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7 Research products, page 1 of 1

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  • Climate of the Past (CP)

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Plach, Andreas; Vinther, Bo M.; Nisancioglu, Kerim H.; Vudayagiri, Sindhu; Blunier, Thomas;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    This study presents simulations of Greenland surface melt for the Eemian interglacial period (∼130 000 to 115 000 years ago) derived from regional climate simulations with a coupled surface energy balance model. Surface melt is of high relevance due to its potential effect on ice core observations, e.g., lowering the preserved total air content (TAC) used to infer past surface elevation. An investigation of surface melt is particularly interesting for warm periods with high surface melt, such as the Eemian interglacial period. Furthermore, Eemian ice is the deepest and most compressed ice preserved on Greenland, resulting in our inability to identify melt layers visually. Therefore, simulating Eemian melt rates and associated melt layers is beneficial to improve the reconstruction of past surface elevation. Estimated TAC, based on simulated melt during the Eemian, could explain the lower TAC observations. The simulations show Eemian surface melt at all deep Greenland ice core locations and an average of up to ∼30 melt days per year at Dye-3, corresponding to more than 600 mm water equivalent (w.e.) of annual melt. For higher ice sheet locations, between 60 and 150 mmw.e.yr-1 on average are simulated. At the summit of Greenland, this yields a refreezing ratio of more than 25 % of the annual accumulation. As a consequence, high melt rates during warm periods should be considered when interpreting Greenland TAC fluctuations as surface elevation changes. In addition to estimating the influence of melt on past TAC in ice cores, the simulated surface melt could potentially be used to identify coring locations where Greenland ice is best preserved.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Lee, James E.; Brook, Edward J.; Bertler, Nancy A. N.; Buizert, Christo; Baisden, Troy; Blunier, Thomas; Ciobanu, V. Gabriela; Conway, Howard; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Fudge, Tyler J.; +7 more
    Project: NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944307), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944021), EC | ICE2ICE (610055), NSF | Roosevelt Island Climate ... (1042883), NSF | Collaborative Research: A... (0837883)

    In 2013, an ice core was recovered from Roosevelt Island in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, as part of the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project. Roosevelt Island is located between two submarine troughs carved by paleo-ice-streams. The RICE ice core provides new important information about the past configuration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its retreat during the most recent deglaciation. In this work, we present the RICE17 chronology and discuss preliminary observations from the new records of methane, the isotopic composition of atmospheric molecular oxygen (δ18O-Oatm), the isotopic composition of atmospheric molecular nitrogen (δ15N-N2) and total air content (TAC). RICE17 is a composite chronology combining annual layer interpretations, gas synchronization, and firn modeling strategies in different sections of the core. An automated matching algorithm is developed for synchronizing the high-resolution section of the RICE gas records (60–720 m, 1971 CE to 30 ka) to corresponding records from the WAIS Divide ice core, while deeper sections are manually matched. Ice age for the top 343 m (2635 yr BP, before 1950 C.E.) is derived from annual layer interpretations and described in the accompanying paper by Winstrup et al. (2017). For deeper sections, the RICE17 ice age scale is based on the gas age constraints and the ice age-gas age offset estimated by a firn densification model. Novel aspects of this work include: 1) stratigraphic matching of centennial-scale variations in methane for pre-anthropogenic time periods, a strategy which will be applicable for developing precise chronologies for future ice cores, 2) the observation of centennial-scale variability in methane throughout the Holocene which suggests that similar variations during the late preindustrial period need not be anthropogenic, and 3) the observation of continuous climate records dating back to ∼ 65 ka which provide evidence that the Roosevelt Island Ice Dome was a constant feature throughout the last glacial period.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Maffezzoli, Niccolò; Vallelonga, Paul; Edwards, Ross; Saiz-Lopez, Alfonso; Turetta, Clara; Kjær, Helle Astrid; Barbante, Carlo; Vinther, Bo; Spolaor, Andrea;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055), EC | CLIMAHAL (726349)

