WorldWideScience

Sample records for antarctic peninsula ice

  1. Impacts of the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean on the Antarctic Peninsula and sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xichen; Holland, David M; Gerber, Edwin P; Yoo, Changhyun

    2014-01-23

    In recent decades, Antarctica has experienced pronounced climate changes. The Antarctic Peninsula exhibited the strongest warming of any region on the planet, causing rapid changes in land ice. Additionally, in contrast to the sea-ice decline over the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has not declined, but has instead undergone a perplexing redistribution. Antarctic climate is influenced by, among other factors, changes in radiative forcing and remote Pacific climate variability, but none explains the observed Antarctic Peninsula warming or the sea-ice redistribution in austral winter. However, in the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (a leading mode of sea surface temperature variability) has been overlooked in this context. Here we show that sea surface warming related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation reduces the surface pressure in the Amundsen Sea and contributes to the observed dipole-like sea-ice redistribution between the Ross and Amundsen-Bellingshausen-Weddell seas and to the Antarctic Peninsula warming. Support for these findings comes from analysis of observational and reanalysis data, and independently from both comprehensive and idealized atmospheric model simulations. We suggest that the north and tropical Atlantic is important for projections of future climate change in Antarctica, and has the potential to affect the global thermohaline circulation and sea-level change.

  2. On the impact of clouds on the energy balance of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet

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    Caballero, Marta; Braun, Matthias; Mölg, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Radiative effects of clouds play a key role in the energy balance of the atmosphere and have a critical influence on the ice sheet's radiation budget, causing a warming effect (by absorption and emission of longwave radiation) or cooling effect (by reducing the downwelling shortwave radiation) at the surface. On the Antarctic Peninsula, changes in the glacier system have been observed, such as the disintegration of ice shelves, acceleration and thinning of glaciers, variations in the limits between glacier faces and retreat of glacier fronts. However, rising surface air and ocean temperatures, as well as substantially increased snow fall in some regions, are also known. These tendencies were linked to changes in atmospheric circulation. Hence, a better understanding of the processes and mechanisms leading to such changes is required. The role of clouds has not been well studied yet in this context. Here, preliminary retrievals of satellite-derived cloud macrophysical and microphysical properties in the Antarctic Peninsula will be presented. The data will be analyzed in the special light of improving parameterizations in the Polar Weather Research and Forecasting model. This has the goal to ultimately enhance our understanding of how variations in the cloud cover and properties impact the energy balance on the Antarctic Peninsula at regional scales.

  3. Surface and Subsurface Meltwater Ponding and Refreezing on the Bach Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

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    Willis, I.; Haggard, E.; Benedek, C. L.; MacAyeal, D. R.; Banwell, A. F.

    2017-12-01

    There is growing concern about the stability and fate of Antarctic ice shelves, as four major ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula have completely disintegrated since the 1950s. Their collapse has been linked to the southward movement of the -9 oC mean annual temperature isotherm. The proximal causes of ice shelf instability are not fully known, but an increase in surface melting leading to water ponding and ice flexure, fracture and calving has been implicated. Close to the recently collapsed Wilkins Ice Shelf, the Bach Ice Shelf (72°S 72°W) may be at risk from break up in the near future. Here, we document the changing surface hydrology of the Bach Ice Shelf between 2001 and 2017 using Landsat 7 & 8 imagery. Extensive surface water is identified across the Bach Ice Shelf and its tributary glaciers. Two types of drainage system are observed, drainage into firn via simple stream networks and drainage into the ocean via more complex networks. There are differences between the surface hydrology on the ice shelf and the tributary glaciers, as well as variations within and between summer seasons linked to surface air temperature fluctuations. We also document the changing subsurface hydrology of the ice shelf between 2014 and 2017 using Sentinel 1 A/B SAR imagery. Forty-five subsurface features are identified and analysed for their patterns and temporal evolution. Fourteen of the features show similar characteristics to previously-identified buried lakes and some occur in areas associated with surface lakes in previous years. The buried lakes show seasonal variability in area and surface backscatter, which varies with surface air temperature, and are consistent with the presence, enlargement and contraction of liquid water bodies. Buried lakes are an overlooked source of water loading on ice shelves, which may contribute to ice shelf flexure and potential fracture.

  4. In-situ aircraft observations of ice concentrations within clouds over the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice Shelf

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    D. P. Grosvenor

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In-situ aircraft observations of ice crystal concentrations in Antarctic clouds are presented for the first time. Orographic, layer and wave clouds around the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice shelf regions were penetrated by the British Antarctic Survey's Twin Otter aircraft, which was equipped with modern cloud physics probes. The clouds studied were mostly in the free troposphere and hence ice crystals blown from the surface are unlikely to have been a major source for the ice phase. The temperature range covered by the experiments was 0 to −21 °C. The clouds were found to contain supercooled liquid water in most regions and at heterogeneous ice formation temperatures ice crystal concentrations (60 s averages were often less than 0.07 l−1, although values up to 0.22 l−1 were observed. Estimates of observed aerosol concentrations were used as input into the DeMott et al. (2010 ice nuclei (IN parameterisation. The observed ice crystal number concentrations were generally in broad agreement with the IN predictions, although on the whole the predicted values were higher. Possible reasons for this are discussed and include the lack of IN observations in this region with which to characterise the parameterisation, and/or problems in relating ice concentration measurements to IN concentrations. Other IN parameterisations significantly overestimated the number of ice particles. Generally ice particle concentrations were much lower than found in clouds in middle latitudes for a given temperature.

    Higher ice crystal concentrations were sometimes observed at temperatures warmer than −9 °C, with values of several per litre reached. These were attributable to secondary ice particle production by the Hallett Mossop process. Even in this temperature range it was observed that there were regions with little or no ice that were dominated by supercooled liquid water. It is likely that in some cases this was due to a

  5. Recent Measurements of Ice Flux From Outlet Glaciers of the South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula

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    Koppes, M.; Hallet, B.; Rignot, E.; Jaffrey, M.

    2007-12-01

    One of the most significant events in the evolution of the Antarctic climate and cryosphere was the pronounced glacial erosion in the late Cenozoic that led to the considerable depth and landward sloping profile of the continental shelf, affecting both ice sheet dynamics and the oceanographic processes that drive circulation on the shelf. Understanding how changes in glacial conditions during the LGM may have led to enhanced glacial erosion, however, requires us to first identify the factors that control the amount and rate of glacier erosion in Antarctica today. The bays and fjords of the Antarctic Peninsula contain a rich history of climate change recorded both in proxy climate data (e.g., forams, oxygen isotopes) and in sediment accumulation rates that reflect changes in glacial erosion and sediment transfer. Prior studies revealed large variations in the rate of sediment accumulation across the Peninsula, with a general trend of decreasing sedimentation from north to south and west to east, attributed to climate-driven differences in glacier dynamics. Little is known to date, however, about the individual dynamics of the glaciers in these fjords, and the variability in their sediment delivery, particularly as many of them start to accelerate and retreat (Cook et al., 2005; Rignot, 1998; Angelis and Skvarca, 2003). As part of a study concerning the factors controlling rates of glacial erosion and sedimentation across climatic regimes, the cross-sectional area at the ELA of 16 tidewater glaciers in the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula were measured in April 2007. The cross-section area of each glacier is then combined with the mean surface velocity, measured remotely using SAR interferometry, to reconstruct the contemporary ice flux through these glacier systems. The study area spans almost 4° of latitude and 8° of mean annual temperature, encompassing both sub-polar and polar regimes, from Maxwell Bay, South Shetland

  6. Glacial-interglacial sea ice proxies from the Antarctic Peninsula using the James Ross Island ice core.

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    Benton, A. K.; Mulvaney, R.; Triest, J.; Abram, N.

    2014-12-01

    Ice core records from Antarctica have shown promise as highly-resolved indicators of regional sea ice change, but to date semi-quantified reconstructions do not extend back more than ~150 years. In this study the chemical composition of the James Ross Island ice core is presented as a potential sea ice proxy record spanning the full Holocene and into the last glacial interval. A CFA-TE method was used to analyse the chemical composition of the entire 363.9m core including final 5m which contains evidence of glacial age ice. MSA- and major anions were measured at 4cm effective resolution, along with trace elements Na, Ca, K, Mg, Mn, H2O2, NO3, total conductivity and dust at <0.5cm effective resolution. Seasonal signals from H2O2 in the upper 50m of the core support the use of non sea salt-SO42- for determining seasonality in deeper sections. This multi-proxy analysis of the oldest ice core to date from the Antarctic Peninsula region allows the concurrent interpretation of sea ice changes and their environmental drivers. The potential dual influence of previous winter sea ice extent and air pathway source region on MSA concentrations in the core are interpreted with use of Na as a winter maximum indicator and Ca and dust signal strength showing changes in dust flux indicating potential source region variation.

  7. Near-surface climate and surface energy budget of Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Kuipers Munneke

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Data collected by two automatic weather stations (AWS on the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctica, between 22 January 2009 and 1 February 2011 are analyzed and used as input for a model that computes the surface energy budget (SEB, which includes melt energy. The two AWSs are separated by about 70 km in the north–south direction, and both the near-surface meteorology and the SEB show similarities, although small differences in all components (most notably the melt flux can be seen. The impact of subsurface absorption of shortwave radiation on melt and snow temperature is significant, and discussed. In winter, longwave cooling of the surface is entirely compensated by a downward turbulent transport of sensible heat. In summer, the positive net radiative flux is compensated by melt, and quite frequently by upward turbulent diffusion of heat and moisture, leading to sublimation and weak convection over the ice shelf. The month of November 2010 is highlighted, when strong westerly flow over the Antarctic Peninsula led to a dry and warm föhn wind over the ice shelf, resulting in warm and sunny conditions. Under these conditions the increase in shortwave and sensible heat fluxes is larger than the decrease of net longwave and latent heat fluxes, providing energy for significant melt.

  8. Rapid viscoelastic uplift in the northern Antarctic Peninsula, as a result of recent ice unloading

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    King, M. A.; Domack, E. W.; Barletta, V. R.; Bordoni, A.

    2016-12-01

    Earlier work of our team has identified the onset of rapid viscoelastic deformation of the northern Antarctic Peninsula due to ice loading changes since 2002. This represents a relatively-well controlled natural experiment of the solid Earth's response to sustained surface loading changes, with surface-load changes accurately quantified and the spatial and temporal evolution of the subsequent deformation is reasonably well sampled. We build on this previous work by updating the GPS analysis and improving the ice loading model, especially considering changes in the decades prior to 2002 and near to critical GPS stations (including several newly deployed GPS sites). We expand the previous modelling to consider a bi-viscous (Burgers) rheology and test our ability to seperate it from a linear Maxwell rheology. We also expand our analysis to consider the horizontal components of deformation. We find the preferred viscous structure identified for the vertical component (mantle viscosities 3x1018 Pa s and little sensitivity to lithospheric thickness) is in agreement with our findings for the east-west component of motion; there is sensitivity in the north-south direction. We find that our current time series do not prefer one particular rheology, meaning that any transient deformation was either too rapid to capture or is indeed the deformation we observe. The initiation of further unloading events is expected in the coming years and longer time series will allow seperation of competing rheological models and tighter constraints on lithospheric structure.

  9. Seafloor geomorphology of western Antarctic Peninsula bays: a signature of ice flow behaviour

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    Munoz, Yuribia P.; Wellner, Julia S.

    2018-01-01

    Glacial geomorphology is used in Antarctica to reconstruct ice advance during the Last Glacial Maximum and subsequent retreat across the continental shelf. Analogous geomorphic assemblages are found in glaciated fjords and are used to interpret the glacial history and glacial dynamics in those areas. In addition, understanding the distribution of submarine landforms in bays and the local controls exerted on ice flow can help improve numerical models by providing constraints through these drainage areas. We present multibeam swath bathymetry from several bays in the South Shetland Islands and the western Antarctic Peninsula. The submarine landforms are described and interpreted in detail. A schematic model was developed showing the features found in the bays: from glacial lineations and moraines in the inner bay to grounding zone wedges and drumlinoid features in the middle bay and streamlined features and meltwater channels in the outer bay areas. In addition, we analysed local variables in the bays and observed the following: (1) the number of landforms found in the bays scales to the size of the bay, but the geometry of the bays dictates the types of features that form; specifically, we observe a correlation between the bay width and the number of transverse features present in the bays. (2) The smaller seafloor features are present only in the smaller glacial systems, indicating that short-lived atmospheric and oceanographic fluctuations, responsible for the formation of these landforms, are only recorded in these smaller systems. (3) Meltwater channels are abundant on the seafloor, but some are subglacial, carved in bedrock, and some are modern erosional features, carved on soft sediment. Lastly, based on geomorphological evidence, we propose the features found in some of the proximal bay areas were formed during a recent glacial advance, likely the Little Ice Age.

  10. Images of Antarctic Ice Shelves

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Recent changes in the extent and stability of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula prompted NSIDC to begin a monitoring program using data from the AVHRR Polar 1...

  11. A Radial Pattern of Six Paleo Ice Streams Emanating from the Bruce Plateau Ice Dome, Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet: Constraints from Multibeam Bathymetry and GPS Rebound

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, M.; Domack, E.; Canals, M.; Casamor, J.; King, M.

    2008-12-01

    We reconstructed ice thicknesses along six paleo ice streams emanating out of the Bruce Plateau in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula. This was done in order to generate models of potential isostatic rebound along the flow paths since the LGM and thereby provide a theoretical test for empirical observations of vertical displacement (rebound) as measured by seven coastal GPS stations (to be deployed during the current IPY- LARISSA project). This study is pertinent to realizing the effect of moderate ice sheet size during collapse and resulting sea level rise. The Palmer, Vernadsky, Hugo Island and Gerlache and Boyd Strait ice stream paths (flow lines) were highlighted on the Western side of the Peninsula. The Drygalski, Crane and Hektoria ice streams were studied on the Eastern side. Using detailed and near complete swath bathymetry data available for the Western Peninsula coastal region and partial swath mapping data generated at the site of the former Larsen B ice shelf (and Roberston Trough), we constructed hypothetical longitudinal profiles of all six ice streams along precisely located flow paths. These profiles extended from the accumulation zones in the upper elevations of the Bruce Plateau to the terminus along the continental shelf edge. The profiles included detailed elevations of the bedrock and hypothetical ice thickness values along the ice streams as they would have been during the Last Glacial Maximum (~ 16 ka). Ice thickness values were based on the elevations of bedrock, trim lines, surrounding topography, influence of surrounding glaciers and previous estimates of LGM ice thickness values around the Antarctic Peninsula. Using the components of the hypothetical longitudinal profiles, total isostatic rebound since the LGM can be calculated for the region (assuming reasonable mantle viscosities). In all the profiles reconstructed ice thicknesses are characterized by an order of magnitude increase across inner shelf troughs (such as the Palmer Deep and

  12. Ice melt influence on summertime net community production along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

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    Eveleth, R.; Cassar, N.; Sherrell, R. M.; Ducklow, H.; Meredith, M. P.; Venables, H. J.; Lin, Y.; Li, Z.

    2017-05-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is a highly productive marine environment that is undergoing rapid change, with consequences for productivity and total ecosystem carbon cycling. We present continuous underway O2/Ar estimates of net community production (NCPO2Ar) in austral summer 2012, 2013 and 2014 at sub-kilometer horizontal resolution within the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (Pal-LTER) grid region of the WAP. Substantial spatial variability is observed with NCPO2Ar ranging from 0 to 790 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 and considerable interannual variability with mean values in the grid region of 54.4±48.5, 44.6±40.5, and 85.6±75.9 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Based on a strong correlation (r2=0.83) between residence time integrated NCPO2Ar and NCPDIC derived from seasonal DIC drawdown, we find the observed NCPO2Ar spatial and interannual variability to be consistent with the December-January NCPDIC magnitude. Seeking to explain the mechanistic drivers of NCP in the WAP, we observe a linear relationship between NCPO2Ar and meteoric water content derived from δ18O and salinity. This correlation may be due to Fe supply from glacial melt and/or strengthening of stratification and relief of light limitation. Elevated surface Fe availability, as indicated by Fv/Fm and measurements of surface water dissolved Fe and Mn (a rough proxy for recent potential Fe availability), and shallower, more stable mixed layers are present where meteoric water and/or sea ice melt is high near the coast. Light limitation is evident in the WAP when mixed layer depths are greater than 40 m. Additionally we document hotspots of NCP associated with submarine canyons along the WAP. While it is difficult to predict how the physical-biological system might evolve under changing climatic conditions, it is evident that NCP, and potentially carbon flux out of the mixed layer, along the WAP will be sensitive to shifts in meltwater input and timing.

  13. Integration of airborne altimetry and in situ radar measurements to estimate marine ice thickness beneath the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

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    McGrath, D.; Steffen, K.; Rodriguez Lagos, J.

