Regional validation of the use of diatoms in ice cores from the Antarctic Peninsula as a Southern Hemisphere westerly wind proxy
The Southern Hemisphere westerly winds are among the most important drivers of recently observed environmental changes in West Antarctica. However, the lack of long-term wind records in this region hinders our ability to assess the long-term context of these variations. Ice core proxy records yield valuable information about past environmental changes, although current proxies present limitations when aiming to reconstruct past winds. Here we present the first regional wind study based on the novel use of diatoms preserved in Antarctic ice cores. We assess the temporal variability in diatom abundance and its relation to regional environmental parameters spanning a 20-year period across three sites in the southern Antarctic Peninsula and Ellsworth Land, Antarctica. Correlation analyses reveal that the temporal variability of diatom abundance from high-elevation ice core sites is driven by changes in wind strength over the core of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind belt, validating the use of diatoms preserved in ice cores from high-elevation inland sites in the southern Antarctic Peninsula and Ellsworth Land as a proxy for reconstructing past variations in wind strength over the Pacific sector of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind belt.
Authors: Tetzner, Dieter R. ORCID record for Dieter R. Tetzner, Thomas, Elizabeth R. ORCID record for Elizabeth R. Thomas, Allen, Claire S. ORCID record for Claire S. Allen, Grieman, Mackenzie M.