    Although it has been demonstrated that the speed and magnitude of the recent Arctic sea ice decline is unprecedented for the past 1450 years, few records are available to provide a paleoclimate context for Arctic sea ice extent. Bromine enrichment in ice cores has been suggested to indicate the extent of newly formed sea ice areas. Despite the similarities among sea ice indicators and ice core bromine enrichment records, uncertainties still exist regarding the quantitative linkages between bromine reactive chemistry and the first-year sea ice surfaces. Here we present a 120 000-year record of bromine enrichment from the RECAP (REnland ice CAP) ice core, coastal east Greenland, and interpret it as a record of first-year sea ice. We compare it to existing sea ice records from marine cores and tentatively reconstruct past sea ice conditions in the North Atlantic as far north as the Fram Strait (50–85∘ N). Our interpretation implies that during the last deglaciation, the transition from multi-year to first-year sea ice started at ∼17.5 ka, synchronously with sea ice reductions observed in the eastern Nordic Seas and with the increase in North Atlantic ocean temperature. First-year sea ice reached its maximum at 12.4–11.8 ka during the Younger Dryas, after which open-water conditions started to dominate, consistent with sea ice records from the eastern Nordic Seas and the North Icelandic shelf. Our results show that over the last 120 000 years, multi-year sea ice extent was greatest during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 2 and possibly during MIS 4, with more extended first-year sea ice during MIS 3 and MIS 5. Sea ice extent during the Holocene (MIS 1) has been less than at any time in the last 120 000 years.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Holme, Christian; Gkinis, Vasileios; Lanzky, Mika; Morris, Valerie; Olesen, Martin; Thayer, Abigail; Vaughn, Bruce H.; Vinther, Bo M.;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    This study examines the stable water isotope signal (δ18O) of three ice cores drilled on the Renland peninsula (east Greenland coast). While ice core δ18O measurements qualitatively are a measure of the local temperature history, the δ18O variability in precipitation actually reflects the integrated hydrological activity that the deposited ice experienced from the evaporation source to the condensation site. Thus, as Renland is located next to fluctuating sea ice cover, the transfer function used to infer past temperatures from the δ18O variability is potentially influenced by variations in the local moisture conditions. The objective of this study is therefore to evaluate the δ18O variability of ice cores drilled on Renland and examine the amount of the signal that can be attributed to regional temperature variations. In the analysis, three ice cores are utilized to create stacked summer, winter and annually averaged δ18O signals (1801–2014 CE). The imprint of temperature on δ18O is first examined by correlating the δ18O stacks with instrumental temperature records from east Greenland (1895–2014 CE) and Iceland (1830–2014 CE) and with the regional climate model HIRHAM5 (1980–2014 CE). The results show that the δ18O variability correlates with regional temperatures on both a seasonal and an annual scale between 1910 and 2014, while δ18O is uncorrelated with Iceland temperatures between 1830 and 1909. Our analysis indicates that the unstable regional δ18O–temperature correlation does not result from changes in weather patterns through strengthening and weakening of the North Atlantic Oscillation. Instead, the results imply that the varying δ18O–temperature relation is connected with the volume flux of sea ice exported through Fram Strait (and south along the coast of east Greenland). Notably, the δ18O variability only reflects the variations in regional temperature when the temperature anomaly is positive and the sea ice export anomaly is negative. It is hypothesized that this could be caused by a larger sea ice volume flux during cold years which suppresses the Iceland temperature signature in the Renland δ18O signal. However, more isotope-enabled modeling studies with emphasis on coastal ice caps are needed in order to quantify the mechanisms behind this observation. As the amount of Renland δ18O variability that reflects regional temperature varies with time, the results have implications for studies performing regression-based δ18O–temperature reconstructions based on ice cores drilled in the vicinity of a fluctuating sea ice cover.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Winstrup, Mai; Vallelonga, Paul; Kjær, Helle A.; Fudge, Tyler J.; Lee, James E.; Riis, Marie H.; Edwards, Ross; Bertler, Nancy A. N.; Blunier, Thomas; Brook, Ed J.; +17 more
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944307), NSF | Collaborative Research: A... (0837883), NSF | Roosevelt Island Climate ... (1042883), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944021)

