Articles | Volume 12, issue 5
Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 1869–1883, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-12-1869-2019
Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 1869–1883, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-12-1869-2019

Development and technical paper 10 May 2019

Development and technical paper | 10 May 2019

CO2 drawdown due to particle ballasting by glacial aeolian dust: an estimate based on the ocean carbon cycle model MPIOM/HAMOCC version 1.6.2p3

Malte Heinemann et al.

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Latest update: 26 Oct 2021
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Short summary
Ocean CO2 uptake played a crucial role for the global cooling during ice ages. Dust formation, e.g. by ice scraping over bedrock, potentially contributed to this CO2 uptake because (1) the iron in the dust is a fertilizer and (2) the heavy dust particles can accelerate sinking organic matter (ballasting hypothesis). This study tests the glacial dust ballasting hypothesis for the first time, using an ocean model. It turns out, however, that the ballasting effect probably played a minor role.