Marine cores collected in the western tropical Pacific were used to compare the chronology of Southern Ocean warming near Antarctica and rising CO2 during the last deglaciation. The results provide evidence that the Southern Ocean off Antarctica warmed by ~2°C between 19,000 and 17,000 years before the present, about 1,000 years before the rise in atmospheric CO2.
As the Earth warms, permafrost soils melt and this old carbon is released into the atmosphere as methane and CO2. Using radiocarbon dating of methane bubbles and soil organic carbon from lakes formed by melting thermafrost in Alaska, Canada, Sweden and Siberia combined with remote sensing it is found that methane and carbon dioxide releaed in the Arctic region during the past 60 years is much less than the CO2 contributed annually from anthropogenic and other sources.
Air bubbles in Greenland ice cores are analyzed to compare changes in Greenland surface temperature and atmospheric methane concentration during a rapid warming event lasting 200 years during the last deglaciation. It is found that changes in Greenland surface temperature and atmospheric methane emissions occurred essentially synchronously indicating that this warming event included the tropics.
A new analysis of Antarctic ice cores shows that at the beginning of the last deglaciation, the start of rising CO2 lagged rising temperature by about 800 years which is consistent with the Southern Hemisphere playing a dominant role in the rise in atmospheric CO2. The concomitant rise in methane appears to be governed by Northern Hemisphere processes.