    We present a 2700-year annually resolved chronology and snow accumulation history for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core, Ross Ice Shelf, West Antarctica. The core adds information on past accumulation changes in an otherwise poorly constrained sector of Antarctica. The timescale was constructed by identifying annual cycles in high-resolution impurity records, and it constitutes the top part of the Roosevelt Island Ice Core Chronology 2017 (RICE17). Validation by volcanic and methane matching to the WD2014 chronology from the WAIS Divide ice core shows that the two timescales are in excellent agreement. In a companion paper, gas matching to WAIS Divide is used to extend the timescale for the deeper part of the core in which annual layers cannot be identified. Based on the annually resolved timescale, we produced a record of past snow accumulation at Roosevelt Island. The accumulation history shows that Roosevelt Island experienced slightly increasing accumulation rates between 700 BCE and 1300 CE, with an average accumulation of 0.25±0.02 m water equivalent (w.e.) per year. Since 1300 CE, trends in the accumulation rate have been consistently negative, with an acceleration in the rate of decline after the mid-17th century. The current accumulation rate at Roosevelt Island is 0.210±0.002 m w.e. yr−1 (average since 1965 CE, ±2σ), and it is rapidly declining with a trend corresponding to 0.8 mm yr−2. The decline observed since the mid-1960s is 8 times faster than the long-term decreasing trend taking place over the previous centuries, with decadal mean accumulation rates consistently being below average. Previous research has shown a strong link between Roosevelt Island accumulation rates and the location and intensity of the Amundsen Sea Low, which has a significant impact on regional sea-ice extent. The decrease in accumulation rates at Roosevelt Island may therefore be explained in terms of a recent strengthening of the ASL and the expansion of sea ice in the eastern Ross Sea. The start of the rapid decrease in RICE accumulation rates observed in 1965 CE may thus mark the onset of significant increases in regional sea-ice extent.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Landais, Amaëlle; Capron, Emilie; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Toucanne, Samuel; Rhodes, Rachael; Popp, Trevor; Vinther, Bo; Minster, Bénédicte; Prié, Frédéric;
    Project: EC | MOBILEX (600207), EC | COMBINISO (306045), EC | SEADOG (658120)

    The last deglaciation represents the most recent example of natural global warming associated with large-scale climate changes. In addition to the long-term global temperature increase, the last deglaciation onset is punctuated by a sequence of abrupt changes in the Northern Hemisphere. Such interplay between orbital- and millennial-scale variability is widely documented in paleoclimatic records but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Limitations arise from the difficulty in constraining the sequence of events between external forcing, high- and low- latitude climate, and environmental changes. Greenland ice cores provide sub-decadal-scale records across the last deglaciation and contain fingerprints of climate variations occurring in different regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Here, we combine new ice d-excess and 17O-excess records, tracing changes in the midlatitudes, with ice δ18O records of polar climate. Within Heinrich Stadial 1, we demonstrate a decoupling between climatic conditions in Greenland and those of the lower latitudes. While Greenland temperature remains mostly stable from 17.5 to 14.7 ka, significant change in the midlatitudes of the northern Atlantic takes place at ∼16.2 ka, associated with warmer and wetter conditions of Greenland moisture sources. We show that this climate modification is coincident with abrupt changes in atmospheric CO2 and CH4 concentrations recorded in an Antarctic ice core. Our coherent ice core chronological framework and comparison with other paleoclimate records suggests a mechanism involving two-step freshwater fluxes in the North Atlantic associated with a southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Landais, Amaelle; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Capron, Emilie; Langebroek, Petra M.; Bakker, Pepijn; Stone, Emma J.; Merz, Niklaus; Raible, Christoph C.; Fischer, Hubertus; Orsi, Anaïs; +3 more
    Project: EC | WATERUNDERTHEICE (246815), EC | COMBINISO (306045), ANR | GREENLAND (ANR-10-CEPL-0008), ANR | NEEM (ANR-07-VULN-0009), EC | PAST4FUTURE (243908)

