Antarctic sea ice proxies from marine and ice core archives suitable for reconstructing sea ice over the past 2000 years

Dramatic changes in sea ice have been observed in both poles in recent decades. However, the observational period for sea ice is short, and the climate models tasked with predicting future change in sea ice struggle to capture the current Antarctic trends. Paleoclimate archives, from marine sedimentary records and coastal Antarctic ice cores, provide a means of understanding sea ice variability and its drivers over decadal to centennial timescales. In this study, we collate published records of Antarctic sea ice over the past 2000 years (2 ka). We evaluate the current proxies and explore the potential of combining marine and ice core records to produce multi-archive reconstructions. Despite identifying 92 sea ice reconstructions, the spatial and temporal resolution is only sufficient to reconstruct circum-Antarctic sea ice during the 20th century, not the full 2 ka. Our synthesis reveals a 90 year trend of increasing sea ice in the Ross Sea and declining sea ice in the Bellingshausen, comparable with observed trends since 1979. Reconstructions in the Weddell Sea, the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean reveal small negative trends in sea ice during the 20th century (1900–1990), in contrast to the observed sea ice expansion in these regions since 1979.


Publication status:
Authors: Thomas, Elizabeth R. ORCIDORCID record for Elizabeth R. Thomas, Allen, Claire S. ORCIDORCID record for Claire S. Allen, Etourneau, Johan, King, Amy C.F. ORCIDORCID record for Amy C.F. King, Severi, Mirko, Winton, Holly ORCIDORCID record for Holly Winton, Mueller, Juliane, Crosta, Xavier, Peck, Victoria L. ORCIDORCID record for Victoria L. Peck

On this site: Amy King, Claire Allen, Liz Thomas, Holly Winton, Victoria Peck
4 December, 2019
Geosciences / 9
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