A late-glacial high-resolution site and source temperature record derived from the EPICA Dome C isotope records (East Antarctica)

The timing and synchronisation of Greenland and Antarctic climate events that occurred during the last glacial period are still under debate, as is the magnitude of temperature change associated with these events. Here we present detailed records of local and moisture-source temperature changes spanning the period 27-45 kyr BP from water stable isotope measurements (deltaD and delta(18)O) in the recently drilled EPICA Dome C ice core, East Antarctic plateau. Using a simple isotopic model, site (DeltaT(site)) and source (DeltaT(source)) temperatures are extracted from the initial 50-yr high-resolution isotopic records, taking into account the changes in seawater isotopic composition. The deuterium isotope variability is very similar to the less precise deltaD record from the Vostok ice core, and the site temperature inversion leads to a temperature profile similar to the classical palaeothermometry method, due to compensations between source and ocean water corrections. The reconstructed DeltaT(site) and DeltaT(source) profiles show different trends during the glacial: the former shows a decreasing trend from the warm Al event (38 kyr BP) toward the Last Glacial Maximum, while the latter shows increasing values from 41 to 28 kyr BP. The low-frequency deuterium excess fluctuations are strongly influenced by obliquity fluctuations, controlling the low- to high-latitude temperature gradients, and show a remarkable similarity with a high-resolution southeast Atlantic sea surface temperature record. A comparison of the temperature profiles (site and source) and temperature gradient (DeltaT(source)-DeltaT(site)) with the non-sea-salt calcium and sodium records suggests a secondary influence of atmospheric transport changes on aerosol variations.


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Authors: Stenni, B., Jouzel, J., Masson-Delmotte, V., Röthlisberger, R., Castellano, E., Cattani, O., Falourd, S., Johnsen, S.J., Longinelli, A., Sachs, J.P., Selmo, E., Souchez, R., Steffensen, J.P., Udisti, R.

1 January, 2003
Earth and Planetary Science Letters / 217
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