Abstract

Quantifying past circulation is a vital part of testing our understanding of the modern and future climate system. The isotopic composition of neodymium (Nd) in marine precipitates has considerable promise as a recorder of past circulation patterns, but its robust application requires knowledge of the end-member compositions in order to correctly deconvolute a downstream signal. We show here, using in situ, high temporal resolution analyses of ferro-manganese crusts from the North Atlantic, that the Nd isotopic composition of deep water during times of much more extensive Northern Hemisphere ice cover was no different than the modern-day interglacial value. This result is surprising, but greatly simplifies the use of Nd isotopes as tracers of the strength and patterns of circulation in the Atlantic in the past.

You do not currently have access to this article.