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An ice-core proxy for Antarctic circumpolar zonal wind intensity

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Using US National Centers for Environmental Prediction/US National Center for Atmospheric Research re-analysis data, we investigate the relationships between crustal ion (nssCa2+) concentrations from three West Antarctic ice cores, namely, Siple Dome (SD), ITASE00-1 (IT001) and ITASE01-5 (IT015), and primary components of the climate system, namely, air pressure/geopotential height, zonal (u) and meridional (v) wind strength. Linear correlation analyses between nssCa2+ concentrations and both air-pressure and wind fields for the period of overlap between records indicate that the SD nssCa2+ variation is positively correlated with spring circumpolar zonal wind, while IT001 nssCa2+ has a positive correlation with circumpolar zonal wind throughout the year (r > 0.3, p < 0.01). Intensified Southern Westerlies circulation is conducive to transport of more crustal aerosols to both sites. Further correlation analyses between nssCa2+ concentrations from SD and IT001 and atmospheric circulation suggest that the high inland plateau (represented by core IT001) is largely influenced by transport from the upper troposphere. IT015 nssCa2+ is negatively correlated with westerly wind in October and November, suggesting that stronger westerly circulation may weaken the transport of crustal species to IT015. Correlations of nssCa2+ from the three ice cores with the Antarctic Oscillation index are consistent with results developed from the wind-field investigation. In addition, calibration between nssCa2+ concentration and the multivariate El NiƱo–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index shows that crustal species transport to IT001 is enhanced during strong ENSO events.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-06-01

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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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