    2010-12-01

    Observed atmospheric and oceanic warming is driving significant retreat and / or collapse of ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula totaling over 25,000 km2 in the past five decades. Basal melting of meteoric ice can occur near the grounding line of deep glacier inflows if the ocean water is above the pressure melting point. Buoyant meltwater will develop thermohaline circulation, rising beneath the ice shelf, where it may become supercooled and subsequently refreeze in ice draft minima. Marine ice, due to its warm and thus relatively viscous nature, is hypothesized to suture parallel flow bands, increasing ice shelf stability by arresting fracture propagation and controlling iceberg calving dimensions. Thus efforts to model ice shelf stability require accurate estimates of marine ice location and thickness. Ice thickness of a floating ice shelf can be determined in two manners: (1) from measurements of ice elevation above sea level and the calculation of ice thickness from assumptions of hydrostatic equilibrium, and (2) from radar echo measurements of the ice-water interface. Marine ice can confound the latter because its high dielectric constant and strong absorptive properties attenuate the radar energy, often preventing a return signal from the bottom of the ice shelf. These two methods are complementary for determining the marine ice component though because positive anomalies in (1) relative to (2) suggest regions of marine ice accretion. Nearly 350 km of ice penetrating radar (25 MHz) surveys were collected on the Larsen C ice shelf, in conjunction with kinematic GPS measurements and collocated with surface elevation data from the NASA Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) as part of the ICE Bridge mission in 2009. Basal ice topography and total ice thickness is accurately mapped along the survey lines and compared with calculated ice thickness from both the kinematic GPS and ATM elevation data. Positive anomalies are discussed in light of visible imagery and

  14. Ice-Core Study of the Link between Sea-Salt Aerosol, Sea-Ice Cover and Climate in the Antarctic Peninsula Area

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    Aristarain, A.J. [Laboratorio de Estratigrafia Glaciar y Geoquimica del Agua y de la Nieve LEGAN, Instituto Antartico Argentino, Mendoza (Argentina); Delmas, R.J. [Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l' Environnement LGGE, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, BP 96, 38402 St. Martin d' Heres Cedex (France); Stievenard, M. [Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l' Environnement LSCE, Centre d' Etudes de Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, Cedex (France)

    2004-11-01

    Three ice cores and a set of snow pit samples collected on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula, in 1979, 1981 and 1991 have been analyzed for water stable isotope content D or 18O (isotopic temperature) and major chemical species. A reliable and detailed chronological scale has been established first for the upper 24.5 m of water equivalent (1990-1943) where various data sets can be compared, then extended down to 59.5 m of water equivalent (1847) with the aid of seasonal variations and the sulphate peak reflecting the 1883 Krakatoa volcanic eruption. At James Ross Island, sea-salt aerosol is generally produced by ice-free marine surfaces during the summer months, although some winter sea-salt events have been observed. For the upper part of the core (1990-1943), correlations (positive or negative) were calculated between isotopic temperature, chloride content (a sea-salt indicator), sea-ice extent, regional atmospheric temperature changes and atmospheric circulation. The D and chloride content correlation was then extended back to 1847, making it possible to estimate decadal sea-ice cover fluctuations over the study period. Our findings suggest that ice-core records from James Ross Island reflect the recent warming and sea-ice decrease trends observed in the Antarctic Peninsula area from the mid-1940s.

  15. Interannual variability in phytoplankton biomass and species composition in northern Marguerite Bay (West Antarctic Peninsula) is governed by both winter sea ice cover and summer stratification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozema, P.D.; Venables, H.J.; van de Poll, W.H.; Clarke, A.; Meredith, M.P.; Buma, A.G.J.

    2017-01-01

    The rapid warming of the West Antarctic Peninsula region has led to reduced sea ice cover and enhanced glacial melt water input. This has potential implications for marine ecosystems, notably phytoplankton growth, biomass, and composition. Fifteen years (1997–2012) of year-round size fractionated

  16. Dynamic thinning of glaciers on the Southern Antarctic Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wouters, B.; Martin-Espanol, A.; Helm, V.; Flament, T.; van Wessem, J. M.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Bamber, J. L.

    2015-01-01

    Growing evidence has demonstrated the importance of ice shelf buttressing on the inland grounded ice, especially if it is resting on bedrock below sea level. Much of the Southern Antarctic Peninsula satisfies this condition and also possesses a bed slope that deepens inland. Such ice sheet geometry

  17. Computing the volume response of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet to warming scenarios to 2200

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaudon, E.; Moore, J.C.; Martma, T.; Pohjola, V.A.; van de Wal, R.S.W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/101899556; Kohler, J.; Isaksson, E.

    2013-01-01

    An ice core extracted from Holtedahlfonna ice cap, western Spitsbergen, record spanning the period 1700–2005, was analyzed for major ions. The leading empirical orthogonal function (EOF) component is correlated with an index of summer melt (log([Na+]/[Mg2+]) from 1850 and shows that almost 50% of

  18. Antarctic Ice Velocity Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This compilation of recent ice velocity data of the Antarctic ice sheet is intended for use by the polar scientific community. The data are presented in tabular form...

  19. Glacier History of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula Region Since the End of the Last Ice Age and Implications for Southern Hemisphere Westerly-Climate Changes

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    Kaplan, M. R.; Schaefer, J. M.; Strelin, J. A.; Peltier, C.; Southon, J. R.; Lepper, K. E.; Winckler, G.

    2017-12-01

    For the area around James Ross Island, we present new cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages on glacial deposits, and 14C ages on associated fossil materials. These data allow us to reconstruct in detail when and how the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet retreated around the Island as the last Ice Age ended, and afterward when local land-based glaciers fluctuated. Similar to other studies, we found widespread deglaciation during the earliest Holocene, with fjords and bays becoming ice free between about 11,000 and 8,000 years ago. After 7,000 years ago, neoglacial type advances initiated. Then, both expansions and ice free periods occurred from the middle to late Holocene. We compare the new glacier record to those in southern Patagonia, which is on the other side of the Drake Passage, and published Southern Ocean marine records, in order to infer past middle to high latitude changes in the Southern Hemisphere Westerlies. Widespread warmth in the earliest Holocene, to the north and south of the Drake Passage, led to small glacier systems in Patagonia and wide-ranging glacier recession around the northern Antarctic Peninsula. We infer that this early Holocene period of overall glacier recession - from Patagonia to the northern Peninsula - was caused by a persistent far-southerly setting of the westerlies and accompanying warm climates. Subsequently, during the middle Holocene renewed glacier expansions occurred on both sides of the Drake Passage, which reflects that the Westerlies and associated colder climate systems were generally more equatorward. From the middle to late Holocene, glacier expansions and ice free periods (and likely related ice shelf behavior) document how the Westerlies and associated higher-latitude climate systems varied.

  20. Near-surface climate and surface energy budget of Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831891; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; King, J.C.; Gray, T.; Reijmer, C.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/229345956

    2012-01-01

    Data collected by two automatic weather stations (AWS) on the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctica, between 22 January 2009 and 1 February 2011 are analyzed and used as input for a model that computes the surface energy budget (SEB), which includes melt energy. The two AWSs are separated by about 70 km in

  1. Near-surface climate and surface energy budget of Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.; van den Broeke, Michiel; King, J.C.; Gray, T.; Reijmer, C.H.

    2011-01-01

    Data collected by two automatic weather stations (AWS) on the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctica, between 22 January 2009 and 1 February 2011 are analyzed and used as input for a model that computes the surface energy budget (SEB), including melt energy. The two AWSs are separated by about 70 km in the

  2. The effect of sea-ice dynamics on Net Community Production (NCP) at the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Z.; Cassar, N.; Huang, K.; Ducklow, H. W.; Schofield, O.

    2016-02-01

    The WAP in the Southern Ocean has experienced a decrease in sea-ice extent ( 40%) over the last three decades, which has been associated with changes in the ecosystems. In this study, we examined the effect of sea-ice dynamics on the interannual variability of satellite-derived Annually-integrated NCP (ANCP). We derived a time series of NCP (1997-2014) using satellite observations of chlorophyll a concentration ([Chl]) and a regression between in situ [Chl] and O2/Ar-derived NCP measurements. Overall, our results are consistent with sea-ice dynamics influencing interannual ecosystem variability in the WAP region. ANCP displays an onshore to offshore gradient. Coastal/shelf regions and more specifically submarine canyons are up to eight times more productive than offshore regions. NCP peaks around January (November) when sea ice retreats and is consistently high (low) for the rest of the growing season in the shelf (southern and middle Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current Front (SACCF)) region. We examined potential drivers of interannual variability in the ANCP through Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis. The EOF's first mode explains 50% of the variance, with High Temporal Variability (HTV) observed in the southern and middle SACCF regions. The first principal component of ANCP is significantly correlated with the day of sea-ice retreat (R=-0.58, p<0.05) in the HTV region, and climate indices of Southern Annular Mode (SAM) (R=0.63, p<0.01, in austral spring) and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (R=-0.52, p<0.05, in austral spring). Although the most obvious pathway by which day of sea-ice retreat influences NCP is through alleviation of light limitation, we found that the effect persists throughout the growing season, suggesting additional controls such as the influence of sea ice on stratification or iron availability.

  3. Characterisation of the nematode community of a low-activity cold seep in the recently ice-shelf free Larsen B area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freija Hauquier

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent climate-induced ice-shelf disintegration in the Larsen A (1995 and B (2002 areas along the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula formed a unique opportunity to assess sub-ice-shelf benthic community structure and led to the discovery of unexplored habitats, including a low-activity methane seep beneath the former Larsen B ice shelf. Since both limited particle sedimentation under previously permanent ice coverage and reduced cold-seep activity are likely to influence benthic meiofauna communities, we characterised the nematode assemblage of this low-activity cold seep and compared it with other, now seasonally ice-free, Larsen A and B stations and other Antarctic shelf areas (Weddell Sea and Drake Passage, as well as cold-seep ecosystems world-wide. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The nematode community at the Larsen B seep site differed significantly from other Antarctic sites in terms of dominant genera, diversity and abundance. Densities in the seep samples were high (>2000 individuals per 10 cm(2 and showed below-surface maxima at a sediment depth of 2-3 cm in three out of four replicates. All samples were dominated by one species of the family Monhysteridae, which was identified as a Halomonhystera species that comprised between 80 and 86% of the total community. The combination of high densities, deeper density maxima and dominance of one species is shared by many cold-seep ecosystems world-wide and suggested a possible dependence upon a chemosynthetic food source. Yet stable (13C isotopic signals (ranging between -21.97±0.86‰ and -24.85±1.89‰ were indicative of a phytoplankton-derived food source. CONCLUSION: The recent ice-shelf collapse and enhanced food input from surface phytoplankton blooms were responsible for the shift from oligotrophic pre-collapse conditions to a phytodetritus-based community with high densities and low diversity. The parthenogenetic reproduction of the highly dominant Halomonhystera species is rather unusual

  4. Ocean Color Reveals Multi-scale Responses of Phytoplankton to Changing Sea Ice and Ocean Temperatures along the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanaugh, M.; Schofield, O.; Ducklow, H. W.; Doney, S. C.

    2016-02-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is experiencing dramatic climate change as maritime conditions expand poleward and interact with regional physics and local topography. In situ observations collected by the Palmer LTER project have provided three decades of insight regarding changes in phytoplankton abundance and community structure seasonally at Palmer station, and spatially during annual cruises across the WAP shelf. Despite the challenges with cloud cover and high latitude retrieval, satellite-based phytoplankton observations have extended inference from in situ observations and have improved our understanding of ecological pattern and process in this region. Multi-sensor satellite analyses were conducted to extend in situ observations and determine the multi-scale response of phytoplankton to changes in sea-ice and temperature. At local scales, enhanced phytoplankton standing stock and diatom dominance were evident at canyons, which act as conduits or reservoirs for warm, nutrient rich Upper Circumpolar Deep Water. However, this positive effect was absent during low ice years. At regional scales, sea-ice declines and warming temperatures were evident over the modern satellite era (since 1997) and were consistent with cross-shelf and latitudinal gradients in phytoplankton responses. Shifts towards smaller size classes were evident across the entire shelf, suggesting a decline in export potential. Phytoplankton abundance in the northern WAP decreased over time, and increased in the southern WAP, although the spatial extent of positive response appears to have retreated in the past decade. Thus, while positive responses to sea-ice loss are evident at both local and regional scales, their capacity to offset climate trends appear to be diminishing.

  5. Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, D. G.; Marshall, G. J.; Connolley, W. M.; Parkinson, C.; Mulvaney, R.; Hodgson, D. A.; King, J. C.; Pudsey, C. J.; Turner, J.

    2002-12-01

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that global warming was 0.6 ñ 0.2 degrees C during the 20th Century and cited increases in greenhouse gases as a likely contributor. But this average conceals the complexity of observed climate change, which is seasonally biased, decadally variable and geographically patchy. In particular, over the last 50 years three high-latitude areas have undergone recent rapid regional (RRR) warming ? substantially more rapid than the global mean. We discuss the spatial and temporal significance of RRR warming in one area, the Antarctic Peninsula. New analyses of station records show no ubiquitous polar amplification of global warming but significant RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. We investigate the likelihood that this could be amplification of a global warming, and use climate-proxy data to indicate that this RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is unprecedented over the last two millennia and unlikely to be a natural mode of variability. We can show a strong connection between RRR warming and reduced sea-ice duration in an area on the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, but here we cannot yet distinguish cause and effect. Thus for the present we cannot determine which process causes the RRR warming, and until the mechanism initiating and sustaining it is understood, and is convincingly reproduced in climate models, we lack a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century.

  6. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke; Holm, A.

    2015-01-01

    Science) Antarctic Ice Sheet (DAIS) model (Shaffer 2014) is forced by reconstructed time series of Antarctic temperature, global sea level and ocean subsurface temperature over the last two glacial cycles. In this talk a modelling work of the Antarctic ice sheet over most of the Cenozoic era using...... the DAIS model will be presented. G. Shaffer (2014) Formulation, calibration and validation of the DAIS model (version 1), a simple Antarctic ice sheet model sensitive to variations of sea level and ocean subsurface temperature, Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1803‐1818...

  7. Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Ice and Clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    In this view of Antarctic ice and clouds, (56.5S, 152.0W), the Ross Ice Shelf of Antarctica is almost totally clear, showing stress cracks in the ice surface caused by wind and tidal drift. Clouds on the eastern edge of the picture are associated with an Antarctic cyclone. Winds stirred up these storms have been known to reach hurricane force.

  8. CHEMICAL AND ISOTOPIC CHARACTERISTICS OF ICE FROM AN ICE-WEDGE IN SEYMOUR ISLAND (ISLA VCOM. MARAMBIO), ANTARCTIC PENINSULA REGION (I)

    OpenAIRE

    カトウ, キクオ; / フクダ, マサミ; Kikuo, KATO; Arturo M., CORTE; Masami, FUKUDA

    1990-01-01

    In Seymour Island free of ice cover were found many ice-wedges and ice-wedge casts. In order to clarify chemical characteristics of ice in ice-wedges, chemical analyses were done on ice samples from an ice-wedge. The concentrations and compositions of chemical species in the ice body vary in an unexpectedly wide range and are greatly different between the upper and lower parts, even from the same ice-wedge ice body. Its lower part shows very high concentrations of Na^+ nas SC_4^, whereas its ...

  9. Wind, Sea Ice, Inertial Oscillations and Upper Ocean Mixing in Marguerite Bay, Western Antarctic Peninsula: Observations and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-09-01

    well constrained ( Peters et al., 1988), and any Ri-based estimate of K, will have large errors associated with it. Nevertheless, it is instructive to see...A.J., Muench, R.D., Pinkel, R., 1992. Diurnal tides near the Yermak Plateau. Journal of Geophysical Research 97, 12,639-12,652. Peters , H., Gregg, M.C...S. Stammerjohn, R. Smith, H.R. Krouse, A.J. Gow and S.F. Ackley, 2004: Winter sea ice properties in Marguerite Bay, Antarctica. Deep-Sea Res. 11, 51

  10. Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingham, D J; Shepherd, A; Muir, A; Marshall, G J

    2006-07-15

    The Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise has long been uncertain. While regional variability in ice dynamics has been revealed, a picture of mass changes throughout the continental ice sheet is lacking. Here, we use satellite radar altimetry to measure the elevation change of 72% of the grounded ice sheet during the period 1992-2003. Depending on the density of the snow giving rise to the observed elevation fluctuations, the ice sheet mass trend falls in the range -5-+85Gtyr-1. We find that data from climate model reanalyses are not able to characterise the contemporary snowfall fluctuation with useful accuracy and our best estimate of the overall mass trend-growth of 27+/-29Gtyr-1-is based on an assessment of the expected snowfall variability. Mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica. The result exacerbates the difficulty of explaining twentieth century sea-level rise.

  11. CHEMICAL AND ISOTOPIC CHARACTERISTICS OF ICE FROM AN ICE-WEDGE IN SEYMOUR ISLAND (ISLA VCOM. MARAMBIO), ANTARCTIC PENINSULA REGION (II)

    OpenAIRE

    カトウ, キクオ; フクダ, マサミ; Kikuo, KATO; Masami, FUKUDA

    1991-01-01

    Even in Antarctica the permafrost and the distinctive ground features such as the polygon and ice-wedge are seen in the regions free of ice cover. Chemical and isotopic characteristics of ice, which forms the polygon and ice-wedge, have not yet been clarified. However, they may provide useful information about the origins of these ice bodies, and the processes and environments of formation of the distinctive ground features. Seymour Island (Isla Vcom. Marambio) is one of the places free of ic...

