A horizontal ice core from Taylor Glacier, its implications for Antarctic climate history, and an improved Taylor Dome ice core time scale
Ice core records from Antarctica show mostly synchronous temperature variations during the last deglacial transition, an indication that the climate of the entire continent reacted as one unit to the global changes. However, a record from the Taylor Dome ice core in the Ross Sea sector of East Antarctica has been suggested to show a rapid warming, similar in style and synchronous with the Oldest Dryas—Bølling warming in Greenland. Since publication of the Taylor Dome record, a number of lines of evidence have suggested that this interpretation is incorrect and reflects errors in the underlying time scale. The issues raised regarding the dating of Taylor Dome currently linger unresolved, and the original time scale remains the de facto chronology. We present new water isotope and chemistry data from nearby Taylor Glacier to resolve the confusion surrounding the Taylor Dome time scale. We find that the Taylor Glacier record is incompatible with the original interpretation of the Taylor Dome ice core, showing that the warming in the area was gradual and started at ∼18 ka BP (before 1950) as seen in other East Antarctic ice cores. We build a consistent, up‐to‐date Taylor Dome chronology from 0 to 60 ka BP by combining new and old age markers based on synchronization to other ice core records. The most notable feature of the new TD2015 time scale is a gas age—ice age difference of up to 12,000 years during the Last Glacial Maximum, by far the largest ever observed.
Authors: Baggenstos, Daniel, Severinghaus, Jeffrey P., Mulvaney, Robert, McConnell, Joseph R., Sigl, Michael, Maselli, Olivia, Petit, Jean-Robert, Grente, Benjamin, Steig, Eric J.