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N2O record from EPICA ice core during the past 800ka
CTR :226
Key words EPICA core; N2O; the past 8000ka;
Relevant data MIS 7.5 to 11 and MIS 17 to 19: Schilt, A., M. Baumgartner, T. Blunier, J. Schwander, R. Spahni, H. Fischer, T.F. Stocker. 2010. Glacial-Interglacial and Millennial Scale Variations in the Atmospheric Nitrous Oxide Concentration during the last 800,000 Years. Quaternary Science Reviews, 29, 182-192. MIS 3 to 7.3 and MIS 13 to 15: Spahni, R., J. Chappellaz, T.F. Stocker, L. Loulergue, G. Hausammann, K. Kawamura, J. Flukiger, J. Schwander, D. Raynaud, V. Masson-Delmotte, and J. Jouzel. 2005. Atmospheric methane and nitrous oxide of the late Pleistocene from Antarctic ice cores. Science 310, 1317-1321, 2005.
Data shows that
N2O record from the EPICA Dome C 1996 and 1999 (EDC96 and EDC99) ice cores covering the last 800 Kyr. EPICA Dome C Ice Core Location: 75º06'S, 123º21'E, 3233 m above sea level. We present records of atmospheric nitrous oxide obtained from the ice cores of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) Dome C and Dronning Maud Land sites shedding light on the concentration of this greenhouse gas on glacial-interglacial and millennial time scales. The extended EPICA Dome C record covers now all interglacials of the last 800,000 years and reveals nitrous oxide variations in concert with climate. Highest mean interglacial nitrous oxide concentrations of 280 parts per billion by volume are observed during the interglacial corresponding to Marine Isotope Stage 11 around 400,000 years before present, at the same time when carbon dioxide and methane reach maximum mean interglacial concentrations. The temperature reconstruction at Dome C indicates colder interglacials between 800,000 and 440,000 years before present compared to the interglacials of the last 440,000 years. In contrast to carbon dioxide and methane, which both respond with lower concentrations at lower temperatures, nitrous oxide shows mean interglacial concentrations of 4-19 parts per billion by volume higher than the preindustrial Holocene value during the interglacials corresponding to Marine Isotope Stage 9-19. At the end of most interglacials, nitrous oxide remains substantially longer on interglacial levels than methane. Nevertheless, nitrous oxide shows millennial-scale variations at the same time as methane throughout the last 800,000 years. We suggest that these millennial-scale variations have been driven by a similar mechanism as the Dansgaard/Oeschger events known from the last glacial. Our data lead to the hypothesis that emissions from the low latitudes drive past variations of the atmospheric nitrous oxide concentration.
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