  12. Increased West Antarctic and unchanged East Antarctic ice discharge over the last 7 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Alex S.; Moholdt, Geir; Scambos, Ted; Fahnstock, Mark; Ligtenberg, Stefan; van den Broeke, Michiel; Nilsson, Johan

    2018-02-01

    Ice discharge from large ice sheets plays a direct role in determining rates of sea-level rise. We map present-day Antarctic-wide surface velocities using Landsat 7 and 8 imagery spanning 2013-2015 and compare to earlier estimates derived from synthetic aperture radar, revealing heterogeneous changes in ice flow since ˜ 2008. The new mapping provides complete coastal and inland coverage of ice velocity north of 82.4° S with a mean error of the daylight period. Using an optimized flux gate, ice discharge from Antarctica is 1929 ± 40 Gigatons per year (Gt yr-1) in 2015, an increase of 36 ± 15 Gt yr-1 from the time of the radar mapping. Flow accelerations across the grounding lines of West Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, Getz Ice Shelf and Marguerite Bay on the western Antarctic Peninsula, account for 88 % of this increase. In contrast, glaciers draining the East Antarctic Ice Sheet have been remarkably constant over the period of observation. Including modeled rates of snow accumulation and basal melt, the Antarctic ice sheet lost ice at an average rate of 183 ± 94 Gt yr-1 between 2008 and 2015. The modest increase in ice discharge over the past 7 years is contrasted by high rates of ice sheet mass loss and distinct spatial patters of elevation lowering. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is experiencing high rates of mass loss and displays distinct patterns of elevation lowering that point to a dynamic imbalance. We find modest increase in ice discharge over the past 7 years, which suggests that the recent pattern of mass loss in Antarctica is part of a longer-term phase of enhanced glacier flow initiated in the decades leading up to the first continent-wide radar mapping of ice flow.

  13. Monitoring Antarctic ice sheet surface melting with TIMESAT algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Y.; Cheng, X.; Li, X.; Liang, L.

    2011-12-01

    Antarctic ice sheet contributes significantly to the global heat budget by controlling the exchange of heat, moisture, and momentum at the surface-atmosphere interface, which directly influence the global atmospheric circulation and climate change. Ice sheet melting will cause snow humidity increase, which will accelerate the disintegration and movement of ice sheet. As a result, detecting Antarctic ice sheet melting is essential for global climate change research. In the past decades, various methods have been proposed for extracting snowmelt information from multi-channel satellite passive microwave data. Some methods are based on brightness temperature values or a composite index of them, and others are based on edge detection. TIMESAT (Time-series of Satellite sensor data) is an algorithm for extracting seasonality information from time-series of satellite sensor data. With TIMESAT long-time series brightness temperature (SSM/I 19H) is simulated by Double Logistic function. Snow is classified to wet and dry snow with generalized Gaussian model. The results were compared with those from a wavelet algorithm. On this basis, Antarctic automatic weather station data were used for ground verification. It shows that this algorithm is effective in ice sheet melting detection. The spatial distribution of melting areas(Fig.1) shows that, the majority of melting areas are located on the edge of Antarctic ice shelf region. It is affected by land cover type, surface elevation and geographic location (latitude). In addition, the Antarctic ice sheet melting varies with seasons. It is particularly acute in summer, peaking at December and January, staying low in March. In summary, from 1988 to 2008, Ross Ice Shelf and Ronnie Ice Shelf have the greatest interannual variability in amount of melting, which largely determines the overall interannual variability in Antarctica. Other regions, especially Larsen Ice Shelf and Wilkins Ice Shelf, which is in the Antarctic Peninsula

  14. Controls on turbulent mixing on the West Antarctic Peninsula shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brearley, J. Alexander; Meredith, Michael P.; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.; Venables, Hugh J.; Inall, Mark E.

    2017-05-01

    The ocean-to-atmosphere heat budget of the West Antarctic Peninsula is controlled in part by the upward flux of heat from the warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) layer that resides below 200 m to the Antarctic Surface Water (AASW), a water mass which varies strongly on a seasonal basis. Upwelling and mixing of CDW influence the formation of sea ice in the region and affect biological productivity and functioning of the ecosystem through their delivery of nutrients. In this study, 2.5-year time series of both Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) data are used to quantify both the diapycnal diffusivity κ and the vertical heat flux Q at the interface between CDW and AASW. Over the period of the study, a mean upward heat flux of 1 W m-2 is estimated, with the largest heat fluxes occurring shortly after the loss of winter fast ice when the water column is first exposed to wind stress without being strongly stratified by salinity. Differences in mixing mechanisms between winter and summer seasons are investigated. Whilst tidally-driven mixing at the study site occurs year-round, but is likely to be relatively weak, a strong increase in counterclockwise-polarized near-inertial energy (and shear) is observed during the fast-ice-free season, suggesting that the direct impact of storms on the ocean surface is responsible for much of the observed mixing at the site. Given the rapid reduction in sea-ice duration in this region in the last 30 years, a shift towards an increasingly wind-dominated mixing regime may be taking place.

  15. Past Penguin Colony Linkages to Climate Change and Catastrophic Volcanism on the Northern Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, S. J.; Monien, P.; Foster, L. C.; Loftfield, J.; Schnetger, B.; Pearson, E. J.; Hocking, E. P.; Fretwell, P.; Ireland, L.; Ochyra, R.; Haworth, A.; Allen, C. S.; Brumsack, H. J.; Bentley, M.; Hodgson, D.

    2016-12-01

    Recent warming and reductions in sea-ice in some parts of Antarctica are thought to be having a negative impact on populations of `ice-dependent' penguin species (e.g., Emperor, Adélie) that feed at the sea-ice edge because populations of `ice-avoiding'/more `adaptable' species (e.g., Gentoo, Chinstrap) have remained stable or increased, and some Adélie colonies located in areas of sea-ice expansion have increased. This hypothesis is based on short observational records and limited subfossil evidence, but has not been tested over longer, mid-late Holocene, timescales on the Antarctic Peninsula. Between 1950-1997, the northern Antarctic Peninsula was one of the most rapidly warming regions in the Southern Hemisphere and, over the last 30 years, the largest breeding population of Gentoo penguins in Antarctica on Ardley Island, north-western Antarctic Peninsula, has increased. We tracked past changes in the Ardley Island penguin colony size by comparing detailed biogeochemical analysis of an 8,500-year Ardley Lake sediment profile with past records of penguin presence, climate and sea-ice extent across the Antarctic Peninsula and found that the colony also responded positively during some local-regionally warmer parts of the late Holocene. However, at least three large volcanic eruptions from nearby Deception Island had a devastating impact on the colony between 7000-2000 years ago, with colony recovery taking up to 800 years following the most disruptive period of volcanic activity c. 5500-5000 years ago.

  16. Meltwater produced by wind–albedo interaction stored in an East Antarctic ice shelf

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, JTM; Lhermitte, S.L.M.; Drews, R.; Ligtenberg, SRM; Berger, S.; Helm, V.; Smeets, C.J.P.P.; van den Broeke, MR; van de Berg, W.J.; van Meijgaard, E; Eijkelboom, M.; Eisen, O.; Pattyn, F.

    2017-01-01

    Surface melt and subsequent firn air depletion can ultimately lead to disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves1, 2 causing grounded glaciers to accelerate3 and sea level to rise. In the Antarctic Peninsula, foehn winds enhance melting near the grounding line4, which in the recent past has led to the

  17. Geomorphic and shallow-acoustic investigation of an Antarctic Peninsula fjord system using high-resolution ROV and shipboard geophysical observations: Ice dynamics and behaviour since the Last Glacial Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Marga; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Noormets, R.; Hogan, K. A.; Evans, J.; Ó Cofaigh, C.; Larter, R. D.

    2016-12-01

    Detailed bathymetric and sub-bottom acoustic observations in Bourgeois Fjord (Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula) provide evidence on sedimentary processes and glacier dynamics during the last glacial cycle. Submarine landforms observed in the 50 km-long fjord, from the margins of modern tidewater glaciers to the now ice-distal Marguerite Bay, are described and interpreted. The landforms are grouped into four morpho-sedimentary systems: (i) glacial advance and full-glacial; (ii) subglacial and ice-marginal meltwater; (iii) glacial retreat and neoglaciation; and (iv) Holocene mass-wasting. These morpho-sedimentary systems have been integrated with morphological studies of the Marguerite Bay continental shelf and analysed in terms of the specific sedimentary processes and/or stages of the glacial cycle. They demonstrate the action of an ice-sheet outlet glacier that produced drumlins and crag-and-tail features in the main and outer fjord. Meltwater processes eroded bedrock channels and ponds infilled by fine-grained sediments. Following the last deglaciation of the fjord at about 9000 yr BP, subsequent Holocene neoglacial activity involved minor readvances of a tidewater glacier terminus in Blind Bay. Recent stillstands and/or minor readvances are inferred from the presence of a major transverse moraine that indicates grounded ice stabilization, probably during the Little Ice Age, and a series of smaller landforms that reveal intermittent minor readvances. Mass-wasting processes also affected the walls of the fjord and produced scars and fan-shaped deposits during the Holocene. Glacier-terminus changes during the last six decades, derived from satellite images and aerial photographs, reveal variable behaviour of adjacent tidewater glaciers. The smaller glaciers show the most marked recent retreat, influenced by regional physiography and catchment-area size.

  18. Early Spring Phytoplankton Dynamics in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.; van Dijken, Gert L.; Alderkamp, Anne-Carlijn; Erickson, Zachary K.; Lewis, Kate M.; Lowry, Kate E.; Joy-Warren, Hannah L.; Middag, Rob; Nash-Arrigo, Janice E.; Selz, Virginia; van de Poll, Willem

    2017-12-01

    The Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research program has sampled waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula (wAP) annually each summer since 1990. However, information about the wAP prior to the peak of the phytoplankton bloom in January is sparse. Here we present results from a spring process cruise that sampled the wAP in the early stages of phytoplankton bloom development in 2014. Sea ice concentrations were high on the shelf relative to nonshelf waters, especially toward the south. Macronutrients were high and nonlimiting to phytoplankton growth in both shelf and nonshelf waters, while dissolved iron concentrations were high only on the shelf. Phytoplankton were in good physiological condition throughout the wAP, although biomass on the shelf was uniformly low, presumably because of heavy sea ice cover. In contrast, an early stage phytoplankton bloom was observed beneath variable sea ice cover just seaward of the shelf break. Chlorophyll a concentrations in the bloom reached 2 mg m-3 within a 100-150 km band between the SBACC and SACCF. The location of the bloom appeared to be controlled by a balance between enhanced vertical mixing at the position of the two fronts and increased stratification due to melting sea ice between them. Unlike summer, when diatoms overwhelmingly dominate the phytoplankton population of the wAP, the haptophyte Phaeocystis antarctica dominated in spring, although diatoms were common. These results suggest that factors controlling phytoplankton abundance and composition change seasonally and may differentially affect phytoplankton populations as environmental conditions within the wAP region continue to change.

  19. Biodiversity change after climate-induced ice-shelf collapse in the Antarctic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutt, J.; Barratt, I.; Domack, E.; Scheidat, M.

    2011-01-01

    The marine ecosystem on the eastern shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula was surveyed 5 and 12 years after the climate-induced collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves. An impoverished benthic fauna was discovered, that included deep-sea species presumed to be remnants from ice-covered conditions. The

  20. Balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    For several decades, measurements of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet showed it to be retreating rapidly. But new data derived from satellite-borne radar sensors show the ice sheet to be growing. Changing Antarctic ice sheets remains an area of high scientific interest, particularly in light of recent global warming concerns. These new findings are significant because scientists estimate that sea level would rise 5-6 meters (16-20 feet) if the ice sheet collapsed into the sea. Do these new measurements signal the end of the ice sheet's 10,000-year retreat? Or, are these new satellite data simply much more accurate than the sparse ice core and surface measurements that produced the previous estimates? Another possibility is that the ice accumulation may simply indicate that the ice sheet naturally expands and retreats in regular cycles. Cryologists will grapple with these questions, and many others, as they examine the new data. The image above depicts the region of West Antarctica where scientists measured ice speed. The fast-moving central ice streams are shown in red. Slower tributaries feeding the ice streams are shown in blue. Green areas depict slow-moving, stable areas. Thick black lines depict the areas that collect snowfall to feed their respective ice streams. Reference: Ian Joughin and Slawek Tulaczyk Science Jan 18 2002: 476-480. Image courtesy RADARSAT Antarctic Mapping Project

  1. Volcanic deposits in Antarctic snow and ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delmas, Robert J.; Legrand, Michel; Aristarain, Alberto J.; Zanolini, FrançOise

    1985-12-01

    Major volcanic eruptions are able to spread large amounts of sulfuric acid all over the world. Acid layers of volcanic origin were detected for the first time a few years ago by Hammer in Greenland ice. The present paper deals with volcanic deposits in the Antarctic. The different methods that can be used to find volcanic acid deposits in snow and ice cores are compared: electrical conductivity, sulfate, and acidity measurements. Numerous snow and ice samples collected at several Antarctic locations were analyzed. The results reveal that the two major volcanic events recorded by H2SO4, fallout in Antarctic ice over the last century are the eruptions of Krakatoa (1883) and Agung (1963), both located at equatorial latitudes in the southern hemisphere. The volcanic signals are found to be particularly well defined at central Antarctic locations apparently in relation to the low snow accumulation rates in these areas. It is demonstrated that volcanic sulfuric acid in snow is not even partially neutralized by ammonia. The possible influence of Antarctic volcanic activity on snow chemistry is also discussed, using the three recent eruptions of the Deception Island volcano as examples. Only one of them seems to have had a significant effect on the chemistry of snow at a location 200 km from this volcano. It is concluded that Antarctic volcanic ice records are less complicated than Greenland records because of the limited number of volcanos in the southern hemisphere and the apparently higher signal to background ratio for acidity in Antarctica than in Greenland.

  2. Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jasmine R; Raymond, Ben; Bracegirdle, Thomas J; Chadès, Iadine; Fuller, Richard A; Shaw, Justine D; Terauds, Aleks

    2017-07-06

    Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity occurs almost exclusively in ice-free areas that cover less than 1% of the continent. Climate change will alter the extent and configuration of ice-free areas, yet the distribution and severity of these effects remain unclear. Here we quantify the impact of twenty-first century climate change on ice-free areas under two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate forcing scenarios using temperature-index melt modelling. Under the strongest forcing scenario, ice-free areas could expand by over 17,000 km 2 by the end of the century, close to a 25% increase. Most of this expansion will occur in the Antarctic Peninsula, where a threefold increase in ice-free area could drastically change the availability and connectivity of biodiversity habitat. Isolated ice-free areas will coalesce, and while the effects on biodiversity are uncertain, we hypothesize that they could eventually lead to increasing regional-scale biotic homogenization, the extinction of less-competitive species and the spread of invasive species.

  3. Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jasmine R.; Raymond, Ben; Bracegirdle, Thomas J.; Chadès, Iadine; Fuller, Richard A.; Shaw, Justine D.; Terauds, Aleks

    2017-07-01

    Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity occurs almost exclusively in ice-free areas that cover less than 1% of the continent. Climate change will alter the extent and configuration of ice-free areas, yet the distribution and severity of these effects remain unclear. Here we quantify the impact of twenty-first century climate change on ice-free areas under two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate forcing scenarios using temperature-index melt modelling. Under the strongest forcing scenario, ice-free areas could expand by over 17,000 km2 by the end of the century, close to a 25% increase. Most of this expansion will occur in the Antarctic Peninsula, where a threefold increase in ice-free area could drastically change the availability and connectivity of biodiversity habitat. Isolated ice-free areas will coalesce, and while the effects on biodiversity are uncertain, we hypothesize that they could eventually lead to increasing regional-scale biotic homogenization, the extinction of less-competitive species and the spread of invasive species.

  4. Changes in ice dynamics and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, Eric

    2006-07-15

    The concept that the Antarctic ice sheet changes with eternal slowness has been challenged by recent observations from satellites. Pronounced regional warming in the Antarctic Peninsula triggered ice shelf collapse, which led to a 10-fold increase in glacier flow and rapid ice sheet retreat. This chain of events illustrated the vulnerability of ice shelves to climate warming and their buffering role on the mass balance of Antarctica. In West Antarctica, the Pine Island Bay sector is draining far more ice into the ocean than is stored upstream from snow accumulation. This sector could raise sea level by 1m and trigger widespread retreat of ice in West Antarctica. Pine Island Glacier accelerated 38% since 1975, and most of the speed up took place over the last decade. Its neighbour Thwaites Glacier is widening up and may double its width when its weakened eastern ice shelf breaks up. Widespread acceleration in this sector may be caused by glacier ungrounding from ice shelf melting by an ocean that has recently warmed by 0.3 degrees C. In contrast, glaciers buffered from oceanic change by large ice shelves have only small contributions to sea level. In East Antarctica, many glaciers are close to a state of mass balance, but sectors grounded well below sea level, such as Cook Ice Shelf, Ninnis/Mertz, Frost and Totten glaciers, are thinning and losing mass. Hence, East Antarctica is not immune to changes.

