A Holocene record of climate-driven shifts in coastal carbon sequestration

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 



A sediment core collected in the mesohaline portion of Chesapeake Bay was found to contain periods of increased delivery of refractory black carbon (BC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The BC was most likely produced by biomass combustion during four centennialscale dry periods as indicated by the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), beginning in the late Medieval Warm Period of 1100 CE. In contrast, wetter periods were associated with increased non-BC organic matter influx into the bay, likely due to greater runoff and associated nutrient delivery. In addition, an overall increase in both BC and non-BC organic matter deposition during the past millennium may reflect a shift in climate regime. The finding that carbon sequestration in the coastal zone responds to climate fluctuations at both centennial and millennial scales through fire occurrence and nutrient delivery has implications for past and future climate predictions. Drought-induced fires may lead, on longer timescales, to greater carbon sequestration and, therefore, represent a negative climate feedback. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A Holocene record of climate-driven shifts in coastal carbon sequestration
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1029/2008GL036875
Volume 36
Issue 5
Year Published 2009
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geophysical Research Letters
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