    The last interglacial period (LIG, ∼ 129–116 thousand years ago) provides the most recent case study of multimillennial polar warming above the preindustrial level and a response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to this warming, as well as a test bed for climate and ice sheet models. Past changes in Greenland ice sheet thickness and surface temperature during this period were recently derived from the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) ice core records, northwest Greenland. The NEEM paradox has emerged from an estimated large local warming above the preindustrial level (7.5 ± 1.8 °C at the deposition site 126 kyr ago without correction for any overall ice sheet altitude changes between the LIG and the preindustrial period) based on water isotopes, together with limited local ice thinning, suggesting more resilience of the real Greenland ice sheet than shown in some ice sheet models. Here, we provide an independent assessment of the average LIG Greenland surface warming using ice core air isotopic composition (δ15N) and relationships between accumulation rate and temperature. The LIG surface temperature at the upstream NEEM deposition site without ice sheet altitude correction is estimated to be warmer by +8.5 ± 2.5 °C compared to the preindustrial period. This temperature estimate is consistent with the 7.5 ± 1.8 °C warming initially determined from NEEM water isotopes but at the upper end of the preindustrial period to LIG temperature difference of +5.2 ± 2.3 °C obtained at the NGRIP (North Greenland Ice Core Project) site by the same method. Climate simulations performed with present-day ice sheet topography lead in general to a warming smaller than reconstructed, but sensitivity tests show that larger amplitudes (up to 5 °C) are produced in response to prescribed changes in sea ice extent and ice sheet topography.

Advanced search in Research products
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Include:
The following results are related to European Marine Science. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
7 Research products, page 1 of 1
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Plach, Andreas; Vinther, Bo M.; Nisancioglu, Kerim H.; Vudayagiri, Sindhu; Blunier, Thomas;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    This study presents simulations of Greenland surface melt for the Eemian interglacial period (∼130 000 to 115 000 years ago) derived from regional climate simulations with a coupled surface energy balance model. Surface melt is of high relevance due to its potential effect on ice core observations, e.g., lowering the preserved total air content (TAC) used to infer past surface elevation. An investigation of surface melt is particularly interesting for warm periods with high surface melt, such as the Eemian interglacial period. Furthermore, Eemian ice is the deepest and most compressed ice preserved on Greenland, resulting in our inability to identify melt layers visually. Therefore, simulating Eemian melt rates and associated melt layers is beneficial to improve the reconstruction of past surface elevation. Estimated TAC, based on simulated melt during the Eemian, could explain the lower TAC observations. The simulations show Eemian surface melt at all deep Greenland ice core locations and an average of up to ∼30 melt days per year at Dye-3, corresponding to more than 600 mm water equivalent (w.e.) of annual melt. For higher ice sheet locations, between 60 and 150 mmw.e.yr-1 on average are simulated. At the summit of Greenland, this yields a refreezing ratio of more than 25 % of the annual accumulation. As a consequence, high melt rates during warm periods should be considered when interpreting Greenland TAC fluctuations as surface elevation changes. In addition to estimating the influence of melt on past TAC in ice cores, the simulated surface melt could potentially be used to identify coring locations where Greenland ice is best preserved.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Lee, James E.; Brook, Edward J.; Bertler, Nancy A. N.; Buizert, Christo; Baisden, Troy; Blunier, Thomas; Ciobanu, V. Gabriela; Conway, Howard; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Fudge, Tyler J.; +7 more
    Project: NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944307), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944021), EC | ICE2ICE (610055), NSF | Roosevelt Island Climate ... (1042883), NSF | Collaborative Research: A... (0837883)