  5. A simulated Antarctic fast ice ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.; Kremer, James N.; Sullivan, Cornelius W.

    1993-01-01

    A 2D numerical ecosystem model of Antarctic land fast ice is developed to elucidate the primary production with the Antarctic sea ice zone. The physical component employs atmospheric data to simulate congelation ice growth, initial brine entrapment, desalination, and nutrient flux. The biological component is based on the concept of a maximum temperature-dependent algal growth rate which is reduced by limitations imposed from insufficient light or nutrients, as well as suboptimal salinity. Preliminary simulations indicate that, during a bloom, microalgae are able to maintain their vertical position relative to the lower congelation ice margin and are not incorporated into the crystal matrix as the ice sheet thickens. It is inferred that land fast sea ice contains numerous microhabitats that are functionally distinct based upon the unique set of processes that control microalgal growth and accumulation within each.

  6. Geochemical signatures of tephras from Quaternary Antarctic Peninsula volcanoes

    OpenAIRE

    Kraus,Stefan; Kurbatov,Andrei; Yates,Martin

    2013-01-01

    In the northern Antarctic Peninsula area, at least 12 Late Plelstocene-Holocene volcanic centers could be potential sources of tephra layers in the region. We present unique geochemical fingerprints for ten of these volcanoes using major, trace, rare earth element, and isotope data from 95 samples of tephra and other eruption products. The volcanoes have predominantly basaltic and basaltic andesitic compositions. The Nb/Y ratio proves useful to distinguish between volcanic centers located on ...

  7. Glacier mass loss. Dynamic thinning of glaciers on the Southern Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wouters, B; Martin-Español, A; Helm, V; Flament, T; van Wessem, J M; Ligtenberg, S R M; van den Broeke, M R; Bamber, J L

    2015-05-22

    Growing evidence has demonstrated the importance of ice shelf buttressing on the inland grounded ice, especially if it is resting on bedrock below sea level. Much of the Southern Antarctic Peninsula satisfies this condition and also possesses a bed slope that deepens inland. Such ice sheet geometry is potentially unstable. We use satellite altimetry and gravity observations to show that a major portion of the region has, since 2009, destabilized. Ice mass loss of the marine-terminating glaciers has rapidly accelerated from close to balance in the 2000s to a sustained rate of -56 ± 8 gigatons per year, constituting a major fraction of Antarctica's contribution to rising sea level. The widespread, simultaneous nature of the acceleration, in the absence of a persistent atmospheric forcing, points to an oceanic driving mechanism. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  8. Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, John; Lu, Hua; White, Ian; King, John C; Phillips, Tony; Hosking, J Scott; Bracegirdle, Thomas J; Marshall, Gareth J; Mulvaney, Robert; Deb, Pranab

    2016-07-21

    Since the 1950s, research stations on the Antarctic Peninsula have recorded some of the largest increases in near-surface air temperature in the Southern Hemisphere. This warming has contributed to the regional retreat of glaciers, disintegration of floating ice shelves and a 'greening' through the expansion in range of various flora. Several interlinked processes have been suggested as contributing to the warming, including stratospheric ozone depletion, local sea-ice loss, an increase in westerly winds, and changes in the strength and location of low-high-latitude atmospheric teleconnections. Here we use a stacked temperature record to show an absence of regional warming since the late 1990s. The annual mean temperature has decreased at a statistically significant rate, with the most rapid cooling during the Austral summer. Temperatures have decreased as a consequence of a greater frequency of cold, east-to-southeasterly winds, resulting from more cyclonic conditions in the northern Weddell Sea associated with a strengthening mid-latitude jet. These circulation changes have also increased the advection of sea ice towards the east coast of the peninsula, amplifying their effects. Our findings cover only 1% of the Antarctic continent and emphasize that decadal temperature changes in this region are not primarily associated with the drivers of global temperature change but, rather, reflect the extreme natural internal variability of the regional atmospheric circulation.

  9. Climate change and the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Andrew; Murphy, Eugene J; Meredith, Michael P; King, John C; Peck, Lloyd S; Barnes, David K.A; Smith, Raymond C

    2006-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing one of the fastest rates of regional climate change on Earth, resulting in the collapse of ice shelves, the retreat of glaciers and the exposure of new terrestrial habitat. In the nearby oceanic system, winter sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas has decreased in extent by 10% per decade, and shortened in seasonal duration. Surface waters have warmed by more than 1 K since the 1950s, and the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has also warmed. Of the changes observed in the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region to date, alterations in winter sea ice dynamics are the most likely to have had a direct impact on the marine fauna, principally through shifts in the extent and timing of habitat for ice-associated biota. Warming of seawater at depths below ca 100 m has yet to reach the levels that are biologically significant. Continued warming, or a change in the frequency of the flooding of CDW onto the WAP continental shelf may, however, induce sublethal effects that influence ecological interactions and hence food-web operation. The best evidence for recent changes in the ecosystem may come from organisms which record aspects of their population dynamics in their skeleton (such as molluscs or brachiopods) or where ecological interactions are preserved (such as in encrusting biota of hard substrata). In addition, a southwards shift of marine isotherms may induce a parallel migration of some taxa similar to that observed on land. The complexity of the Southern Ocean food web and the nonlinear nature of many interactions mean that predictions based on short-term studies of a small number of species are likely to be misleading. PMID:17405211

  10. Structural Uncertainty in Antarctic sea ice simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, D. P.

    2016-12-01

    The inability of the vast majority of historical climate model simulations to reproduce the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice has motivated many studies about the quality of the observational record, the role of natural variability versus forced changes, and the possibility of missing or inadequate forcings in the models (such as freshwater discharge from thinning ice shelves or an inadequate magnitude of stratospheric ozone depletion). In this presentation I will highlight another source of uncertainty that has received comparatively little attention: Structural uncertainty, that is, the systematic uncertainty in simulated sea ice trends that arises from model physics and mean-state biases. Using two large ensembles of experiments from the Community Earth System Model (CESM), I will show that the model is predisposed towards producing negative Antarctic sea ice trends during 1979-present, and that this outcome is not simply because the model's decadal variability is out-of-synch with that in nature. In the "Tropical Pacific Pacemaker" ensemble, in which observed tropical Pacific SST anomalies are prescribed, the model produces very realistic atmospheric circulation trends over the Southern Ocean, yet the sea ice trend is negative in every ensemble member. However, if the ensemble-mean trend (commonly interpreted as the forced response) is removed, some ensemble members show a sea ice increase that is very similar to the observed. While this results does confirm the important role of natural variability, it also suggests a strong bias in the forced response. I will discuss the reasons for this systematic bias and explore possible remedies. This an important problem to solve because projections of 21st -Century changes in the Antarctic climate system (including ice sheet surface mass balance changes and related changes in the sea level budget) have a strong dependence on the mean state of and changes in the Antarctic sea ice cover. This problem is not unique to

  11. Evolution of the early Antarctic ice ages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liebrand, Diederik; de Bakker, Anouk T M|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/371573734; Beddow, Helen M; Wilson, Paul A; Bohaty, Steven M; Ruessink, Gerben|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/169093360; Pälike, Heiko; Batenburg, Sietske J; Hilgen, Frederik J|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/102639876; Hodell, David A; Huck, Claire E; Kroon, Dick; Raffi, Isabella; Saes, Mischa J M; van Dijk, Arnold E|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/341412082; Lourens, Lucas J|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/125023103

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the stability of the early Antarctic ice cap in the geological past is of societal interest because present-day atmospheric CO2 concentrations have reached values comparable to those estimated for the Oligocene and the Early Miocene epochs. Here we analyze a new high-resolution

  12. Past penguin colony responses to explosive volcanism on the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Stephen J.; Monien, Patrick; Foster, Louise C.; Loftfield, Julia; Hocking, Emma P.; Schnetger, Bernhard; Pearson, Emma J.; Juggins, Steve; Fretwell, Peter; Ireland, Louise; Ochyra, Ryszard; Haworth, Anna R.; Allen, Claire S.; Moreton, Steven G.; Davies, Sarah J.; Brumsack, Hans-Jürgen; Bentley, Michael J.; Hodgson, Dominic A.

    2017-04-01

    Changes in penguin populations on the Antarctic Peninsula have been linked to several environmental factors, but the potentially devastating impact of volcanic activity has not been considered. Here we use detailed biogeochemical analyses to track past penguin colony change over the last 8,500 years on Ardley Island, home to one of the Antarctic Peninsula's largest breeding populations of gentoo penguins. The first sustained penguin colony was established on Ardley Island c. 6,700 years ago, pre-dating sub-fossil evidence of Peninsula-wide occupation by c. 1,000 years. The colony experienced five population maxima during the Holocene. Overall, we find no consistent relationships with local-regional atmospheric and ocean temperatures or sea-ice conditions, although the colony population maximum, c. 4,000-3,000 years ago, corresponds with regionally elevated temperatures. Instead, at least three of the five phases of penguin colony expansion were abruptly ended by large eruptions from the Deception Island volcano, resulting in near-complete local extinction of the colony, with, on average, 400-800 years required for sustainable recovery.

  13. A 25-year Record of Antarctic Ice Sheet Elevation and Mass Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, A.; Muir, A. S.; Sundal, A.; McMillan, M.; Briggs, K.; Hogg, A.; Engdahl, M.; Gilbert, L.

    2017-12-01

    Since 1992, the European Remote-Sensing (ERS-1 and ERS-2), ENVISAT, and CryoSat-2 satellite radar altimeters have measured the Antarctic ice sheet surface elevation, repeatedly, at approximately monthly intervals. These data constitute the longest continuous record of ice sheet wide change. In this paper, we use these observations to determine changes in the elevation, volume and mass of the East Antarctic and West Antarctic ice sheets, and of parts of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet, over a 25-year period. The root mean square difference between elevation rates computed from our survey and 257,296 estimates determined from airborne laser measurements is 54 cm/yr. The longevity of the satellite altimeter data record allows to identify and chart the evolution of changes associated with meteorology and ice flow, and we estimate that 3.6 % of the continental ice sheet, and 21.7 % of West Antarctica, is in a state of dynamical imbalance. Based on this partitioning, we estimate the mass balance of the East and West Antarctic ice sheet drainage basins and the root mean square difference between these and independent estimates derived from satellite gravimetry is less than 5 Gt yr-1.

  14. Surface melt on Antarctic ice shelves driven by wind-albedo interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lhermitte, Stef; Lenaerts, Jan

    2017-04-01

    Surface melt and subsequent firn air depletion is considered an important precursor for disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves, causing grounded glaciers to accelerate and sea level to rise. Recent studies have highlighted the impact of surface winds on Antarctic ice shelf melt, both on the Antarctic Peninsula and in East Antarctica. In the Antarctic Peninsula, foehn winds enhance melting near the grounding line, which in the recent past has led to the disintegration of the most northerly ice shelves. On the East Antarctic ice shelves, on the other hand, meltwater-induced firn air depletion is found in the grounding zone as result of persistent katabatic winds, regionally warming the atmosphere and inducing a melt-albedo feedback. Here, we use a combination multi-source satellite imagery, snow modelling, climate model output and in-situ observations to highlight the importance of this wind-induced melt and to show its widespread occurrence across Antarctica. The satellite imagery gives insight in the meltwater drainage systems, showing spatio-temporal changes in both supraglacial and englacial water throughout the melt season and during the subsequent winter. Although the wind-induced melt is a regional phenomenon with strong inter-annual variability, it is strongly correlated to larger scale climate parameters, such as summer surface temperature. Based on these correlations and snow model output driven by future climate scenarios, we can constrain the future changes to this local melt near the grounding line.

  15. Land Ice: Greenland & Antarctic ice mass anomaly

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Data from NASA's Grace satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland are losing mass. The continent of Antarctica (left chart) has been...

  16. Late Holocene climate change recorded in proxy records from a Bransfield Basin sediment core, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Barnard

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The glacimarine environment of the Antarctic Peninsula region is one of the fastest warming places on Earth today, but details of changes in the recent past remain unknown. Large distances and widespread variability separate late Holocene palaeoclimate reconstructions in this region. This study focuses on a marine sediment core collected from ca. 2000 m below sea level in the Central Bransfield Strait that serves as a key for understanding changes in this region. The core yielded a high sedimentation rate and therefore provides an exceptional high-resolution sedimentary record composed of hemipelagic sediment, with some turbidites. An age model has been created using radiocarbon dates that span the Late Holocene: 3560 cal yr BP to present. This chronostratigraphic framework was used to establish five units, which are grouped into two super-units: a lower super-unit (3560–1600 cal yr BP and an upper super-unit (1600 cal yr BP–present, based on facies descriptions, laser particle size analysis, x-ray analysis, multi-sensor core logger data, weight percentages and isotopic values of total organic carbon and nitrogen. We interpret the signal contained within the upper super-unit as an increase in surface water irradiance and/or shortening of the sea-ice season and the five units are broadly synchronous with climatic intervals across the Antarctic Peninsula region. While the general trends of regional climatic periods are represented in the Bransfield Basin core we have examined, each additional record that is obtained adds variability to the known history of the Antarctic Peninsula, rather than clarifying specific trends.

  17. The foraging ecology, diet, and mass estimation of an apex predator, the leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), at Livingston Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Krause, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    Describing the foraging dynamics of apex predators is crucial to understanding ecosystem function and to effective conservation and management. Leopard seals are conspicuous apex predators in Antarctic coastal ecosystems; however, their foraging ecology is poorly understood. Likely due to a geographical redistribution driven by pack-ice habitat reduction in the western Antarctic Peninsula, leopard seals have been hauling out at Cape Shirreff with increasing frequency in recent years. Utilizin...

  18. Marine Ecosystem Response to Rapid Climate Warming on the West Antarctic Peninsula (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducklow, H.; Baker, K. S.; Doney, S. C.; Fraser, B.; Martinson, D. G.; Meredith, M. P.; Montes-Hugo, M. A.; Sailley, S.; Schofield, O.; Sherrell, R. M.; Stammerjohn, S. E.; Steinberg, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    The Palmer, Antarctica LTER builds on meteorological, ocean color and seabird observations since the late 1970s. It occupies annually in summer a regional-scale grid extending 700 km northward from Charcot Island to Anvers Island, and 200 km cross-shelf from the coast to the shelfbreak. In addition to routine CTD profiles and zooplankton tows throughout the grid, the observing system also includes Slocum Glider surveys and thermistor moorings. Geophysical changes include +6C atmospheric warming in winter since 1950, a 20% increase in heat content over the continental shelf since 1990, a surface ocean warming of +1C since 1950, an 83-day reduction in sea ice duration (advance 48 days later, retreat 35 days earlier) over the greater southern Bellingshausen Sea region from 1979-2007, intensification of westerly winds and differential changes in cloudiness. In response to these large changes in the regional climate, the marine ecosystem of the western Peninsula is changing at all trophic levels from diatoms to penguins. Ocean color indicates differential changes in phytoplankton stocks in response to regional decreases in sea ice cover. Surface chlorophyll has declined 89% in the north and increased 67% in the south. Antarctic krill and salps have declined and increased in our study area, respectively. Penguin diet sampling suggests changes in populations or distributions of the Antarctic Silverfish in the Anvers Island vicinity, possibly in response to ocean warming. Adélie penguins have declined 75% from 15000 to <3000 pairs at since 1975 in response to changes in food availability and increased late spring snow accumulation. Changes in pygoscelid penguin breeding populations in the Anvers Island vicinity of the West Antarctic Peninsula

  19. The microphysics of clouds over the Antarctic Peninsula - Part 2: modelling aspects within Polar WRF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Listowski, Constantino; Lachlan-Cope, Tom

    2017-08-01

    The first intercomparisons of cloud microphysics schemes implemented in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale atmospheric model (version 3.5.1) are performed on the Antarctic Peninsula using the polar version of WRF (Polar WRF) at 5 km resolution, along with comparisons to the British Antarctic Survey's aircraft measurements (presented in part 1 of this work; Lachlan-Cope et al., 2016). This study follows previous works suggesting the misrepresentation of the cloud thermodynamic phase in order to explain large radiative biases derived at the surface in Polar WRF continent-wide (at 15 km or coarser horizontal resolution) and in the Polar WRF-based operational forecast model Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) over the Larsen C Ice Shelf at 5 km horizontal resolution. Five cloud microphysics schemes are investigated: the WRF single-moment five-class scheme (WSM5), the WRF double-moment six-class scheme (WDM6), the Morrison double-moment scheme, the Thompson scheme, and the Milbrandt-Yau double-moment seven-class scheme. WSM5 (used in AMPS) and WDM6 (an upgrade version of WSM5) lead to the largest biases in observed supercooled liquid phase and surface radiative biases. The schemes simulating clouds in closest agreement to the observations are the Morrison, Thompson, and Milbrandt schemes for their better average prediction of occurrences of clouds and cloud phase. Interestingly, those three schemes are also the ones allowing for significant reduction of the longwave surface radiative bias over the Larsen C Ice Shelf (eastern side of the peninsula). This is important for surface energy budget consideration with Polar WRF since the cloud radiative effect is more pronounced in the infrared over icy surfaces. Overall, the Morrison scheme compares better to the cloud observation and radiation measurements. The fact that WSM5 and WDM6 are single-moment parameterizations for the ice crystals is responsible for their lesser ability to model the

