High-resolution ice-core stable-isotopic records from Antarctica: towards interannual climate reconstruction
Abstract:Ice-core records are a key resource for reconstructing Antarctic climate. However, a number of physical processes preclude the simple interpretation of ice-core properties such as oxygen isotopic ratios in terms of climate variables like temperature or sea-level pressure. We show that well-dated, sub-annually resolved stable-isotopic records from the United States International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US-ITASE) traverses and other sources have a high correlation with local seasonal temperature variation. However, this temporal relationship cannot be simply extended to quantitative interannual resolution reconstructions of site temperature. We suggest that a consistent and important target for ice-core calibrations is a composite of annual mean temperature records from Antarctic weather stations, which covaries strongly with the dominant mode (from principal component analysis) of temperature variability in the Antarctic. Significant correlations with this temperature index are found with individual ice-core records, with a composite of the ice cores, and through a multiple linear regression model with the ice cores as predictors. These results imply that isotopic signals, like the instrumental temperature mode itself, have a strong response to large-scale atmospheric circulation variability, which in the Antarctic region is dominated by the Southern Annular Mode.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2005
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