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41 Research products, page 1 of 5

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  • Climate of the Past (CP)

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kjær, Helle Astrid; Zens, Patrick; Black, Samuel; Lund, Kasper Holst; Svensson, Anders; Vallelonga, Paul;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    Greenland ice cores provide information about past climate. Few impurity records covering the past 2 decades exist from Greenland. Here we present results from six firn cores obtained during a 426 km long northern Greenland traverse made in 2015 between the NEEM and the EGRIP deep-drilling stations situated on the western side and eastern side of the Greenland ice sheet, respectively. The cores (9 to 14 m long) are analyzed for chemical impurities and cover time spans of 18 to 53 years (±3 years) depending on local snow accumulation that decreases from west to east. The high temporal resolution allows for annual layers and seasons to be resolved. Insoluble dust, ammonium, and calcium concentrations in the six firn cores overlap, and the seasonal cycles are also similar in timing and magnitude across sites, while peroxide (H2O2) and conductivity both have spatial variations, H2O2 driven by the accumulation pattern, and conductivity likely influenced by sea salt. Overall, we determine a rather constant dust flux over the period, but in the data from recent years (1998–2015) we identify an increase in large dust particles that we ascribe to an activation of local Greenland sources. We observe an expected increase in acidity and conductivity in the mid-1970s as a result of anthropogenic emissions, followed by a decrease due to mitigation. Several volcanic horizons identified in the conductivity and acidity records can be associated with eruptions in Iceland and in the Barents Sea region. From a composite ammonium record we obtain a robust forest fire proxy associated primarily with Canadian forest fires (R=0.49).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Westhoff, Julien; Sinnl, Giulia; Svensson, Anders; Freitag, Johannes; Kjær, Helle Astrid; Vallelonga, Paul; Vinther, Bo; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Weikusat, Ilka;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    We present a record of melt events obtained from the East Greenland Ice Core Project (EastGRIP) ice core in central northeastern Greenland, covering the largest part of the Holocene. The data were acquired visually using an optical dark-field line scanner. We detect and describe melt layers and lenses, seen as bubble-free layers and lenses, throughout the ice above the bubble–clathrate transition. This transition is located at 1150 m depth in the EastGRIP ice core, corresponding to an age of 9720 years b2k. We define the brittle zone in the EastGRIP ice core as that from 650 to 950 m depth, where we count on average more than three core breaks per meter. We analyze melt layer thicknesses, correct for ice thinning, and account for missing layers due to core breaks. Our record of melt events shows a large, distinct peak around 1014 years b2k (986 CE) and a broad peak around 7000 years b2k, corresponding to the Holocene Climatic Optimum. In total, we can identify approximately 831 mm of melt (corrected for thinning) over the past 10 000 years. We find that the melt event from 986 CE is most likely a large rain event similar to that from 2012 CE, and that these two events are unprecedented throughout the Holocene. We also compare the most recent 2500 years to a tree ring composite and find an overlap between melt events and tree ring anomalies indicating warm summers. Considering the ice dynamics of the EastGRIP site resulting from the flow of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), we find that summer temperatures must have been at least 3 ± 0.6 ∘C warmer during the Early Holocene compared to today.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kjær, Helle Astrid; Zens, Patrick; Black, Samuel; Lund, Kasper Holst; Svensson, Anders; Vallelonga, Paul;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    Greenland ice cores provide information about past climate. However, the number of firn and ice cores from Greenland are limited and thus the spatial variability of the chemical impurities used as proxies is largely unconstrained. Furthermore, few impurity records covering the past two decades exist from Greenland. We have by means of Continuous Flow analysis investigated 6 shallow firn cores obtained in Northern Greenland as part of the NEEM to EastGRIP traverse in 2015. The oldest reach back to 1966. The annual mean and quartiles of the insoluble dust, ammonium, and calcium concentrations in the 6 firn cores spanning a distance of 426 km overlap, and also the seasonal cycles have similar peaks in timing and magnitude across sites. Peroxide (H2O2) is accumulation dependent and varies from site to site and conductivity, likely influenced by sea salts, also vary spatially. The temporal variability of the records is further assessed. We find no evidence for increases in total dust concentration, but find an increase in the large dust particle fluxes that we contribute to an activation of Greenland local sources in the recent years (1998–2015). We observe the expected acid and conductivity increase in the mid 70’s as a result of anthropogenic contamination and the following decrease due to mitigation. After detrending using the five year average the conductivity and acid records several volcanic horizons were identified and associated with Icelandic eruptions and volcanic eruptions in the Barents sea region. By creating a composite based on excess ammonium compared to the five year running average, we obtain a robust forest fire proxy associated primarily with Canadian forest fires (R = 0.51). We also note that the peak ammonium in the individual firn cores appear more scattered between cores than the peak volcanic layers, suggesting that the forest fire signal is more dispersed in the atmosphere than the acid from volcanic eruptions.