  20. Airfields on Antarctic Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-12-01

    meteorites behind on the surface. excellent friction for tires, to the extent that rubber can be burned off the tire if the wheel locks at high Blue-ice areas...scattered stones are not likely to affect aircraft just a thin layer (about cobblestone thickness) ly- operations, or to cause problems for ice-planing ing...Challenger, tinations. Some sites, e.g. Pegasus site and Casey which has a novel rubber -belt track system, is S-1, are final destinations, intended to

  1. EBSD in Antarctic and Greenland Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weikusat, Ilka; Kuiper, Ernst-Jan; Pennock, Gill; Sepp, Kipfstuhl; Drury, Martyn

    2017-04-01

    boundaries. However, an almost equal number of tilt subgrain boundaries were measured, involving dislocations gliding on non-basal planes (prism or prism slip). A few subgrain boundaries involving prism edge dislocation glide, as well as boundaries involving basal twist dislocation slip, were also identified. The finding that subgrain boundaries built up by dislocations gliding on non-basal planes are as frequent as those originating from basal plane slip is surprising and has impact on the discussion on rate-controlling processes for the ice flow descriptions of large ice masses with respect to sea-level evolution. Weikusat, I.; Miyamoto, A.; Faria, S. H.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Azuma, N. & Hondoh, T.: Subgrain boundaries in Antarctic ice quantified by X-ray Laue diffraction J. Glaciol., 2011, 57, 85-94

  2. Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance from Satellite Altimetry 1992 to 2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Cornejo, Helen; Giovinetto, Mario; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2003-01-01

    A major uncertainty in understanding the causes of the current rate of sea level rise is the potential contributions from mass imbalances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Estimates of the current mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet are derived from surface- elevation changes obtained from 9 years of ERS - 1 & 2 radar altimeter data. Elevation time-series are created from altimeter crossovers among 90-day data periods on a 50 km grid to 81.5 S. The time series are fit with a multivariate linear/sinusoidal function to give the average rate of elevation change (dH/dt). On the major Rome-Filchner, Ross, and Amery ice shelves, the W d t are small or near zero. In contrast, the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula and along the West Antarctic coast appear to be thinning significantly, with a 23 +/- 3 cm per year surface elevation decrease on the Larsen ice shelf and a 65 +/- 4 cm per year decrease on the Dotson ice shelf. On the grounded ice, significant elevation decreases are obtained over most of the drainage basins of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica and inland of Law Dome in East Antarctica. Significant elevation increases are observed within about 200 km of the coast around much of the rest of the ice sheet. Farther inland, the changes are a mixed pattern of increases and decreases with increases of a few centimeters per year at the highest elevations of the East Antarctic plateau. The derived elevation changes are combined with estimates of the bedrock uplift from several models to provide maps of ice thickness change. The ice thickness changes enable estimates of the ice mass balances for the major drainage basins, the overall mass balance, and the current contribution of the ice sheet to global sea level change.

  3. The late Cainozoic East Antarctic ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colhoun, E.A.

    1999-01-01

    A review, mainly of East Antarctic late Cainozoic (post 40 Ma) geological and geomorphological evidence, supports the hypothesis of the continuous presence of an ice sheet, of about the present size, since the late Miocene. Evidence is presented and the view advanced that, during the late Wisconsin maximum of isotope stage 2, ice was not nearly as thick or extensive over the continental shelf as required by the model of 'maximum' Antarctic glaciation. Some of the factors influencing the contribution of Antarctica to post-glacial sea-level rise are discussed. It is considered that Antarctica's contribution was probably considerably less than previously estimated. The dating of marine and freshwater sequences in the Vestfold and Bunger Hills is consistent with deglaciation around the Pleistocene Holocene boundary, after the Late Wisconsin maximum. A date of ∼25 ka BP from permafrost in the Larsemann Hills means that either the Larsemann Hills were not glaciated during the Late Wisconsin or the ice failed to erode much of the permafrost surface. The degree of weathering of rock and glacial drifts in the Vestfold, Larsemann and Bunger Hills suggests a long time for formation, perhaps considerably longer than indicated by the dated marine and freshwater sediment sequences. Cosmogenic isotope dating in the Vestfold Hills has provided equivocal ages for deglaciation. While the results could indicate deglaciation before 80 ka BP, they do not confirm such early deglaciation. If the ice cover was thin and failed to remove the previous rock exposure profile, then the assays could predate the last ice advance. Weathered iron crust fragments in the till suggest little erosion. The raised beaches of the oases are Holocene. Assuming they have been produced by post Late Wisconsin isostatic uplift and by the Holocene transgression, calculations show that the Antarctic continental ice sheet could not have been more than ∼500 m thicker in the inner shelf-coastal zone. The

  4. Interannual variability in net community production at the Western Antarctic Peninsula region (1997-2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zuchuan; Cassar, Nicolas; Huang, Kuan; Ducklow, Hugh; Schofield, Oscar

    2016-07-01

    In this study, we examined the interannual variability of net community production (NCP) in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) using in situ O2/Ar-NCP estimates (2008-2014) and satellite data (SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua) from 1997 to 2014. We found that NCP generally first peaks offshore and follows sea-ice retreat from offshore to inshore. Annually integrated NCP (ANCP) displays an onshore-to-offshore gradient, with coastal and shelf regions up to 8 times more productive than offshore regions. We examined potential drivers of interannual variability in the ANCP using an Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis. The EOF's first mode explains ˜50% of the variance, with high interannual variability observed seaward of the shelf break. The first principal component is significantly correlated with the day of sea-ice retreat (R = -0.58, p < 0.05), as well as the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate indices in austral spring. Although the most obvious pathway by which the day of sea-ice retreat influences NCP is by controlling light availability early in the growing season, we found that the effect of day of sea-ice retreat on NCP persists throughout the growing season, suggesting that additional controls, such as iron availability, are preconditioned or correlated to the day of sea-ice retreat.

  5. A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton-Johnson, A.; Halpin, J.; Whittaker, J. M.; Graham, F. S.; Watson, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    We present recently published findings (Burton-Johnson et al., 2017) on the variability of Antarctic sub-glacial heat flux and the impact from upper crustal geology. Our new method reveals that the upper crust contributes up to 70% of the Antarctic Peninsula's subglacial heat flux, and that heat flux values are more variable at smaller spatial resolutions than geophysical methods can resolve. Results indicate a higher heat flux on the east and south of the Peninsula (mean 81 mWm-2) where silicic rocks predominate, than on the west and north (mean 67 mWm-2) where volcanic arc and quartzose sediments are dominant. Whilst the data supports the contribution of HPE-enriched granitic rocks to high heat flux values, sedimentary rocks can be of comparative importance dependent on their provenance and petrography. Models of subglacial heat flux must utilize a heterogeneous upper crust with variable radioactive heat production if they are to accurately predict basal conditions of the ice sheet. Our new methodology and dataset facilitate improved numerical model simulations of ice sheet dynamics. The most significant challenge faced remains accurate determination of crustal structure, particularly the depths of the HPE-enriched sedimentary basins and the sub-glacial geology away from exposed outcrops. Continuing research (particularly detailed geophysical interpretation) will better constrain these unknowns and the effect of upper crustal geology on the Antarctic ice sheet. Burton-Johnson, A., Halpin, J.A., Whittaker, J.M., Graham, F.S., and Watson, S.J., 2017, A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 44, doi: 10.1002/2017GL073596.

  6. Multichannel Seismic Reflection Data - SCAR - Antarctic Peninsula - 1988-1989, SDLS CD-ROM vol 25

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data are stacked multichannel marine seismic reflection data recorded during 1988-89 in the Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica, by the Japan National Oil...

  7. Multichannel Seismic Reflection Data - SCAR - Antarctic Peninsula - 1985, SDLS CD-ROM vol 16

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data are stacked multichannel marine seismic reflection data recorded during 1985 field season along the north side of the Antarctic-Peninsula by the British...

  8. Multichannel Seismic Reflection Data - SCAR - Antarctic Peninsula 1987-88, SDLS CD-ROM vol 24

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data are stacked multichannel marine seismic reflection data recorded during 1987-88 in the Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica, by the Japan National Oil...

  9. IceBridge ATM L1B Elevation and Return Strength V002

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains spot elevation measurements of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, and Greenland, Antarctic Peninsula, and West Antarctic region ice surface...

  10. LARISSA: Benthic Foraminiferal Analysis from Barilari Bay, western Antarctic Peninsula margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matulaitis, I.; Ishman, S. E.; Leventer, A.; Brachfeld, S. A.; Jeong, S.; Domack, E. W.

    2011-12-01

    The LARISSA (LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica) Project is an interdisciplinary project funded by the US National Science Foundation bringing together marine and Quaternary geology, cryosphere, ocean and marine ecology. The goal of LARISSA is to use the Larsen Ice Shelf System to study climate change effects on ice shelf systems and the oceanic and ecological responses to ice shelf collapse. This study focuses on jumbo piston core (JPC) 127 collected during cruise NBP 10-01. The 8.5 meter core was recovered from Barilari Bay (65.917°S 64.700°W) on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The core site at the outer edge of the bay is of particular interest due to its location between the inner fjord high deposition rate sites and the more distal middle shelf sites, its exposure to open ocean circulation within the bay, and its proximity to the ice core site drilled on the Bruce Plateau during the LARISSA project. The abundance of calcareous taxa throughout the core makes it a target for isotopic studies. The recovered section was sampled for a variety of proxy measurements with samples collected for benthic foraminiferal analysis at 10 cm intervals. Correlation of the magnetic susceptibility data, as well as a peak in the diatom Eucampia antarctica from JPC 127 and other core records from the western Antarctic Peninsula indicate recovery of at least mid-Holocene through recent. Foraminiferal analyses resulted in the identification of 92 species of foraminifera. Three of the abundant species are indicators of specific water masses. Bulimina aculeata is indicative of the warmer, less saline Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW). Marked high abundance of Bulimina aculeata in the uppermost 600 cm indicates incursions of CDW onto the continental shelf and into Barilari Bay. This period of increased Bulimina aculeata abundance is also seen in other cores taken around the peninsula such as kasten core (KC) 11 in the Hugo Island Trough and in the Palmer Deep. Fursenkoina is

  11. Long-term (1993-2013) changes in macrozooplankton off the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Deborah K.; Ruck, Kate E.; Gleiber, Miram R.; Garzio, Lori M.; Cope, Joseph S.; Bernard, Kim S.; Stammerjohn, Sharon E.; Schofield, Oscar M. E.; Quetin, Langdon B.; Ross, Robin M.

    2015-07-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, and where a high apex predator biomass is supported in large part by macrozooplankton. We examined trends in summer (January-February) abundance of major taxa of macrozooplankton along the WAP over two decades (1993-2013) and their relationship with environmental parameters (sea ice, atmospheric climate indices, sea surface temperature, and phytoplankton biomass and productivity). Macrozooplankton were collected from the top 120 m of the water column in a mid-Peninsula study region divided into latitudinal (North, South, and Far South) and cross-shelf (coastal, shelf, slope) sub-regions. Trends for krill species included a 5-year cycle in abundance peaks (positive anomalies) for Euphausia superba, but no directional long-term trend, and an increase in Thysanoessa macrura in the North; variability in both species was strongly influenced by primary production 2-years prior. E. crystallorophias abundance was best explained by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and Multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation Index (MEI), and was more abundant in higher ice conditions. The salp Salpa thompsoni and thecosome pteropod Limacina helicina cycled between negative and positive anomalies in the North, but showed increasing positive anomalies in the South over time. Variation in salp and pteropod abundance was best explained by SAM and the MEI, respectively, and both species were more abundant in lower ice conditions. There was a long-term increase in some carnivorous gelatinous zooplankton (polychaete worm Tomopteris spp.) and amphipods. Abundance of Pseudosagitta spp. chaetognaths was closely related to SAM, with higher abundance tied to lower ice conditions. Long-term changes and sub-decadal cycles of WAP macrozooplankton community composition may affect energy transfer to higher trophic levels, and alter biogeochemical cycling in this seasonally productive and sensitive polar ecosystem.

  12. The Influence of Platelet Ice and Snow on Antarctic Land-fast Sea Ice

    OpenAIRE

    Hoppmann, Mario; Nicolaus, Marcel

    2011-01-01

    Sea ice fastened to coasts, icebergs and ice shelves is of crucial importance for climate- and ecosystems. Near Antarctic ice shelves, this land-fast sea ice exhibits two unique characteristics that distinguish it from most other sea ice: 1) Ice platelets form and grow in super-cooled water, which originates from ice shelf cavities. The crystals accumulate beneath the solid sea-ice cover and are incorporated into the sea-ice fabric, contributing between 10 and 60% to the mas...

  13. The role of glacial and tectonic genesis in forming of the Antarctic Peninsula's shelf topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greku, Rudolf; Greku, Tatyana

    2015-04-01

    The influence of endogenous and exogenous factors on the topography of the West Antarctic shelf is shown. 1. The gravity tomography models [Atlas…] show that the non-geotectonic depressions about 300 m of depth extends to the south from the Bransfield Rift along the western and eastern shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) up to 69 °S. This is due to the glacial tectonic, which was caused by lithostatic pressure of ice mass and the corresponding deviatoric stress (as а horizontal stretching) in a period of an intense glaciation. Ice mass increases towards the south, therefore the deviatoric stretch and the width of the shelves increases also. 2. Besides such external factors, deep tomography data were taken into account. Results of tomographic modelling show the structure of the AP along its crest and along several cross sections. The AP body, as a single structure, is submerged into the lithospheres of the Pacific Ocean and the Weddell Sea to the depth of 150 km. Some layers of its deepened part are displaced concerning the AP's crest axis. The largest of these shifts are observed up to 50 km from the axis to the east at the latitude of 63°S at the depths of 6-7 km, then a shift up to 100 km to the west at 66°S at the depth of 9 km and at 67°S to the east up to 150 km at the depth of 13 km. 3. After breakup of the ice shelf to the west of the AP, the outflow of ice weight from the main ice board on the Peninsula increased. The consumption of the ice is evaluated now by the discharge of glaciers. Informative data for that are the satellite radar altimetry and interferometry. Several pairs of the ERS1/2 images of 1995-2008 were processed for the area of the Vernadsky Ukrainian Antarctic Station. These 100km x 100km images show 4 glaciers (Deloncle, Girard, Waddington and Collins) along transverse faults. The Collins glacier is the most active one. It starts at the crest of the Bruce Plateau АР at the height of 1450 m. Three smaller glaciers provide an

  14. Metatranscriptomes reveal functional variation in diatom communities from the Antarctic Peninsula

    KAUST Repository

    Pearson, Gareth A

    2015-04-14

    Functional genomics of diatom-dominated communities fromthe Antarctic Peninsula was studied using comparative metatranscriptomics. Samples obtained from diatom-rich communities in the Bransfield Strait, the western Weddell Sea and sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea/Wilkins Ice Shelf yielded more than 500K pyrosequencing reads that were combined to produce a global metatranscriptome assembly. Multi-gene phylogenies recovered three distinct communities, and diatom-assigned contigs further indicated little read-sharing between communities, validating an assembly-based annotation and analysis approach. Although functional analysis recovered a core of abundant shared annotations that were expressed across the three diatom communities, over 40% of annotations (but accounting for <10% of sequences) were community-specific. The two pelagic communities differed in their expression of N-metabolism and acquisition genes, which was almost absent in post-bloom conditions in the Weddell Sea community, while enrichment of transporters for ammonia and urea in Bransfield Strait diatoms suggests a physiological stance towards acquisition of reduced N-sources. The depletion of carbohydrate and energy metabolism pathways in sea ice relative to pelagic communities, together with increased light energy dissipation (via LHCSR proteins), photorespiration, and NO3 - uptake and utilization all pointed to irradiance stress and/or inorganic carbon limitation within sea ice. Ice-binding proteins and cold-shock transcription factors were also enriched in sea ice diatoms. Surprisingly, the abundance of gene transcripts for the translational machinery tracked decreasing environmental temperature across only a 4 °C range, possibly reflecting constraints on translational efficiency and protein production in cold environments. © 2015 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.

  15. Interpretation of ground and aeromagnetic surveys of Palmer Land, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. N. Masolov

    2000-06-01

    activities during the geological evolution of Palmer Land have been a more important process than what is apparent from rock outcrops. Magmatic activity abruptly diminished westward from the Behrendt Mountains apparently due to a modification of the crustal structure of the Antarctic Peninsula. The area between the Evans Ice Stream and the Behrendt Mountains is possibly underlain by the non-magnetic equivalent of the Haag Nunataks basement, similar to that which has been inferred for the Ellsworth Mountains.