    In 2013, an ice core was recovered from Roosevelt Island in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, as part of the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project. Roosevelt Island is located between two submarine troughs carved by paleo-ice-streams. The RICE ice core provides new important information about the past configuration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its retreat during the most recent deglaciation. In this work, we present the RICE17 chronology and discuss preliminary observations from the new records of methane, the isotopic composition of atmospheric molecular oxygen (δ18O-Oatm), the isotopic composition of atmospheric molecular nitrogen (δ15N-N2) and total air content (TAC). RICE17 is a composite chronology combining annual layer interpretations, gas synchronization, and firn modeling strategies in different sections of the core. An automated matching algorithm is developed for synchronizing the high-resolution section of the RICE gas records (60–720 m, 1971 CE to 30 ka) to corresponding records from the WAIS Divide ice core, while deeper sections are manually matched. Ice age for the top 343 m (2635 yr BP, before 1950 C.E.) is derived from annual layer interpretations and described in the accompanying paper by Winstrup et al. (2017). For deeper sections, the RICE17 ice age scale is based on the gas age constraints and the ice age-gas age offset estimated by a firn densification model. Novel aspects of this work include: 1) stratigraphic matching of centennial-scale variations in methane for pre-anthropogenic time periods, a strategy which will be applicable for developing precise chronologies for future ice cores, 2) the observation of centennial-scale variability in methane throughout the Holocene which suggests that similar variations during the late preindustrial period need not be anthropogenic, and 3) the observation of continuous climate records dating back to ∼ 65 ka which provide evidence that the Roosevelt Island Ice Dome was a constant feature throughout the last glacial period.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Maffezzoli, Niccolò; Vallelonga, Paul; Edwards, Ross; Saiz-Lopez, Alfonso; Turetta, Clara; Kjær, Helle Astrid; Barbante, Carlo; Vinther, Bo; Spolaor, Andrea;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055), EC | CLIMAHAL (726349)