  • 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: A... (0837883), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944021), NSF | Roosevelt Island Climate ... (1042883), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944307), EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    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.

  • Other research product . Other ORP type . 2019
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Guo, Chuncheng; Nisancioglu, Kerim Hestnes; Bentsen, Mats; Bethke, Ingo; Zhang, Zhongshi;
    Publisher: European Geosciences Union (EGU)
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    An equilibrium simulation of Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS3) climate with boundary conditions characteristic of Greenland Interstadial 8 (GI-8; 38 kyr BP) is carried out with the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM). A computationally efficient configuration of the model enables long integrations at relatively high resolution, with the simulations reaching a quasi-equilibrium state after 2500 years. We assess the characteristics of the simulated large-scale atmosphere and ocean circulation, precipitation, ocean hydrography, sea ice distribution, and internal variability. The simulated MIS3 interstadial near-surface air temperature is 2.9 ∘C cooler than the pre-industrial (PI). The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is deeper and intensified by ∼13 %. There is a decrease in the volume of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) reaching the Atlantic. At the same time, there is an increase in ventilation of the Southern Ocean, associated with a significant expansion of Antarctic sea ice and concomitant intensified brine rejection, invigorating ocean convection. In the central Arctic, sea ice is ∼2 m thicker, with an expansion of sea ice in the Nordic Seas during winter. Attempts at triggering a non-linear transition to a cold stadial climate state, by varying atmospheric CO2 concentrations and Laurentide Ice Sheet height, suggest that the simulated MIS3 interstadial state in the NorESM is relatively stable, thus underscoring the role of model dependency, and questioning the existence of unforced abrupt transitions in Greenland climate in the absence of interactive ice sheet–meltwater dynamics.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fletcher, Tamara L.; Warden, Lisa; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Brown, Kendrick J.; Rybczynski, Natalia; Gosse, John C.; Ballantyne, Ashley P.;
    Project: NSERC , EC | PACEMAKER (226600), NSF | Collaborative Research: A... (1418421), NWO | Perturbations of System E... (2300181601)

    The mid-Pliocene is a valuable time interval for investigating equilibrium climate at current atmospheric CO2 concentrations because atmospheric CO2 concentrations are thought to have been comparable to the current day and yet the climate and distribution of ecosystems were quite different. One intriguing, but not fully understood, feature of the early to mid-Pliocene climate is the amplified Arctic temperature response and its impact on Arctic ecosystems. Only the most recent models appear to correctly estimate the degree of warming in the Pliocene Arctic and validation of the currently proposed feedbacks is limited by scarce terrestrial records of climate and environment. Here we reconstruct the summer temperature and fire regime from a subfossil fen-peat deposit on west–central Ellesmere Island, Canada, that has been chronologically constrained using cosmogenic nuclide burial dating to 3.9+1.5/-0.5 Ma. The estimate for average mean summer temperature is 15.4±0.8 ∘C using specific bacterial membrane lipids, i.e., branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers. This is above the proposed threshold that predicts a substantial increase in wildfire in the modern high latitudes. Macro-charcoal was present in all samples from this Pliocene section with notably higher charcoal concentration in the upper part of the sequence. This change in charcoal was synchronous with a change in vegetation that included an increase in abundance of fire-promoting Pinus and Picea. Paleo-vegetation reconstructions are consistent with warm summer temperatures, relatively low summer precipitation and an incidence of fire comparable to fire-adapted boreal forests of North America and central Siberia. To our knowledge, this site provides the northernmost evidence of fire during the Pliocene. It suggests that ecosystem productivity was greater than in the present day, providing fuel for wildfires, and that the climate was conducive to the ignition of fire during this period. The results reveal that interactions between paleo-vegetation and paleoclimate were mediated by fire in the High Arctic during the Pliocene, even though CO2 concentrations were similar to modern values.

  • 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: NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944021), NSF | Roosevelt Island Climate ... (1042883), NSF | Collaborative Research: A... (0837883), EC | ICE2ICE (610055), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944307)

    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.

