EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Millennial-scale variations in atmospheric N2O during the past 2000 years

Yeongjun Ryu1, Jinho Ahn1, Ji-Woong Yang1, Ed Brook2, Axel Timmermann3,4, Thomas Blunier5, Soondo Hur6, and Seong-Joong Kim6
Yeongjun Ryu et al.
  • 1Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2College of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA
  • 3Center for Climate Physics, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Busan, South Korea
  • 4Pusan National University, Pusan, South Korea
  • 5University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 6Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), Incheon, South Korea

Improved knowledge of greenhouse gas-climate feedbacks is required to understand past and future climate changes. Atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O) is of concern for its potential role in global warming and future stratospheric ozone destruction. Existing ice core N2O records for the Holocene have not been sufficiently consistent to allow an examination of small changes on sub-millennial time scales. Here, we present new high-resolution and high-precision N2O records obtained from the Greenland NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling) and Antarctic Styx Glacier ice cores. Our reconstruction shows, for the first time, a centennial-scale variability of ~10 ppb during the last 2000 years.  Comparisons with proxy records suggest that centennial- to millennial-scale variations in N2O are driven, to a large extent, by changes in tropical and subtropical land hydrology and marine productivity.

How to cite: Ryu, Y., Ahn, J., Yang, J.-W., Brook, E., Timmermann, A., Blunier, T., Hur, S., and Kim, S.-J.: Millennial-scale variations in atmospheric N2O during the past 2000 years, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20714,, 2020


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