    Although it has been demonstrated that the speed and magnitude of the recent Arctic sea ice decline is unprecedented for the past 1450 years, few records are available to provide a paleoclimate context for Arctic sea ice extent. Bromine enrichment in ice cores has been suggested to indicate the extent of newly formed sea ice areas. Despite the similarities among sea ice indicators and ice core bromine enrichment records, uncertainties still exist regarding the quantitative linkages between bromine reactive chemistry and the first-year sea ice surfaces. Here we present a 120 000-year record of bromine enrichment from the RECAP (REnland ice CAP) ice core, coastal east Greenland, and interpret it as a record of first-year sea ice. We compare it to existing sea ice records from marine cores and tentatively reconstruct past sea ice conditions in the North Atlantic as far north as the Fram Strait (50–85∘ N). Our interpretation implies that during the last deglaciation, the transition from multi-year to first-year sea ice started at ∼17.5 ka, synchronously with sea ice reductions observed in the eastern Nordic Seas and with the increase in North Atlantic ocean temperature. First-year sea ice reached its maximum at 12.4–11.8 ka during the Younger Dryas, after which open-water conditions started to dominate, consistent with sea ice records from the eastern Nordic Seas and the North Icelandic shelf. Our results show that over the last 120 000 years, multi-year sea ice extent was greatest during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 2 and possibly during MIS 4, with more extended first-year sea ice during MIS 3 and MIS 5. Sea ice extent during the Holocene (MIS 1) has been less than at any time in the last 120 000 years.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Holme, Christian; Gkinis, Vasileios; Lanzky, Mika; Morris, Valerie; Olesen, Martin; Thayer, Abigail; Vaughn, Bruce H.; Vinther, Bo M.;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    This study examines the stable water isotope signal (δ18O) of three ice cores drilled on the Renland peninsula (east Greenland coast). While ice core δ18O measurements qualitatively are a measure of the local temperature history, the δ18O variability in precipitation actually reflects the integrated hydrological activity that the deposited ice experienced from the evaporation source to the condensation site. Thus, as Renland is located next to fluctuating sea ice cover, the transfer function used to infer past temperatures from the δ18O variability is potentially influenced by variations in the local moisture conditions. The objective of this study is therefore to evaluate the δ18O variability of ice cores drilled on Renland and examine the amount of the signal that can be attributed to regional temperature variations. In the analysis, three ice cores are utilized to create stacked summer, winter and annually averaged δ18O signals (1801–2014 CE). The imprint of temperature on δ18O is first examined by correlating the δ18O stacks with instrumental temperature records from east Greenland (1895–2014 CE) and Iceland (1830–2014 CE) and with the regional climate model HIRHAM5 (1980–2014 CE). The results show that the δ18O variability correlates with regional temperatures on both a seasonal and an annual scale between 1910 and 2014, while δ18O is uncorrelated with Iceland temperatures between 1830 and 1909. Our analysis indicates that the unstable regional δ18O–temperature correlation does not result from changes in weather patterns through strengthening and weakening of the North Atlantic Oscillation. Instead, the results imply that the varying δ18O–temperature relation is connected with the volume flux of sea ice exported through Fram Strait (and south along the coast of east Greenland). Notably, the δ18O variability only reflects the variations in regional temperature when the temperature anomaly is positive and the sea ice export anomaly is negative. It is hypothesized that this could be caused by a larger sea ice volume flux during cold years which suppresses the Iceland temperature signature in the Renland δ18O signal. However, more isotope-enabled modeling studies with emphasis on coastal ice caps are needed in order to quantify the mechanisms behind this observation. As the amount of Renland δ18O variability that reflects regional temperature varies with time, the results have implications for studies performing regression-based δ18O–temperature reconstructions based on ice cores drilled in the vicinity of a fluctuating sea ice cover.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Winstrup, Mai; Vallelonga, Paul; Kjær, Helle A.; Fudge, Tyler J.; Lee, James E.; Riis, Marie H.; Edwards, Ross; Bertler, Nancy A. N.; Blunier, Thomas; Brook, Ed J.; +17 more
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944307), NSF | Collaborative Research: A... (0837883), NSF | Roosevelt Island Climate ... (1042883), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944021)

    We present a 2700-year annually resolved chronology and snow accumulation history for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core, Ross Ice Shelf, West Antarctica. The core adds information on past accumulation changes in an otherwise poorly constrained sector of Antarctica. The timescale was constructed by identifying annual cycles in high-resolution impurity records, and it constitutes the top part of the Roosevelt Island Ice Core Chronology 2017 (RICE17). Validation by volcanic and methane matching to the WD2014 chronology from the WAIS Divide ice core shows that the two timescales are in excellent agreement. In a companion paper, gas matching to WAIS Divide is used to extend the timescale for the deeper part of the core in which annual layers cannot be identified. Based on the annually resolved timescale, we produced a record of past snow accumulation at Roosevelt Island. The accumulation history shows that Roosevelt Island experienced slightly increasing accumulation rates between 700 BCE and 1300 CE, with an average accumulation of 0.25±0.02 m water equivalent (w.e.) per year. Since 1300 CE, trends in the accumulation rate have been consistently negative, with an acceleration in the rate of decline after the mid-17th century. The current accumulation rate at Roosevelt Island is 0.210±0.002 m w.e. yr−1 (average since 1965 CE, ±2σ), and it is rapidly declining with a trend corresponding to 0.8 mm yr−2. The decline observed since the mid-1960s is 8 times faster than the long-term decreasing trend taking place over the previous centuries, with decadal mean accumulation rates consistently being below average. Previous research has shown a strong link between Roosevelt Island accumulation rates and the location and intensity of the Amundsen Sea Low, which has a significant impact on regional sea-ice extent. The decrease in accumulation rates at Roosevelt Island may therefore be explained in terms of a recent strengthening of the ASL and the expansion of sea ice in the eastern Ross Sea. The start of the rapid decrease in RICE accumulation rates observed in 1965 CE may thus mark the onset of significant increases in regional sea-ice extent.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Landais, Amaëlle; Capron, Emilie; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Toucanne, Samuel; Rhodes, Rachael; Popp, Trevor; Vinther, Bo; Minster, Bénédicte; Prié, Frédéric;
    Project: EC | MOBILEX (600207), EC | COMBINISO (306045), EC | SEADOG (658120)