  16. Different Oceanographic Regimes in the Vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula Reflected in Benthic Nematode Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freija Hauquier

    Full Text Available Marine free-living nematode communities were studied at similar depths (~500 m at two sides of the Antarctic Peninsula, characterised by different environmental and oceanographic conditions. At the Weddell Sea side, benthic communities are influenced by cold deep-water formation and seasonal sea-ice conditions, whereas the Drake Passage side experiences milder oceanic conditions and strong dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. This resulted in different surface primary productivity, which contrasted with observed benthic pigment patterns and varied according to the area studied: chlorophyll a concentrations (as a proxy for primary production were high in the Weddell Sea sediments, but low in the surface waters above; this pattern was reversed in the Drake Passage. Differences between areas were largely mirrored by the nematode communities: nematode densities peaked in Weddell stations and showed deeper vertical occurrence in the sediment, associated with deeper penetration of chlorophyll a and indicative of a strong bentho-pelagic coupling. Generic composition showed some similarities across both areas, though differences in the relative contribution of certain genera were noted, together with distinct community shifts with depth in the sediment at all locations.

  17. Decadal variability in coastal phytoplankton community composition in a changing West Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, Oscar; Saba, Grace; Coleman, Kaycee; Carvalho, Filipa; Couto, Nicole; Ducklow, Hugh; Finkel, Zoe; Irwin, Andrew; Kahl, Alex; Miles, Travis; Montes-Hugo, Martin; Stammerjohn, Sharon; Waite, Nicole

    2017-06-01

    The coastal waters of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) are associated with large phytoplankton blooms dominated by large (>20 μm) diatoms however, nanoplankton (United States Palmer Research Station, we assessed long-term patterns and stability in the coastal phytoplankton communities in the WAP. There was significant interannual variability in the integrated water column chlorophyll a (chl-a) concentrations, which varied by a factor of 5 over the 20-year time series. There has been a significant positive increase in the seasonally integrated concentration of chl-a over the time series. The dominant phytoplankton were diatoms, with cryptophytes the second most abundant. Mixed flagellates also constituted a significant fraction of the chl-a but showed less interannual variability than diatoms and cryophytes. Peak phytoplankton biomass was observed in summer months, when monthly averaged wind speed was lower than in the fall and autumn. Cryptophytes were most abundant during the summer months (December-January) after the seasonal retreat of sea ice. While diatoms were observed over the full range of observed salinities 32-34.5) as well as over the full range of in situ temperatures (-1.5 to 2.5 °C), the cryptophyte populations were observed in locations with lower salinity 32.5-33.75) and colder water (-1 to 1 °C). Environmental factors that favored a shallower seasonal mixed layer resulted in larger diatom blooms compared to the other phytoplankton taxa. During summer with lower phytoplankton biomass, a larger proportion of the chlorophyll a was associated with cryptophytes. These results demonstrate that continued temperature changes along the West Antarctic Peninsula will result in changes in phytoplankton concentration and community composition, which has significant ramifications for the food web.

  18. Penguin eggshell membranes reflect homogeneity of mercury in the marine food web surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brasso, Rebecka L., E-mail: rlb1196@uncw.edu [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Polito, Michael J. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Lynch, Heather J. [Ecology and Evolution Department, 640 Life Sciences Bldg., Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (United States); Naveen, R. [Oceanites Inc., PO Box 15259, Chevy Chase, MD 20825 (United States); Emslie, Steven D. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States)

    2012-11-15

    Remote regions such as the Antarctic have become increasingly important for investigations into far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the environment, most recently in regard to the global mercury cycle. Spatial patterns of mercury availability in four regions of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated using three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshells with intact membranes from Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins were collected at 24 breeding colonies in the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and western Antarctic Peninsula during the 2006/2007 austral summer. In addition, we compared eggshell membrane mercury concentrations with eggshell stable isotope values ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C) to determine if species-specific trophic or foraging habitat preferences influenced female mercury exposure prior to breeding. With few exceptions, mercury concentrations were found to be fairly homogeneous throughout the Antarctic Peninsula suggesting little spatial variation in the risk of exposure to dietary mercury in this food web. Mercury concentrations in Gentoo and Adelie penguins were similar while Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher eggshell membrane mercury concentrations than their congeners. However, inter and intra-specific differences in eggshell membrane mercury concentration were not related to eggshell {delta}{sup 15}N or {delta}{sup 13}C values, a likely result of all three species foraging at similar trophic positions. The lack of regional-scale differences in mercury availability in this marine ecosystem may be a reflection of generally uniform atmospheric deposition and upwelling of regionally homogeneous deep water rather than from geographically distinct point sources. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We examined regional patterns of mercury availability in the Antarctic Peninsula. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Three species of Pygoscelis

  19. Penguin eggshell membranes reflect homogeneity of mercury in the marine food web surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brasso, Rebecka L.; Polito, Michael J.; Lynch, Heather J.; Naveen, R.; Emslie, Steven D.

    2012-01-01

    Remote regions such as the Antarctic have become increasingly important for investigations into far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the environment, most recently in regard to the global mercury cycle. Spatial patterns of mercury availability in four regions of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated using three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshells with intact membranes from Adélie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins were collected at 24 breeding colonies in the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and western Antarctic Peninsula during the 2006/2007 austral summer. In addition, we compared eggshell membrane mercury concentrations with eggshell stable isotope values (δ 15 N and δ 13 C) to determine if species-specific trophic or foraging habitat preferences influenced female mercury exposure prior to breeding. With few exceptions, mercury concentrations were found to be fairly homogeneous throughout the Antarctic Peninsula suggesting little spatial variation in the risk of exposure to dietary mercury in this food web. Mercury concentrations in Gentoo and Adélie penguins were similar while Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher eggshell membrane mercury concentrations than their congeners. However, inter and intra-specific differences in eggshell membrane mercury concentration were not related to eggshell δ 15 N or δ 13 C values, a likely result of all three species foraging at similar trophic positions. The lack of regional-scale differences in mercury availability in this marine ecosystem may be a reflection of generally uniform atmospheric deposition and upwelling of regionally homogeneous deep water rather than from geographically distinct point sources. -- Highlights: ► We examined regional patterns of mercury availability in the Antarctic Peninsula. ► Three species of Pygoscelis penguins were used as biomonitors. ► Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher mercury

  20. Super-aggregations of krill and humpback whales in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctic Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas P Nowacek

    Full Text Available Ecological relationships of krill and whales have not been explored in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP, and have only rarely been studied elsewhere in the Southern Ocean. In the austral autumn we observed an extremely high density (5.1 whales per km(2 of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae feeding on a super-aggregation of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba in Wilhelmina Bay. The krill biomass was approximately 2 million tons, distributed over an area of 100 km(2 at densities of up to 2000 individuals m(-3; reports of such 'super-aggregations' of krill have been absent in the scientific literature for >20 years. Retentive circulation patterns in the Bay entrained phytoplankton and meso-zooplankton that were grazed by the krill. Tagged whales rested during daylight hours and fed intensively throughout the night as krill migrated toward the surface. We infer that the previously unstudied WAP embayments are important foraging areas for whales during autumn and, furthermore, that meso-scale variation in the distribution of whales and their prey are important features of this system. Recent decreases in the abundance of Antarctic krill around the WAP have been linked to reductions in sea ice, mediated by rapid climate change in this area. At the same time, baleen whale populations in the Southern Ocean, which feed primarily on krill, are recovering from past exploitation. Consideration of these features and the effects of climate change on krill dynamics are critical to managing both krill harvests and the recovery of baleen whales in the Southern Ocean.

  1. Super-aggregations of krill and humpback whales in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowacek, Douglas P; Friedlaender, Ari S; Halpin, Patrick N; Hazen, Elliott L; Johnston, David W; Read, Andrew J; Espinasse, Boris; Zhou, Meng; Zhu, Yiwu

    2011-04-27

    Ecological relationships of krill and whales have not been explored in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), and have only rarely been studied elsewhere in the Southern Ocean. In the austral autumn we observed an extremely high density (5.1 whales per km(2)) of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding on a super-aggregation of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) in Wilhelmina Bay. The krill biomass was approximately 2 million tons, distributed over an area of 100 km(2) at densities of up to 2000 individuals m(-3); reports of such 'super-aggregations' of krill have been absent in the scientific literature for >20 years. Retentive circulation patterns in the Bay entrained phytoplankton and meso-zooplankton that were grazed by the krill. Tagged whales rested during daylight hours and fed intensively throughout the night as krill migrated toward the surface. We infer that the previously unstudied WAP embayments are important foraging areas for whales during autumn and, furthermore, that meso-scale variation in the distribution of whales and their prey are important features of this system. Recent decreases in the abundance of Antarctic krill around the WAP have been linked to reductions in sea ice, mediated by rapid climate change in this area. At the same time, baleen whale populations in the Southern Ocean, which feed primarily on krill, are recovering from past exploitation. Consideration of these features and the effects of climate change on krill dynamics are critical to managing both krill harvests and the recovery of baleen whales in the Southern Ocean.

  2. Multiple Isotope Analysis of Sulfate in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains measurements of multiple sulfur and oxygen isotopes from sulfates, from an ice core drilled at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide site...

  3. Ocean acidification and calcium carbonate saturation states in the coastal zone of the West Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Elizabeth M.; Fenton, Mairi; Meredith, Michael P.; Clargo, Nicola M.; Ossebaar, Sharyn; Ducklow, Hugh W.; Venables, Hugh J.; de Baar, Hein J. W.

    2017-05-01

    The polar oceans are particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification; the lowering of seawater pH and carbonate mineral saturation states due to uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). High spatial variability in surface water pH and saturation states (Ω) for two biologically-important calcium carbonate minerals calcite and aragonite was observed in Ryder Bay, in the coastal sea-ice zone of the West Antarctic Peninsula. Glacial meltwater and melting sea ice stratified the water column and facilitated the development of large phytoplankton blooms and subsequent strong uptake of atmospheric CO2 of up to 55 mmol m-2 day-1 during austral summer. Concurrent high pH (8.48) and calcium carbonate mineral supersaturation (Ωaragonite 3.1) occurred in the meltwater-influenced surface ocean. Biologically-induced increases in calcium carbonate mineral saturation states counteracted any effects of carbonate ion dilution. Accumulation of CO2 through remineralisation of additional organic matter from productive coastal waters lowered the pH (7.84) and caused deep-water corrosivity (Ωaragonite 0.9) in regions impacted by Circumpolar Deep Water. Episodic mixing events enabled CO2-rich subsurface water to become entrained into the surface and eroded seasonal stratification to lower surface water pH (8.21) and saturation states (Ωaragonite 1.8) relative to all surface waters across Ryder Bay. Uptake of atmospheric CO2 of 28 mmol m-2 day-1 in regions of vertical mixing may enhance the susceptibility of the surface layer to future ocean acidification in dynamic coastal environments. Spatially-resolved studies are essential to elucidate the natural variability in carbonate chemistry in order to better understand and predict carbon cycling and the response of marine organisms to future ocean acidification in the Antarctic coastal zone.

  4. Holocene isostatic uplift of the South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula, modelled from raised beaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fretwell, P. T.; Hodgson, D. A.; Watcham, E. P.; Bentley, M. J.; Roberts, S. J.

    2010-07-01

    We present new isobases constraining the Holocene isostatic uplift of the South Shetland Islands, northern Antarctic Peninsula, based on evidence from raised shorelines. Holocene shorelines were described and surveyed at fifteen sites to determine the spatial variability of relative sea level (RSL) change across the South Shetland Islands, and provide new spatial RSL change corrections for the region. Results show that the highest shoreline is a transgressive feature, correlated by geomorphological evidence on most exposed coastlines of the archipelago. Its surveyed height was corrected for local variability in wave energy by subtracting the measured altitude of the present day shoreline. These corrected surveyed heights of the highest raised beach were modelled using quadratic polynomial trend surface analysis to constrain differing rates of regional isostatic uplift. We present two isobase models of isostatic uplift since formation of the highest Holocene raised beach circa 7360-7000 years ago. These models suggests a maximum uplift of ca 20 m was centred on an area north of Greenwich Island, with isobases implying an elongate zone of uplift orientated east-southeast to west-northwest along the spine of the island chain. This corresponds well with previously published geomorphologically based estimates of palaeo ice-extent and the deglaciation history of the South Shetland Islands and gives new context to the palaeo ice-extent and glacial history of the region.

  5. Stable water isotopes of precipitation and firn cores from the northern Antarctic Peninsula region as a proxy for climate reconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Fernandoy

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In order to investigate the climate variability in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region, this paper focuses on the relationship between stable isotope content of precipitation and firn, and main meteorological variables (air temperature, relative humidity, sea surface temperature, and sea ice extent. Between 2008 and 2010, we collected precipitation samples and retrieved firn cores from several key sites in this region. We conclude that the deuterium excess oscillation represents a robust indicator of the meteorological variability on a seasonal to sub-seasonal scale. Low absolute deuterium excess values and the synchronous variation of both deuterium excess and air temperature imply that the evaporation of moisture occurs in the adjacent Southern Ocean. The δ18O-air temperature relationship is complicated and significant only at a (multiseasonal scale. Backward trajectory calculations show that air-parcels arriving at the region during precipitation events predominantly originate at the South Pacific Ocean and Bellingshausen Sea. These investigations will be used as a calibration for ongoing and future research in the area, suggesting that appropriate locations for future ice core research are located above 600 m a.s.l. We selected the Plateau Laclavere, Antarctic Peninsula as the most promising site for a deeper drilling campaign.

  6. Environmental Factors Influencing Antarctic Krill Recruitment along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cope, J. S.; Steinberg, D. K.; Thanassekos, S.

    2016-02-01

    Climate warming in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is impacting pelagic food web structure. Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, are a critical food-web link between primary producers and higher trophic levels such as penguins, seals, and whales. Climate-induced changes in krill recruitment are thus an important consideration when evaluating future WAP ecosystem trends. We examined long-term (1993 to 2015) and spatial (north/south) changes in summer krill recruitment. Krill were collected within the epipelagic zone during the Palmer Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research (PAL LTER) cruises within a 700 x 260 km sampling grid along the WAP. Krill from each tow were enumerated and their lengths were measured. A simple recruitment index based on the proportion of krill smaller than 40 mm (F40) was used in our analyses. There was a significant 5-6-year cyclical trend in F40. In the last 5 years, the southern population has begun to deviate from this cycle. To investigate potential environmental factors leading to this pattern in recruitment success, F40 was regressed with environmental factors and climatological indices for both the whole PAL LTER grid and north/south sub-regions. Over the whole grid, F40 was positively correlated with chlorophyll a and primary production, both with a 1-year lag. Spatially, these trends were strongest for chlorophyll in the north, and primary production in the south. Krill recruitment in the south was also correlated to climatological indices such as the Multivariate El Niño/Southern Oscillation Index (MEI). These correlations could be used to forecast future krill population changes.

  7. A new 100-m Digital Elevation Model of the Antarctic Peninsula derived from ASTER Global DEM: methods and accuracy assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Cook

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A high resolution surface topography Digital Elevation Model (DEM is required to underpin studies of the complex glacier system on the Antarctic Peninsula. A complete DEM with better than 200 m pixel size and high positional and vertical accuracy would enable mapping of all significant glacial basins and provide a dataset for glacier morphology analyses. No currently available DEM meets these specifications. We present a new 100-m DEM of the Antarctic Peninsula (63–70° S, based on ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM data. The raw GDEM products are of high-quality on the rugged terrain and coastal-regions of the Antarctic Peninsula and have good geospatial accuracy, but they also contain large errors on ice-covered terrain and we seek to minimise these artefacts. Conventional data correction techniques do not work so we have developed a method that significantly improves the dataset, smoothing the erroneous regions and hence creating a DEM with a pixel size of 100 m that will be suitable for many glaciological applications. We evaluate the new DEM using ICESat-derived elevations, and perform horizontal and vertical accuracy assessments based on GPS positions, SPOT-5 DEMs and the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA imagery. The new DEM has a mean elevation difference of −4 m (± 25 m RMSE from ICESat (compared to −13 m mean and ±97 m RMSE for the original ASTER GDEM, and a horizontal error of less than 2 pixels, although elevation accuracies are lower on mountain peaks and steep-sided slopes. The correction method significantly reduces errors on low relief slopes and therefore the DEM can be regarded as suitable for topographical studies such as measuring the geometry and ice flow properties of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. The DEM is available for download from the NSIDC website: http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0516.html (Natural and anthropogenic hydrocarbons in the Antarctic pack ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nemirovskaya, I.A.; Novigatsky, A.N.

