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The changes in isotope composition and accumulation of snow at Vostok station, East Antarctica, over the past 200 years

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High-resolution records of isotope composition (D) and accumulation of snow have been obtained from 10–12 m deep snow pits dug in the vicinity of Vostok station during the 1979/80 and 1999/2000 Antarctic field seasons. We employ meteorological, balloon-sounding and snow-stake data to interpret the isotope record in terms of past temperature changes. Our reconstruction suggests that snow accumulation rate and the near-surface air temperature at Vostok have varied during the past 200 years between 15 and 30 kg m−2 a−1, and between −56 and −55°C, respectively, with a slight general tendency to increase from the past to the present. Both parameters reveal a 50 year periodicity that correlates with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation index, implying a climatic teleconnection between central Antarctica and the tropical Pacific.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2004

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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