Covariation of sea ice and methanesulphonic acid in Wilhelm II Land, East Antarctica

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Sea ice plays an important role in ocean–atmosphere heat exchange, global albedo and the marine ecosystem. Knowledge of variation in sea-ice extent is essential in order to understand past climates, and to model possible future climate scenarios. This paper presents results from a short firn core spanning 15 years collected from near Mount Brown, Wilhelm II Land, East Antarctica. Variations of methanesulphonic acid (MSA) at Mount Brown were positively correlated with sea-ice extent from the coastal region surrounding Mount Brown (60–120° E) and from around the entire Antarctic coast (0–360° E). Previous results from Law Dome identified this MSA–sea-ice relationship and proposed it as an Antarctic sea-ice proxy (Curran and others, 2003), with the strongest results found for the local Law Dome region. Our data provide supporting evidence for the Law Dome proxy (at another site in East Antarctica), but a deeper Mount Brown ice core is required to confirm the sea-ice decline suggested by Curran and others (2003). Results also indicate that this deeper record may also provide a more circum-Antarctic sea-ice proxy.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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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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