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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-97
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-97
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 19 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 19 Aug 2019

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

Physically based summer temperature reconstruction from ice layers in ice cores

Koji Fujita1, Sumito Matoba2, Yoshinori Iizuka2, Nozomu Takeuchi3, and Teruo Aoki4,5 Koji Fujita et al.
  • 1Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
  • 2Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
  • 3Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
  • 4National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo 190-8518, Japan
  • 5Meteorological Research Institute, Japan Meteorological Agency, Tsukuba 305-0052, Japan

Abstract. Previous studies reconstructing summer temperature from an ice core relied on statistical relationship between melt feature and instrumental temperature observed at a nearby station. This study demonstrates a novel method to reconstruct summer temperature from ice layer thickness in an ice core using an energy balance model, in which heat conduction and refreezing of meltwater in firn are taken into account. Using seasonal patterns of the ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset for an ice core site, we calculated amounts of refreezing water within firn under various settings of summer mean temperature (SMT) and annual precipitation, and prepared lookup tables containing these three variables. We then estimated SMT from the refreezing amount and annual accumulation, both available in an ice core. We applied this method to four ice cores drilled in the sites of different climates; two sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet, one in Alaska, and one in Russian Altai Mountains. Reconstructed SMTs show comparable variations to the temperatures observed at nearby stations. Relationships between SMT and ice layer thickness differ site by site, indicating that a single approximation cannot be applicable to estimate SMT. Sensitivity analyses suggest that annual temperature range, amount of annual precipitation and firn albedo setting significantly affect the relationship between SMT and ice layer thickness. This new method provides alternative and independent estimation of SMT from ice cores affected by melting.

Koji Fujita et al.
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Short summary
This study presents a novel method for reconstructing summer temperatures from ice-layer thickness and annual accumulation in an ice core using an energy balance model. The method calculates a lookup table by considering heat conduction and meltwater refreezing in firn. We applied the method to four ice cores in different climates. Sensitivity analyses reveal that the annual temperature range, amount of annual precipitation, and firn albedo significantly affect the estimated summer temperature.
This study presents a novel method for reconstructing summer temperatures from ice-layer...
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