Climate changes in the Atlantic sector of Antarctica over the past 500 years from ice-core and other evidence

Evidence from ice cores, borehole temperatures, early expeditions and glacier margins is used to identify the major climate trends of the past 500 years in the Antarctic Peninsula region. Apparent conflicts between the different data sources are exposed and causes discussed. Ice-core records from areas influenced by the Weddell Sea appear to be strongly sensitive to ice-edge effects, which can be detected in the profiles of deuterium excess and methane sulphonic acid. The various data now appear to be consistent with a scenario where conditions during the mid-19th century to 1940’s period was fairly cool until the onset of the recent extensive warming in the post-1940’s period. The coldest period of the past 300 years appears to have occurred around 1760–1780, associated with strong disturbances in the atmospheric circulation in the Weddell Sea region. This may be contemporaneous with a rather stronger cold anomaly previously observed at Law Dome and suggested for ice cores recovered elsewhere in East Antarctica.


Publication status:
Authors: Peel, D.A., Mulvaney, R. ORCIDORCID record for R. Mulvaney, Pasteur, E.C., Chenery, C.

Editors: Jones, Philip D., Bradley, Raymond S., Jouzel, Jean

On this site: Robert Mulvaney
1 January, 1996
In: Jones, Philip D., Bradley, Raymond S., Jouzel, Jean (eds.). Climatic variations and forcing mechanisms of the last 2000 years, Springer, 243-262.
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