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The following results are related to European Marine Science. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
41 Research products, page 1 of 5
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kjær, Helle Astrid; Zens, Patrick; Black, Samuel; Lund, Kasper Holst; Svensson, Anders; Vallelonga, Paul;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    Greenland ice cores provide information about past climate. Few impurity records covering the past 2 decades exist from Greenland. Here we present results from six firn cores obtained during a 426 km long northern Greenland traverse made in 2015 between the NEEM and the EGRIP deep-drilling stations situated on the western side and eastern side of the Greenland ice sheet, respectively. The cores (9 to 14 m long) are analyzed for chemical impurities and cover time spans of 18 to 53 years (±3 years) depending on local snow accumulation that decreases from west to east. The high temporal resolution allows for annual layers and seasons to be resolved. Insoluble dust, ammonium, and calcium concentrations in the six firn cores overlap, and the seasonal cycles are also similar in timing and magnitude across sites, while peroxide (H2O2) and conductivity both have spatial variations, H2O2 driven by the accumulation pattern, and conductivity likely influenced by sea salt. Overall, we determine a rather constant dust flux over the period, but in the data from recent years (1998–2015) we identify an increase in large dust particles that we ascribe to an activation of local Greenland sources. We observe an expected increase in acidity and conductivity in the mid-1970s as a result of anthropogenic emissions, followed by a decrease due to mitigation. Several volcanic horizons identified in the conductivity and acidity records can be associated with eruptions in Iceland and in the Barents Sea region. From a composite ammonium record we obtain a robust forest fire proxy associated primarily with Canadian forest fires (R=0.49).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Westhoff, Julien; Sinnl, Giulia; Svensson, Anders; Freitag, Johannes; Kjær, Helle Astrid; Vallelonga, Paul; Vinther, Bo; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Weikusat, Ilka;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    We present a record of melt events obtained from the East Greenland Ice Core Project (EastGRIP) ice core in central northeastern Greenland, covering the largest part of the Holocene. The data were acquired visually using an optical dark-field line scanner. We detect and describe melt layers and lenses, seen as bubble-free layers and lenses, throughout the ice above the bubble–clathrate transition. This transition is located at 1150 m depth in the EastGRIP ice core, corresponding to an age of 9720 years b2k. We define the brittle zone in the EastGRIP ice core as that from 650 to 950 m depth, where we count on average more than three core breaks per meter. We analyze melt layer thicknesses, correct for ice thinning, and account for missing layers due to core breaks. Our record of melt events shows a large, distinct peak around 1014 years b2k (986 CE) and a broad peak around 7000 years b2k, corresponding to the Holocene Climatic Optimum. In total, we can identify approximately 831 mm of melt (corrected for thinning) over the past 10 000 years. We find that the melt event from 986 CE is most likely a large rain event similar to that from 2012 CE, and that these two events are unprecedented throughout the Holocene. We also compare the most recent 2500 years to a tree ring composite and find an overlap between melt events and tree ring anomalies indicating warm summers. Considering the ice dynamics of the EastGRIP site resulting from the flow of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), we find that summer temperatures must have been at least 3 ± 0.6 ∘C warmer during the Early Holocene compared to today.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kjær, Helle Astrid; Zens, Patrick; Black, Samuel; Lund, Kasper Holst; Svensson, Anders; Vallelonga, Paul;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    Greenland ice cores provide information about past climate. However, the number of firn and ice cores from Greenland are limited and thus the spatial variability of the chemical impurities used as proxies is largely unconstrained. Furthermore, few impurity records covering the past two decades exist from Greenland. We have by means of Continuous Flow analysis investigated 6 shallow firn cores obtained in Northern Greenland as part of the NEEM to EastGRIP traverse in 2015. The oldest reach back to 1966. The annual mean and quartiles of the insoluble dust, ammonium, and calcium concentrations in the 6 firn cores spanning a distance of 426 km overlap, and also the seasonal cycles have similar peaks in timing and magnitude across sites. Peroxide (H2O2) is accumulation dependent and varies from site to site and conductivity, likely influenced by sea salts, also vary spatially. The temporal variability of the records is further assessed. We find no evidence for increases in total dust concentration, but find an increase in the large dust particle fluxes that we contribute to an activation of Greenland local sources in the recent years (1998–2015). We observe the expected acid and conductivity increase in the mid 70’s as a result of anthropogenic contamination and the following decrease due to mitigation. After detrending using the five year average the conductivity and acid records several volcanic horizons were identified and associated with Icelandic eruptions and volcanic eruptions in the Barents sea region. By creating a composite based on excess ammonium compared to the five year running average, we obtain a robust forest fire proxy associated primarily with Canadian forest fires (R = 0.51). We also note that the peak ammonium in the individual firn cores appear more scattered between cores than the peak volcanic layers, suggesting that the forest fire signal is more dispersed in the atmosphere than the acid from volcanic eruptions.

