Reconstructing Antarctic winter sea-ice extent during Marine Isotope Stage 5e [in review]

Environmental conditions during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e (130–116 ka) represent an important ‘process analogue’ for understanding the climatic responses to present and future anthropogenic warming. The response of Antarctic sea ice to global warming is particularly uncertain due to the short length of the observational record. Reconstructing Antarctic winter sea-ice extent during MIS 5e therefore provides insights into the temporal and spatial patterns of sea-ice change under warmer than present climate. This study presents new MIS 5e records from nine marine sediment cores located south of the Antarctic Polar Front, between 55 and 70° S. We investigate changes in winter sea-ice extent and sea-surface temperatures between the three Southern Ocean sectors. The Atlantic and Indian sector records have much more variable MIS 5e winter sea-ice extent and sea-surface temperatures than the Pacific sector records. High variability in the Atlantic sector winter sea-ice extent is attributed to high glacial meltwater flux in the Weddell Sea while high variability in the Indian sector winter sea-ice extent results from large latitudinal migrations of the flow bands of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Overall, these findings suggest that Pacific sector winter sea ice displays a low sensitivity to warmer climates. The different variability and sensitivity of Antarctic winter sea-ice extent in the three Southern Ocean sectors during MIS 5e may have significant implications for the Southern Hemisphere climatic system under future warming.


Publication status:
Published Online
Authors: Chadwick, Matthew ORCIDORCID record for Matthew Chadwick, Allen, Claire S. ORCIDORCID record for Claire S. Allen, Sime, Louise C. ORCIDORCID record for Louise C. Sime, Crosta, Xavier, Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter ORCIDORCID record for Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand

On this site: Claire Allen, Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Louise Sime, Matthew Chadwick
20 August, 2021
Climate of the Past: Discussions
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