fischer, H., & Stocker, T. (2013). The response of atmospheric nitrous oxide to climate variations during the last glacial period. Geophysical Research Letters, 40(9), 1888-1893. doi:10.1002/grl.50380
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  • 40
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  • 9
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  • This work was supported by the University of Bern and the Swiss National Science Foundation. NGRIP is supported by funding agencies in Denmark (SNF), Belgium (FNRS-CFB), France (IPEV and INSU/CNRS), Germany (AWI), Iceland (RannIs), Japan (MEXT), Sweden (SPRS), Switzerland (SNF), and the United States of America (NSF, Office of Polar Programs).
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