  • 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: A... (0837883), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944021), NSF | Roosevelt Island Climate ... (1042883), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944307), EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    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.

  • Other research product . Other ORP type . 2019
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Guo, Chuncheng; Nisancioglu, Kerim Hestnes; Bentsen, Mats; Bethke, Ingo; Zhang, Zhongshi;
    Publisher: European Geosciences Union (EGU)
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    An equilibrium simulation of Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS3) climate with boundary conditions characteristic of Greenland Interstadial 8 (GI-8; 38 kyr BP) is carried out with the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM). A computationally efficient configuration of the model enables long integrations at relatively high resolution, with the simulations reaching a quasi-equilibrium state after 2500 years. We assess the characteristics of the simulated large-scale atmosphere and ocean circulation, precipitation, ocean hydrography, sea ice distribution, and internal variability. The simulated MIS3 interstadial near-surface air temperature is 2.9 ∘C cooler than the pre-industrial (PI). The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is deeper and intensified by ∼13 %. There is a decrease in the volume of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) reaching the Atlantic. At the same time, there is an increase in ventilation of the Southern Ocean, associated with a significant expansion of Antarctic sea ice and concomitant intensified brine rejection, invigorating ocean convection. In the central Arctic, sea ice is ∼2 m thicker, with an expansion of sea ice in the Nordic Seas during winter. Attempts at triggering a non-linear transition to a cold stadial climate state, by varying atmospheric CO2 concentrations and Laurentide Ice Sheet height, suggest that the simulated MIS3 interstadial state in the NorESM is relatively stable, thus underscoring the role of model dependency, and questioning the existence of unforced abrupt transitions in Greenland climate in the absence of interactive ice sheet–meltwater dynamics.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fletcher, Tamara L.; Warden, Lisa; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Brown, Kendrick J.; Rybczynski, Natalia; Gosse, John C.; Ballantyne, Ashley P.;
    Project: NSERC , EC | PACEMAKER (226600), NSF | Collaborative Research: A... (1418421), NWO | Perturbations of System E... (2300181601)

    The mid-Pliocene is a valuable time interval for investigating equilibrium climate at current atmospheric CO2 concentrations because atmospheric CO2 concentrations are thought to have been comparable to the current day and yet the climate and distribution of ecosystems were quite different. One intriguing, but not fully understood, feature of the early to mid-Pliocene climate is the amplified Arctic temperature response and its impact on Arctic ecosystems. Only the most recent models appear to correctly estimate the degree of warming in the Pliocene Arctic and validation of the currently proposed feedbacks is limited by scarce terrestrial records of climate and environment. Here we reconstruct the summer temperature and fire regime from a subfossil fen-peat deposit on west–central Ellesmere Island, Canada, that has been chronologically constrained using cosmogenic nuclide burial dating to 3.9+1.5/-0.5 Ma. The estimate for average mean summer temperature is 15.4±0.8 ∘C using specific bacterial membrane lipids, i.e., branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers. This is above the proposed threshold that predicts a substantial increase in wildfire in the modern high latitudes. Macro-charcoal was present in all samples from this Pliocene section with notably higher charcoal concentration in the upper part of the sequence. This change in charcoal was synchronous with a change in vegetation that included an increase in abundance of fire-promoting Pinus and Picea. Paleo-vegetation reconstructions are consistent with warm summer temperatures, relatively low summer precipitation and an incidence of fire comparable to fire-adapted boreal forests of North America and central Siberia. To our knowledge, this site provides the northernmost evidence of fire during the Pliocene. It suggests that ecosystem productivity was greater than in the present day, providing fuel for wildfires, and that the climate was conducive to the ignition of fire during this period. The results reveal that interactions between paleo-vegetation and paleoclimate were mediated by fire in the High Arctic during the Pliocene, even though CO2 concentrations were similar to modern values.

  • 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: NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944021), NSF | Roosevelt Island Climate ... (1042883), NSF | Collaborative Research: A... (0837883), EC | ICE2ICE (610055), NSF | Collaborative Research: D... (0944307)

    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.