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Pakitsoq Greenland Ice Methane Carbon Isotope Data
Entry ID: NOAA_NCDC_PALEO_2006-083

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Abstract: We report atmospheric methane carbon isotope ratios (d13CH4) from the Western
Greenland ice margin spanning the Younger Dryas-to-Preboreal (YD-PB)
transition. Over the recorded ~800 years, d13CH4 was around -46 per mil; that
is, ~1 per mil higher than in the modern atmosphere and ~5.5 per mil higher
than would be expected from budgets without 13C-rich anthropogenic emissions.
This requires higher natural 13C-rich emissions or stronger sink fractionation
than conventionally assumed. Constant d13CH4 during the rise in methane
concentration at the YD-PB transition is consistent with additional emissions
from tropical wetlands, or aerobic plant CH4 production, or with a multisource
scenario. A marine clathrate source is unlikely.
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Caption:  ´13CH4 (0) versus sample age in Pakitsoq ice samples.
Description:  ´13CH4 (0) versus sample age in Pakitsoq ice samples. from:

Geographic Coverage
Spatial coordinates   
  N: 80.0   S: 60.0   E: -25.0   W: -70.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Schaefer, H., M.J. Whiticar, E.J. Brook, V.V. Petrenko, D.F. Ferretti, and J.P. Severinghaus
Dataset Title: Pakitsoq Greenland Ice Methane Carbon Isotope Data
Dataset Release Date: August 2006
Dataset Release Place: Boulder, CO
Dataset Publisher: IGBP PAGES/World Data Center for Paleoclimatology
Issue Identification: 2006-083
Other Citation Details: NOAA/NCDC Paleoclimatology Program
Online Resource:
Paleo Temporal Coverage
Paleo Start Date: 12.2 ka
Paleo Stop Date: 11.3 ka
Chrono Unit:
Use Constraints The project was supported by a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
fellowship (H.S.), a Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis
Environment Canada grant (M.J.W.), a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council Discovery Grant (M.J.W.), Canadian Foundation for Climate and
Atmospheric Sciences Project Grant GR-417 (M.J.W.), and NSF grants OPP-0221410
(E.J.B.) and OPP-0221470 (J.P.S.).
Data Set Progress
Originating Center
Data Center
World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, Boulder Supplemental Info
Data Center URL:

Data Center Personnel
Phone: +1 (303) 497-6160
Fax: +1 (303) 497-6513
Email: paleo at
Contact Address:
World Data Center for Paleoclimatology
325 Broadway
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80303
Country: USA
Distribution Media: online ftp
Distribution Format: text, excel
Fees: none
Contact Address:
School of Earth and Ocean Sciences
University of Victoria
Post Office Box 3055
City: Victoria
Province or State: British Columbia
Postal Code: V8W 3P6
Country: Canada
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Schaefer, H., M.J. Whiticar, E.J. Brook, V.V. Petrenko, D.F. Ferretti, and
J.P. Severinghaus. 2006. Ice Record of d13C for Atmospheric CH4 Across the
Younger Dryas-Preboreal Transition. Science, Vol. 313, pp. 1109-1112,
10.1126/science.1126562, 25 August 2006.

Petrenko, V. V., J.P. Severinghaus, E.J. Brook, N. Reeh, and H. Schaefer. 2006.
Gas records from the West Greenland ice margin covering the Last Glacial
Termination: a horizontal ice core. Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 25,
Issues 9-10, pp. 865-875, May 2006.

Schaefer H. 2005. Stable Carbon Isotopic Composition of Methane from Ancient
Ice Samples. Thesis, pp.191, University of Victoria.
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2006-10-17
Last DIF Revision Date: 2017-08-24