To reconstruct oceanic primary productivity in the northern North Atlantic Ocean during the last glacial maximum (LGM), we have applied the modern analogue technique to dinocyst assemblages using a Northern Hemisphere database that includes 1171 reference sites. The reconstructions were made in LGM sediments (21 ± 2 ka) of a set of 62 cores collected from 36°N to 75°N. Here, we present the compilation of reconstructed seasonal and annual productivity during the LGM. Results show lower mean annual productivity during the LGM than at present in the northern North Atlantic. At most high-latitude locations, LGM productivity has been estimated at <200 gC m–2 a–1, with extremely low values (<100 gC m–2 a–1) in the Labrador Sea, Baffin Bay, and along the margins of Greenland. Such low values might be the result of reduced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and stratified water that characterized the glacial episode of the North Atlantic Ocean.
- Received March 7, 2008.
- Accepted November 13, 2008.
- Published on the NRC Research Press Web site at http://cjes.nrc.ca on January 27, 2009.