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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2017-101
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 28 Aug 2017

Research article | 28 Aug 2017

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

A 2700-year annual timescale and accumulation history for an ice core from Roosevelt Island, West Antarctica

Mai Winstrup1, Paul Vallelonga1, Helle A. Kjær1, Tyler J. Fudge2, James E. Lee3, Marie H. Riis1, Ross Edwards4, Nancy A. N. Bertler5,6, Thomas Blunier1, Ed J. Brook3, Christo Buizert3, Gabriela Ciobanu1, Howard Conway2, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen1, Aja Ellis4, B. Daniel Emanuelsson5,6, Elizabeth D. Keller6, Andrei Kurbatov7, Paul Mayewski7, Peter D. Neff8, Rebecca Pyne6, Marius F. Simonsen1, Anders Svensson1, Andrea Tuohy5,6, Ed Waddington2, and Sarah Wheatley7 Mai Winstrup et al.
  • 1Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 3College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
  • 4Physics and Astronomy, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • 5Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 6GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • 7Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, USA
  • 8Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA

Abstract. We present a 2700-year annually resolved timescale for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core, and reconstruct a past snow accumulation history for the coastal sector of the Ross Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. The timescale was constructed by identifying annual layers in multiple ice-core impurity records, employing both manual and automated counting approaches, and constitutes the top part of the Roosevelt Island Ice Core Chronology 2017 (RICE17). The maritime setting of Roosevelt Island results in high sulfate influx from sea salts and marine biogenic emissions, which prohibits a routine detection of volcanic eruptions in the ice-core records. This led to the use of non-traditional chronological techniques for validating the timescale: RICE was synchronized to the WAIS Divide ice core, on the WD2014 timescale, using volcanic attribution based on direct measurements of ice-core acidity, as well as records of globally-synchronous, centennial-scale variability in atmospheric methane concentrations.

The RICE accumulation history suggests stable values of 0.25m water equivalent (w.e.) per year until around 1260CE. Uncertainties in the correction for ice flow thinning of annual layers with depth do not allow a firm conclusion about long-term trends in accumulation rates during this early period but from 1260CE to the present, accumulation rate trends have been consistently negative. The decrease in accumulation rates has been increasingly rapid over the last centuries, with the decrease since 1950 CE being more than 7 times greater than the average over the last 300 years. The current accumulation rate of 0.22±0.06mw.e.yr−1 (average since 1950CE, ±1σ) is 1.49 standard deviations (86th percentile) below the mean of 50-year average accumulation rates observed over the last 2700 years.

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We present a 2700-year annually resolved timescale and snow accumulation history for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core, from Ross Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. The timescale was constructed by identifying annual layers in ice-core impurity records, with synchronisation to the WAIS Divide ice core. RICE annual accumulation was stable at 0.25 m water equivalent (w.e.) yr−1 until around 1260 CE, and has since decreased to 0.22 ± 0.06 m w.e. yr−1 (average since 1950 CE, ±1σ.
We present a 2700-year annually resolved timescale and snow accumulation history for the...
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