    2004-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted near the Russian Antarctic stations in May, 2001 in the Pridz Bay and coastal part of the Davies Sea to examine the content of dissolved and suspended forms of aliphatic hydrocarbons in melted snow samples, pack ice and ice cores. The site included clean control areas and polluted test areas. A spill was performed by covering the bare ice surface with marine diesel fuel. The different physical characteristics of clean and polluted ice were measured. This included radiation balance, reflected solar radiation, integral albedo radiation, surface temperature, seawater temperature, salinity at depth, and ice salinity. The study showed that accumulation of natural and anthropogenic hydrocarbon took place in the ice-water barrier zone, mostly in suspended form. It was concluded that for oil spills in pack Antarctic ice, the mechanism of filtration due to convection-diffusion plays an important role in the transformation of diesel fuel. 14 refs., 2 tabs., 2 figs

  8. The Antarctic Ice Sheet, Sea Ice, and the Ozone Hole: Satellite Observations of how they are Changing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2012-01-01

    Antarctica is the Earth's coldest and highest continent and has major impacts on the climate and life of the south polar vicinity. It is covered almost entirely by the Earth's largest ice sheet by far, with a volume of ice so great that if all the Antarctic ice were to go into the ocean (as ice or liquid water), this would produce a global sea level rise of about 60 meters (197 feet). The continent is surrounded by sea ice that in the wintertime is even more expansive than the continent itself and in the summertime reduces to only about a sixth of its wintertime extent. Like the continent, the expansive sea ice cover has major impacts, reflecting the sun's radiation back to space, blocking exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere, and providing a platform for some animal species while impeding other species. Far above the continent, the Antarctic ozone hole is a major atmospheric phenomenon recognized as human-caused and potentially quite serious to many different life forms. Satellites are providing us with remarkable information about the ice sheet, the sea ice, and the ozone hole. Satellite visible and radar imagery are providing views of the large scale structure of the ice sheet never seen before; satellite laser altimetry has produced detailed maps of the topography of the ice sheet; and an innovative gravity-measuring two-part satellite has allowed mapping of regions of mass loss and mass gain on the ice sheet. The surrounding sea ice cover has a satellite record that goes back to the 1970s, allowing trend studies that show a decreasing sea ice presence in the region of the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas, to the west of the prominent Antarctic Peninsula, but increasing sea ice presence around much of the rest of the continent. Overall, sea ice extent around Antarctica has increased at an average rate of about 17,000 square kilometers per year since the late 1970s, as determined from satellite microwave data that can be collected under both light and

  9. Biodiversity change after climate-induced ice-shelf collapse in the Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutt, Julian; Barratt, Iain; Domack, Eugene; d'Udekem d'Acoz, Cédric; Dimmler, Werner; Grémare, Antoine; Heilmayer, Olaf; Isla, Enrique; Janussen, Dorte; Jorgensen, Elaina; Kock, Karl-Hermann; Sophia Lehnert, Linn; López-Gonzáles, Pablo; Langner, Stephanie; Linse, Katrin; Eugenia Manjón-Cabeza, Maria; Meißner, Meike; Montiel, Americo; Raes, Maarten; Robert, Henri; Rose, Armin; Sañé Schepisi, Elisabet; Saucède, Thomas; Scheidat, Meike; Schenke, Hans-Werner; Seiler, Jan; Smith, Craig

    2011-03-01

    The marine ecosystem on the eastern shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula was surveyed 5 and 12 years after the climate-induced collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves. An impoverished benthic fauna was discovered, that included deep-sea species presumed to be remnants from ice-covered conditions. The current structure of various ecosystem components appears to result from extremely different response rates to the change from an oligotrophic sub-ice-shelf ecosystem to a productive shelf ecosystem. Meiobenthic communities remained impoverished only inside the embayments. On local scales, macro- and mega-epibenthic diversity was generally low, with pioneer species and typical Antarctic megabenthic shelf species interspersed. Antarctic Minke whales and seals utilised the Larsen A/B area to feed on presumably newly established krill and pelagic fish biomass. Ecosystem impacts also extended well beyond the zone of ice-shelf collapse, with areas of high benthic disturbance resulting from scour by icebergs discharged from the Larsen embayments.

  10. Sources and levels of ambient ocean sound near the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert P Dziak

    Full Text Available Arrays of hydrophones were deployed within the Bransfield Strait and Scotia Sea (Antarctic Peninsula region from 2005 to 2009 to record ambient ocean sound at frequencies of up to 125 and 500 Hz. Icequakes, which are broadband, short duration signals derived from fracturing of large free-floating icebergs, are a prominent feature of the ocean soundscape. Icequake activity peaks during austral summer and is minimum during winter, likely following freeze-thaw cycles. Iceberg grounding and rapid disintegration also releases significant acoustic energy, equivalent to large-scale geophysical events. Overall ambient sound levels can be as much as ~10-20 dB higher in the open, deep ocean of the Scotia Sea compared to the relatively shallow Bransfield Strait. Noise levels become lowest during the austral winter, as sea-ice cover suppresses wind and wave noise. Ambient noise levels are highest during austral spring and summer, as surface noise, ice cracking and biological activity intensifies. Vocalizations of blue (Balaenoptera musculus and fin (B. physalus whales also dominate the long-term spectra records in the 15-28 and 89 Hz bands. Blue whale call energy is a maximum during austral summer-fall in the Drake Passage and Bransfield Strait when ambient noise levels are a maximum and sea-ice cover is a minimum. Fin whale vocalizations were also most common during austral summer-early fall months in both the Bransfield Strait and Scotia Sea. The hydrophone data overall do not show sustained anthropogenic sources (ships and airguns, likely due to low coastal traffic and the typically rough weather and sea conditions of the Southern Ocean.

  11. Marine sedimentary record of the Greenpeace Trough, Larsen A embayment, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, A.; Leventer, A.; Domack, E. W.; Brachfeld, S. A.

    2010-12-01

    During research cruise NBP0003 of the Nathaniel B. Palmer, a suite of sediment cores were recovered from the Greenpeace Trough, an inner shelf feature reaching depths > 1000 meters. The trough is located within the northernmost embayment along the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, a region that developed into an open marine setting following the 1995 disintegration of the Larsen A Ice Shelf. Two kasten cores have been studied, NBP0003 KC20 and KC23. Kasten core 20 has a complementary jumbo gravity core, JGC20, which over-penetrated the surface, but recovered deeper sediments and added to the stratigraphic record. The two kasten cores share a common stratigraphy that records the progression from grounded ice, to ice liftoff, to a subaqueous setting. This uppermost unit, a silty-clay, is characterized by moderately high, but variable, diatom abundance (~1-10 million valves/gram dry sediment), and episodically high abundance of fragile valves and girdle bands of the diatom species Corethron. The diatom assemblage is dominated by species from the genera Chaetoceros and Fragilariopsis. These data are indicative of productive, open marine conditions with seasonal sea ice cover, during the mid-Holocene. Recent ice shelf breakout also is documented, by increased diatom abundance in the uppermost sediments. Lower absolute diatom abundance during both the early and late Holocene suggests a sub-ice shelf setting. Within the diamict, diatom abundance is 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than in the overlying sediments, and includes the occurrence of diatom fragments. Diatom and lithologic data from the sedimentary section from the jumbo gravity core indicate an overlap with the lowermost section of the kasten cores and an extension of the stratigraphy into a section characterized by the complete absence of diatom valves or fragments. In addition, the lithology of the sediments, very fine-grained and laminated, differs from the overlying sediments. The observations support

  12. Mercury accumulation in sediments and seabird feathers from the Antarctic Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calle, Paola; Alvarado, Omar; Monserrate, Lorena; Cevallos, Juan Manuel; Calle, Nastenka; Alava, Juan José

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We assessed mercury bioaccumulation in seabirds in the Antarctic Peninsula. • Levels of Hg were higher in gentoo penguins & brown skuas than chinstrap penguins. • Mercury BMF in the brown skua/penguins relationship was higher than 1. • Long-range environmental transport is the likely mercury route in Antarctic. - Abstract: In an effort to assess the impact of mercury in the Antarctic Peninsula, we conducted ecotoxicological research in this region during the summer of 2012 and 2013. The objectives were to assess: (a) mercury levels in sediment samples; (b) mercury accumulation in Antarctic seabird feathers: Catharacta lonnbergi (brown skua), Pygoscelis papua (gentoo penguin) and Pygoscelis antarctica (chinstrap penguin); and (c) biomagnification (BMF predator/prey) and biota sediment accumulation (BSAF skuas/sediment) factors. Mercury concentrations in sediment were relatively low. Mercury concentrations were significantly higher in brown skuas and gentoo penguins than in chinstrap penguins (2012), and significantly higher in brown skuas than in both penguins (2013). BMF indicated 2–7.5 times greater mercury levels in brown skuas than in penguins. BSAF values suggested an apparent temporal decrease of 18.2% of this ratio from 2012 to 2013. Long-range environmental transport is the likely route of entry of mercury into the Antarctic Peninsula

  13. Mixing and phytoplankton dynamics in a submarine canyon in the West Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Filipa; Kohut, Josh; Oliver, Matthew J.; Sherrell, Robert M.; Schofield, Oscar

    2016-07-01

    Bathymetric depressions (canyons) exist along the West Antarctic Peninsula shelf and have been linked with increased phytoplankton biomass and sustained penguin colonies. However, the physical mechanisms driving this enhanced biomass are not well understood. Using a Slocum glider data set with over 25,000 water column profiles, we evaluate the relationship between mixed layer depth (MLD, estimated using the depth of maximum buoyancy frequency) and phytoplankton vertical distribution. We use the glider deployments in the Palmer Deep region to examine seasonal and across canyon variability. Throughout the season, the ML becomes warmer and saltier, as a result of vertical mixing and advection. Shallow ML and increased stratification due to sea ice melt are linked to higher chlorophyll concentrations. Deeper mixed layers, resulting from increased wind forcing, show decreased chlorophyll, suggesting the importance of light in regulating phytoplankton productivity. Spatial variations were found in the canyon head region where local physical water column properties were associated with different biological responses, reinforcing the importance of local canyon circulation in regulating phytoplankton distribution in the region. While the mechanism initially hypothesized to produce the observed increases in phytoplankton over the canyons was the intrusion of warm, nutrient enriched modified Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (mUCDW), our analysis suggests that ML dynamics are key to increased primary production over submarine canyons in the WAP.

  14. Holocene accumulation and ice flow near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutnik, Michelle R.; Fudge, T. J.; Conway, Howard; Waddington, Edwin D.; Neumann, Thomas A.; Cuffey, Kurt M.; Buizert, Christo; Taylor, Kendrick C.

    2016-05-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Core (WDC) provided a high-resolution climate record from near the Ross-Amundsen Divide in Central West Antarctica. In addition, radar-detected internal layers in the vicinity of the WDC site have been dated directly from the ice core to provide spatial variations in the age structure of the region. Using these two data sets together, we first infer a high-resolution Holocene accumulation-rate history from 9.2 kyr of the ice-core timescale and then confirm that this climate history is consistent with internal layers upstream of the core site. Even though the WDC was drilled only 24 km from the modern ice divide, advection of ice from upstream must be taken into account. We evaluate histories of accumulation rate by using a flowband model to generate internal layers that we compare to observed layers. Results show that the centennially averaged accumulation rate was over 20% lower than modern at 9.2 kyr before present (B.P.), increased by 40% from 9.2 to 2.3 kyr B.P., and decreased by at least 10% over the past 2 kyr B.P. to the modern values; these Holocene accumulation-rate changes in Central West Antarctica are larger than changes inferred from East Antarctic ice-core records. Despite significant changes in accumulation rate, throughout the Holocene the regional accumulation pattern has likely remained similar to today, and the ice-divide position has likely remained on average within 5 km of its modern position. Continent-scale ice-sheet models used for reconstructions of West Antarctic ice volume should incorporate this accumulation history.

  15. Sudden increase in Antarctic sea ice: Fact or artifact?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Screen, J. A.

    2011-07-01

    Three sea ice data sets commonly used for climate research display a large and abrupt increase in Antarctic sea ice area (SIA) in recent years. This unprecedented change of SIA is diagnosed to be primarily caused by an apparent sudden increase in sea ice concentrations within the ice pack, especially in the area of the most-concentrated ice (greater than 95% concentration). A series of alternative satellite-derived records do not display any abnormal sudden SIA changes, but do reveal substantial discrepancies between different satellite sensors and sea ice algorithms. Sea ice concentrations in the central ice pack and SIA values derived from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSRE) are consistently greater than those derived from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI). A switch in source data from the SSMI to AMSRE in mid-2009 explains most of the SIA increase in all three affected data sets. If uncorrected for, the discontinuity artificially exaggerates the winter Antarctic SIA increase (1979-2010) by more than a factor of 2 and the spring trend by almost a factor of 4. The discontinuity has a weaker influence on the summer and autumn SIA trends, on calculations of Antarctic sea ice extent, and in the Arctic.

  16. A multivariate analysis of Antarctic sea ice since 1979

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Magalhaes Neto, Newton de; Evangelista, Heitor [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Tanizaki-Fonseca, Kenny [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Dept. Analise Geoambiental, Inst. de Geociencias, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Penello Meirelles, Margareth Simoes [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)/Geomatica, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Garcia, Carlos Eiras [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Laboratorio de Oceanografia Fisica, Rio Grande, RS (Brazil)

    2012-03-15

    Recent satellite observations have shown an increase in the total extent of Antarctic sea ice, during periods when the atmosphere and oceans tend to be warmer surrounding a significant part of the continent. Despite an increase in total sea ice, regional analyses depict negative trends in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Sea and positive trends in the Ross Sea. Although several climate parameters are believed to drive the formation of Antarctic sea ice and the local atmosphere, a descriptive mechanism that could trigger such differences in trends are still unknown. In this study we employed a multivariate analysis in order to identify the response of the Antarctic sea ice with respect to commonly utilized climate forcings/parameters, as follows: (1) The global air surface temperature, (2) The global sea surface temperature, (3) The atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration, (4) The South Annular Mode, (5) The Nino 3, (6) The Nino (3 + 4, 7) The Nino 4, (8) The Southern Oscillation Index, (9) The Multivariate ENSO Index, (10) the Total Solar Irradiance, (11) The maximum O{sub 3} depletion area, and (12) The minimum O{sub 3} concentration over Antarctica. Our results indicate that western Antarctic sea ice is simultaneously impacted by several parameters; and that the minimum, mean, and maximum sea ice extent may respond to a separate set of climatic/geochemical parameters. (orig.)

  17. The health of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagliardini, Olivier

    2018-01-01

    The thinning of floating ice shelves around Antarctica enhances upstream ice flow, contributing to sea-level rise. Ice-shelf thinning is now shown to influence glacial movement over much larger distances than previously thought.

  18. Expanding Antarctic Sea Ice: Anthropogenic or Natural Variability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitz, C. M.

    2016-12-01

    Antarctic sea ice extent has increased over the last 36 years according to the satellite record. Concurrent with Antarctic sea-ice expansion has been broad cooling of the Southern Ocean sea-surface temperature. Not only are Southern Ocean sea ice and SST trends at odds with expectations from greenhouse gas-induced warming, the trend patterns are not reproduced in historical simulations with comprehensive global climate models. While a variety of different factors may have contributed to the observed trends in recent decades, we propose that it is atmospheric circulation changes - and the changes in ocean circulation they induce - that have emerged as the most likely cause of the observed Southern Ocean sea ice and SST trends. I will discuss deficiencies in models that could explain their incorrect response. In addition, I will present results from a series of experiments where the Antarctic sea ice and ocean are forced by atmospheric perturbations imposed within a coupled climate model. Figure caption: Linear trends of annual-mean SST (left) and annual-mean sea-ice concentration (right) over 1980-2014. SST is from NOAA's Optimum Interpolation SST dataset (version 2; Reynolds et al. 2002). Sea-ice concentration is from passive microwave observations using the NASA Team algorithm. Only the annual means are shown here for brevity and because the signal to noise is greater than in the seasonal means. Figure from Armour and Bitz (2015).

  19. Regional Changes in the Sea Ice Cover and Ice Production in the Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2011-01-01

    Coastal polynyas around the Antarctic continent have been regarded as sea ice factories because of high ice production rates in these regions. The observation of a positive trend in the extent of Antarctic sea ice during the satellite era has been intriguing in light of the observed rapid decline of the ice extent in the Arctic. The results of analysis of the time series of passive microwave data indicate large regional variability with the trends being strongly positive in the Ross Sea, strongly negative in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas and close to zero in the other regions. The atmospheric circulation in the Antarctic is controlled mainly by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the marginal ice zone around the continent shows an alternating pattern of advance and retreat suggesting the presence of a propagating wave (called Antarctic Circumpolar Wave) around the circumpolar region. The results of analysis of the passive microwave data suggest that the positive trend in the Antarctic sea ice cover could be caused primarily by enhanced ice production in the Ross Sea that may be associated with more persistent and larger coastal polynyas in the region. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate-of-increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 km2 per year. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 km3/year, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. In addition to the possibility of changes in SAM, modeling studies have also indicated that the ozone hole may have a role in that it causes the deepening of the lows in the western Antarctic region thereby causing strong winds to occur offthe Ross-ice shelf.

