A model for large glacial–interglacial climate-induced changes in dust and sea salt concentrations in deep ice cores (central Antarctica): palaeoclimatic implications and prospects for refining ice core chronologies

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Petit, J. R. ; Delmonte, B. (2011)

A semi-empirical model has been developed to reproduce glacial–interglacial changes of continental dust and marine sodium concentrations (factor of ∼50 and ∼5, respectively) observed in inland Antarctic ice cores. The model uses conceptual pathways of aerosols within the high troposphere; assumes the dry deposition of impurities on the Antarctic surface; uses estimates of aerosol transit times taken independent of climate; assumes a temperature-dependent removal process during aerosol pathways from the mid-latitudes. The model is fitted to the data over the last four climate cycles from Vostok and EPICA Dome C Antarctic sites. As temperature is cooling, the aerosol response suggests different modes of climate couplings between latitudes, which can be continuous or below temperature thresholds for sodium and dust, respectively. The model estimates a southern South America dust source activity two to three times higher for glacial periods than for the Holocene and a glacial temperature over the Southern Ocean 3–5 °C cooler. Both estimates appear consistent with independent observations. After removal of temperature effects, dust and sodium residuals for both sites show orbital frequencies in opposite phase at the precession timescale. Such long-term insolation-related modulation of terrestrial and marine aerosol input, could provide a chemical pacemaker useful for refining ice core chronologies.DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0889.2009.00437.x
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