Despite Al Gore's attempt to obscure this inconvenient truth, temperatures lead CO2 levels on long, intermediate, and short-term timescales, on both the upside and the downside. CO2 cannot be the 'control knob' or 'amplifier' of climate, because the tail does not wag the dog, the cause does not follow the effect, and the globe starts to warm and cool 500-5000 years in advance of CO2 changes.
Clim. Past, 9, 2507-2523, 2013
1Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
3Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), P.O. Box 12 01 61, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany
Abstract. The reconstruction of the stable carbon isotope evolution in atmospheric CO2 (δ13Catm), as archived in Antarctic ice cores, bears the potential to disentangle the contributions of the different carbon cycle fluxes causing past CO2 variations. Here we present a new record of δ13Catm before, during and after the Marine Isotope Stage 5.5 (155 000 to 105 000 yr BP). The dataset is archived on the data repository PANGEA® (www.pangea.de) under 10.1594/PANGAEA.817041. The record was derived with a well established sublimation method using ice from the EPICA Dome C (EDC) and the Talos Dome ice cores in East Antarctica. We find a 0.4‰ shift to heavier values between the mean δ13Catm level in the Penultimate (~ 140 000 yr BP) and Last Glacial Maximum (~ 22 000 yr BP), which can be explained by either (i) changes in the isotopic composition or (ii) intensity of the carbon input fluxes to the combined ocean/atmosphere carbon reservoir or (iii) by long-term peat buildup. Our isotopic data suggest that the carbon cycle evolution along Termination II and the subsequent interglacial was controlled by essentially the same processes as during the last 24 000 yr, but with different phasing and magnitudes. Furthermore, a 5000 yr lag in the CO2 decline relative to EDC [East Antarctic] temperatures is confirmed during the glacial inception at the end of MIS5.5 (120.000 [years ago]). Based on our isotopic data this lag can be explained by terrestrial carbon release and carbonate compensation.