Where might we find evidence of a Last Interglacial West Antarctic ice sheet collapse in Antarctic ice core records?
Abundant indirect evidence suggests that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) reduced in size during the Last
Interglacial (LIG) compared to the Holocene. This study explores this possibility by comparing, for the first
time, ice core stable isotope records for the LIG with output from a glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA)
model. The results show that ice core records from East Antarctica are remarkably insensitive to vertical
movement of the solid land motion driven by a simulated hypothetical collapse of the WAIS. However,
new and so far unexplored sites are identified which are sensitive to the isostatic signal associated with
WAIS collapse and so ice core proxy data from these sites would be effective in testing this hypothesis further.
Authors: Bradley, S.L., Siddall, M., Milne, G.A., Masson-Delmotte, V, Wolff, E.