    The last deglaciation represents the most recent example of natural global warming associated with large-scale climate changes. In addition to the long-term global temperature increase, the last deglaciation onset is punctuated by a sequence of abrupt changes in the Northern Hemisphere. Such interplay between orbital- and millennial-scale variability is widely documented in paleoclimatic records but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Limitations arise from the difficulty in constraining the sequence of events between external forcing, high- and low- latitude climate, and environmental changes. Greenland ice cores provide sub-decadal-scale records across the last deglaciation and contain fingerprints of climate variations occurring in different regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Here, we combine new ice d-excess and 17O-excess records, tracing changes in the midlatitudes, with ice δ18O records of polar climate. Within Heinrich Stadial 1, we demonstrate a decoupling between climatic conditions in Greenland and those of the lower latitudes. While Greenland temperature remains mostly stable from 17.5 to 14.7 ka, significant change in the midlatitudes of the northern Atlantic takes place at ∼16.2 ka, associated with warmer and wetter conditions of Greenland moisture sources. We show that this climate modification is coincident with abrupt changes in atmospheric CO2 and CH4 concentrations recorded in an Antarctic ice core. Our coherent ice core chronological framework and comparison with other paleoclimate records suggests a mechanism involving two-step freshwater fluxes in the North Atlantic associated with a southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Landais, Amaelle; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Capron, Emilie; Langebroek, Petra M.; Bakker, Pepijn; Stone, Emma J.; Merz, Niklaus; Raible, Christoph C.; Fischer, Hubertus; Orsi, Anaïs; +3 more
    Project: EC | WATERUNDERTHEICE (246815), EC | COMBINISO (306045), ANR | GREENLAND (ANR-10-CEPL-0008), ANR | NEEM (ANR-07-VULN-0009), EC | PAST4FUTURE (243908)

    The last interglacial period (LIG, ∼ 129–116 thousand years ago) provides the most recent case study of multimillennial polar warming above the preindustrial level and a response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to this warming, as well as a test bed for climate and ice sheet models. Past changes in Greenland ice sheet thickness and surface temperature during this period were recently derived from the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) ice core records, northwest Greenland. The NEEM paradox has emerged from an estimated large local warming above the preindustrial level (7.5 ± 1.8 °C at the deposition site 126 kyr ago without correction for any overall ice sheet altitude changes between the LIG and the preindustrial period) based on water isotopes, together with limited local ice thinning, suggesting more resilience of the real Greenland ice sheet than shown in some ice sheet models. Here, we provide an independent assessment of the average LIG Greenland surface warming using ice core air isotopic composition (δ15N) and relationships between accumulation rate and temperature. The LIG surface temperature at the upstream NEEM deposition site without ice sheet altitude correction is estimated to be warmer by +8.5 ± 2.5 °C compared to the preindustrial period. This temperature estimate is consistent with the 7.5 ± 1.8 °C warming initially determined from NEEM water isotopes but at the upper end of the preindustrial period to LIG temperature difference of +5.2 ± 2.3 °C obtained at the NGRIP (North Greenland Ice Core Project) site by the same method. Climate simulations performed with present-day ice sheet topography lead in general to a warming smaller than reconstructed, but sensitivity tests show that larger amplitudes (up to 5 °C) are produced in response to prescribed changes in sea ice extent and ice sheet topography.