(CH4)-C-14 Measurements in Greenland Ice: Investigating Last Glacial Termination CH4 Sources

V. V. Petrenko, A. M. Smith, E. J. Brook, D. Lowe, K. Riedel, G. Brailsford, Q. Hua, H. Schaefer, Niels Reeh, R. F. Weiss, D. Etheridge, J. P. Severinghaus

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Abstract

The cause of a large increase of atmospheric methane concentration during the Younger Dryas-Preboreal abrupt climatic transition (similar to 11,600 years ago) has been the subject of much debate. The carbon-14 (C-14) content of methane ((CH4)-C-14) should distinguish between wetland and clathrate contributions to this increase. We present measurements of (CH4)-C-14 in glacial ice, targeting this transition, performed by using ice samples obtained from an ablation site in west Greenland. Measured (CH4)-C-14 values were higher than predicted under any scenario. Sample (CH4)-C-14 appears to be elevated by direct cosmogenic C-14 production in ice. C-14 of CO was measured to better understand this process and correct the sample (CH4)-C-14. Corrected results suggest that wetland sources were likely responsible for the majority of the Younger Dryas-Preboreal CH4 rise.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience
Volume324
Issue number5926
Pages (from-to)506-508
ISSN0036-8075
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Cite this

Petrenko, V. V., Smith, A. M., Brook, E. J., Lowe, D., Riedel, K., Brailsford, G., Hua, Q., Schaefer, H., Reeh, N., Weiss, R. F., Etheridge, D., & Severinghaus, J. P. (2009). (CH4)-C-14 Measurements in Greenland Ice: Investigating Last Glacial Termination CH4 Sources. Science, 324(5926), 506-508. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1168909