  1. Tracking the El Nino events from Antarctic ice core records

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keskin, S.S.; Oelmez, I.

    2004-01-01

    Sodium and chlorine measurements were made by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) on stratigraphically dated ice core samples from Byrd Station, Antarctica, for the last three centuries. The time period between 1969 and 1989 showed an enhanced impact on the Antarctic ice sheets from oceans in the form of marine aerosols. A disturbed ocean-atmosphere interface due to El Ni Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events seems to be a candidate for this observation in Antarctica. (author)

  2. Emplacement of Antarctic ice sheet mass affects circumpolar ocean flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rugenstein, Maria; Stocchi, Paolo; von der Heydt, Anna; Dijkstra, Hendrik; Brinkhuis, Henk

    2014-01-01

    During the Cenozoic the Antarctic continent experienced large fluctuations in ice-sheet volume. We investigate the effects of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) on Southern Ocean circulation for the first continental scale glaciation of Antarctica (~34 Myr) by combining solid Earth and ocean dynamic

  3. Distribution of dissolved and particulate metals in Antarctic sea ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lannuzel, D.; Bowie, A.R.; van der Merwe, P.C.; Townsend, A.T.; Schoemann, V.

    2011-01-01

    Samples were collected in East Antarctic sea ice in late winter/early austral spring 2007 to assess the distributions of Al, Cr, Mn, Cu, Zn, Mo. Cd and Ba. Total dissolved (<02 mu m) and particulate (>0.2 mu m) concentrations were measured by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Sector Field Mass Spectrometry

  4. Emplacement of Antarctic ice sheet mass affects circumpolar ocean flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rugenstein, M.; Stocchi, P.; van der Heydt, A.; Brinkhuis, H.

    2014-01-01

    During the Cenozoic the Antarctic continent experienced large fluctuations in ice-sheet volume. We investigate the effects of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) on Southern Ocean circulation for the first continental scale glaciation of Antarctica (~ 34 Myr) by combining solid Earth and ocean

  5. Sector of West Antarctic Ice Sheet in "Irreversible Retreat"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2014-05-01

    A large sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet "has gone into a state of irreversible retreat," according to glaciologist Eric Rignot, lead author of the paper "Widespread rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler Glaciers in West Antarctica from 1992 to 2011," which has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL).

  6. Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Depoorter, M.A.; Bamber, J.L.; Griggs, J.A.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/32821177X; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Moholdt, G.

    2013-01-01

    Iceberg calving has been assumed to be the dominant cause of mass loss for the Antarctic ice sheet, with previous estimates of the calving flux exceeding 2,000 gigatonnes per year1, 2. More recently, the importance of melting by the ocean has been demonstrated close to the grounding line and near

  7. Eight glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2004-01-01

    The Antarctic Vostok ice core provided compelling evidence of the nature of climate, and of climate feedbacks, over the past 420,000 years. Marine records suggest that the amplitude of climate variability was smaller before that time, but such records are often poorly resolved. Moreover, it is not

  8. A high-end sea level rise probabilistic projection including rapid Antarctic ice sheet mass loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Le Bars, D.M.; Drijfhout, S.S.; de Vries, Hylke

    2017-01-01

    The potential for break-up of Antarctic ice shelves by hydrofracturing and following ice cliff instability might be important for future ice dynamics. One recent study suggests that the Antarctic ice sheet could lose a lot more mass during the 21st century than previously thought. This increased

  9. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naish, T.; Powell, R.; Levy, R.; Wilson, G.; Scherer, R.; Talarico, F.; Krissek, L.; Niessen, F.; Pompilio, M.; Wilson, T.; Carter, L.; DeConto, R.; Huybers, P.; McKay, R.; Pollard, D.; Ross, J.; Winter, D.; Barrett, P.; Browne, G.; Cody, R.; Cowan, E.; Crampton, J.; Dunbar, G.; Dunbar, N.; Florindo, F.; Gebhardt, C.; Graham, I.; Hannah, M.; Hansaraj, D.; Harwood, D.; Helling, D.; Henrys, S.; Hinnov, L.; Kuhn, G.; Kyle, P.; Laufer, A.; Maffioli, P.; Magens, D.; Mandernack, K.; McIntosh, W.; Millan, C.; Morin, R.; Ohneiser, C.; Paulsen, T.; Persico, D.; Raine, I.; Reed, J.; Riesselman, C.; Sagnotti, L.; Schmitt, D.; Sjunneskog, C.; Strong, P.; Taviani, M.; Vogel, S.; Wilch, T.; Williams, T.

    2009-01-01

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records from microfossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbital geometry control the ice ages1, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles2. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the 'warmer-than-present' early-Pliocene epoch (5–3 Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possible range of ice-sheet behaviour in the context of future global warming3. Here we present a marine glacial record from the upper 600 m of the AND-1B sediment core recovered from beneath the northwest part of the Ross ice shelf by the ANDRILL programme and demonstrate well-dated, 40-kyr cyclic variations in ice-sheet extent linked to cycles in insolation influenced by changes in the Earth's axial tilt (obliquity) during the Pliocene. Our data provide direct evidence for orbitally induced oscillations in the WAIS, which periodically collapsed, resulting in a switch from grounded ice, or ice shelves, to open waters in the Ross embayment when planetary temperatures were up to 3 °C warmer than today4 and atmospheric CO2 concentration was as high as 400 p.p.m.v. (refs 5, 6). The evidence is consistent with a new ice-sheet/ice-shelf model7 that simulates fluctuations in Antarctic ice volume of up to +7 m in equivalent sea level associated with the loss of the WAIS and up to +3 m in equivalent sea level from the East Antarctic ice sheet, in response to ocean-induced melting paced by obliquity. During interglacial times, diatomaceous sediments indicate high surface-water productivity, minimal summer sea ice and air temperatures above freezing, suggesting an additional influence of surface melt8 under conditions of elevated CO2.

  10. Proteorhodopsin-bearing bacteria in Antarctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Eileen Y; Atamna-Ismaeel, Nof; Martin, Andrew; Cowie, Rebecca O M; Beja, Oded; Davy, Simon K; Maas, Elizabeth W; Ryan, Ken G

    2010-09-01

    Proteorhodopsins (PRs) are widespread bacterial integral membrane proteins that function as light-driven proton pumps. Antarctic sea ice supports a complex community of autotrophic algae, heterotrophic bacteria, viruses, and protists that are an important food source for higher trophic levels in ice-covered regions of the Southern Ocean. Here, we present the first report of PR-bearing bacteria, both dormant and active, in Antarctic sea ice from a series of sites in the Ross Sea using gene-specific primers. Positive PR sequences were generated from genomic DNA at all depths in sea ice, and these sequences aligned with the classes Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Flavobacteria. The sequences showed some similarity to previously reported PR sequences, although most of the sequences were generally distinct. Positive PR sequences were also observed from cDNA reverse transcribed from RNA isolated from sea ice samples. This finding indicates that these sequences were generated from metabolically active cells and suggests that the PR gene is functional within sea ice. Both blue-absorbing and green-absorbing forms of PRs were detected, and only a limited number of blue-absorbing forms were found and were in the midsection of the sea ice profile in this study. Questions still remain regarding the protein's ecological functions, and ultimately, field experiments will be needed to establish the ecological and functional role of PRs in the sea ice ecosystem.

  11. In situ observations of a possible skate nursery off the western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amsler, M O; Smith, K E; McClintock, J B; Singh, H; Thatje, S; Vos, S C; Brothers, C J; Brown, A; Ellis, D; Anderson, J; Aronson, R B

    2015-06-01

    A dense aggregation of skate egg cases was imaged during a photographic survey of the sea floor along the western Antarctic Peninsula in November 2013. Egg cases were noted in a narrow band between 394 and 443 m depth. Although some skate species in other oceans are known to utilize restricted areas to deposit eggs in great numbers, such nurseries have not been described in the Southern Ocean. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  12. Deformation-induced melting in the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minchew, B. M.; Meyer, C. R.

    2017-12-01

    Shear stresses in the lateral margins are important components of the force balance in the glaciers and ice streams of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS). The magnitudes of these stresses are a function of the rheology of ice within the margins, and ice rheology is a function of ice temperature. Here, we focus on deformation-induced heating in AIS, with the goal of understanding the spatial distribution of zones of temperate ice within the ice sheet. We derive a new analytical thermodynamic model that includes advection, diffusion, and deformation heating. Taking downward advection of cold ice to be a function of surface accumulation, we find an expression for 1) the minimum shear strain rate necessary to produce a temperate-ice zone of finite thickness and 2) the thickness of the temperate-ice zone. Applying recently derived surface velocity fields (Gardner et al., 2017), estimates of ice thickness (Bedmap2; Fretwell et al., 2013), and surface mass balance and temperature (RACMO2.3; van Wessem et al., 2014), we predict the prevalence of temperate ice within AIS. Temperate ice zones are spatially extensive and extend from the bed to at least half of the local ice thickness in six distinct regions: Pine Island, Thwaites, and Kohler Glaciers (West Antarctica); Recovery and Slessor Glaciers (eastern Filchner Ice Shelf); Mellor and Lambert Glaciers (Amery Ice Shelf); Denman Glacier (East Antarctica); Byrd Glacier (western Ross Ice Shelf); and Bindschadler Ice Stream (eastern Ross Ice Shelf). In most of these regions, the formation of temperate ice is facilitated by small rates of downward advection of cold ice. The most striking exception is Pine Island Glacier, where extreme shear strain rates in the margins overcome relatively high rates of cold-ice advection to create zones of temperate ice that could exceed 75% of the local ice thickness. Through our model development, we show that the presence of temperate ice is largely governed by the ratio of the rate of deformation

  13. Modeling the spatial and temporal dynamics of foraging movements of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtice, Corrie; Johnston, David W; Ducklow, Hugh; Gales, Nick; Halpin, Patrick N; Friedlaender, Ari S

    2015-01-01

    A population of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) spends the austral summer feeding on Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). These whales acquire their annual energetic needs during an episodic feeding season in high latitude waters that must sustain long-distance migration and fasting on low-latitude breeding grounds. Antarctic krill are broadly distributed along the continental shelf and nearshore waters during the spring and early summer, and move closer to land during late summer and fall, where they overwinter under the protective and nutritional cover of sea ice. We apply a novel space-time utilization distribution method to test the hypothesis that humpback whale distribution reflects that of krill: spread broadly during summer with increasing proximity to shore and associated embayments during fall. Humpback whales instrumented with satellite-linked positional telemetry tags (n = 5), show decreased home range size, amount of area used, and increased proximity to shore over the foraging season. This study applies a new method to model the movements of humpback whales in the WAP region throughout the feeding season, and presents a baseline for future observations of the seasonal changes in the movement patterns and foraging behavior of humpback whales (one of several krill-predators affected by climate-driven changes) in the WAP marine ecosystem. As the WAP continues to warm, it is prudent to understand the ecological relationships between sea-ice dependent krill and krill predators, as well as the interactions among recovering populations of krill predators that may be forced into competition for a shared food resource.

  14. Bryophyte Tissue-specific Carbon Isotope Record from Galindez Island, Argentine Islands, Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beilman, D. W.; Yumol, L. M.; Yu, Z.; Parnikoza, I.

    2016-12-01

    Mossbank ecosystems of the western Antarctic Peninsula (AP) provide an under-utilized archive of past terrestrial environmental change. We measured the stable carbon isotope values (δ13C) of both modern and subfossil bryophytes to characterize differences between species and tissues and to identify changes over time. Living plants of common species including Polytrichum strictum and Chorisodontium aciphyllum were collected from several populations between 64° 09' and 67°35'S and had a wide range of δ13C values from -22 to -32‰ that were distinct between species and tissues. In particular, leaves were consistently more enriched in 13C than stems on average by 2‰. Radiocarbon-dated subfossil leaf tissue in a mossbank peat core raised from Galindez Island (65° 14' 51.4"S, 64° 15' 2.3" W) showed that peat formation began 2300 years ago, and provided evidence for very slow growth or a hiatus between about 1100 and 600 years ago during a period of colder air temperatures evident in depleted hydrogen and oxygen isotope values in James Ross Island ice on the eastern AP. Bryophyte macrofossil remains showed a relatively simple bryophyte community of mainly P. strictum throughout the core, but several periods when wet-adapted species became dominant. Subfossil leaf δ13C values of P. strictum varied from -24 to -30‰, and revealed source-independent discrimination that was higher in recent decades than any time during the last 2300 years. Changes in species' abundance between P. strictum and Pohlia nutans varied with discrimination, suggesting that mossbanks have been sensitive to hydroclimate variation during the Late Holocene, and that moss growth conditions at this western AP site have been anomalous in recent decades.

  15. Abundance and breeding distribution of seabirds in the northern part of the Danco Coast, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana A. Juáres

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Seabird abundances and breeding distribution have the potential to serve as ecological indicators. The western Antarctic Peninsula is one of the three sites in the world with the greatest increases in local temperature during the last 50 years. The aim of this study was to monitor the distribution and abundance of breeding populations of seabirds in the northern sector of the Danco Coast, north-west of the Antarctic Peninsula, during the breeding season 2010/11. The birds were the Wilson′s storm petrel (Oceanites oceanicus, South Polar skua (Stercorarius maccormicki, kelp gull (Larus dominicanus, Antarctic tern (Sterna vittata, snowy sheathbill (Chionis alba, chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica, southern giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus, gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua, Cape petrel (Daption capense and Antarctic shag (Phalacrocorax bransfieldensis. Annual breeding population growth increased in pygoscelids, southern giant petrel and sheathbill, and for the remaining species, breeding population trends were stable. Given that seabird populations can provide valuable information on the conditions of their feeding and nesting environments, this study highlights the need to maintain basics monitoring studies.

  16. Antarctic ice-sheet loss driven by basal melting of ice shelves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pritchard, H.D.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/32821177X; Fricker, H.A.; Vaughan, D.G.; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Padman, L.

    2012-01-01

    Accurate prediction of global sea-level rise requires that we understand the cause of recent, widespread and intensifying1,2 glacier acceleration along Antarctic ice-sheet coastal margins3. Atmospheric and oceanic forcing have the potential to reduce the thickness and extent of floating ice shelves,

  17. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Better characterisation of aerosol processes in pristine, natural environments, such as Antarctica, have recently been shown to lead to the largest reduction in uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. Our understanding of aerosols in the Antarctic region is currently based on measurements that are often limited to boundary layer air masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the vast sea-ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the icebreaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3 concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the polar front, with mean polar cell concentrations of 1130 cm−3 – higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low-pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air masses quickly from the free troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea-ice boundary layer air masses travelled equatorward into the low-albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei which, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol concentrations and their transport pathways described here, could help reduce the discrepancy currently present between

  18. Antarctic sea ice losses drive gains in benthic carbon drawdown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, D K A

    2015-09-21

    Climate forcing of sea-ice losses from the Arctic and West Antarctic are blueing the poles. These losses are accelerating, reducing Earth's albedo and increasing heat absorption. Subarctic forest (area expansion and increased growth) and ice-shelf losses (resulting in new phytoplankton blooms which are eaten by benthos) are the only significant described negative feedbacks acting to counteract the effects of increasing CO2 on a warming planet, together accounting for uptake of ∼10(7) tonnes of carbon per year. Most sea-ice loss to date has occurred over polar continental shelves, which are richly, but patchily, colonised by benthic animals. Most polar benthos feeds on microscopic algae (phytoplankton), which has shown increased blooms coincident with sea-ice losses. Here, growth responses of Antarctic shelf benthos to sea-ice losses and phytoplankton increases were investigated. Analysis of two decades of benthic collections showed strong increases in annual production of shelf seabed carbon in West Antarctic bryozoans. These were calculated to have nearly doubled to >2x10(5) tonnes of carbon per year since the 1980s. Annual production of bryozoans is median within wider Antarctic benthos, so upscaling to include other benthos (combined study species typically constitute ∼3% benthic biomass) suggests an increased drawdown of ∼2.9x10(6) tonnes of carbon per year. This drawdown could become sequestration because polar continental shelves are typically deeper than most modern iceberg scouring, bacterial breakdown rates are slow, and benthos is easily buried. To date, most sea-ice losses have been Arctic, so, if hyperboreal benthos shows a similar increase in drawdown, polar continental shelves would represent Earth's largest negative feedback to climate change. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Dating Antarctic ice sheet collapse: Proposing a molecular genetic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strugnell, Jan M.; Pedro, Joel B.; Wilson, Nerida G.

    2018-01-01

    Sea levels at the end of this century are projected to be 0.26-0.98 m higher than today. The upper end of this range, and even higher estimates, cannot be ruled out because of major uncertainties in the dynamic response of polar ice sheets to a warming climate. Here, we propose an ecological genetics approach that can provide insight into the past stability and configuration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). We propose independent testing of the hypothesis that a trans-Antarctic seaway occurred at the last interglacial. Examination of the genomic signatures of bottom-dwelling marine species using the latest methods can provide an independent window into the integrity of the WAIS more than 100,000 years ago. Periods of connectivity facilitated by trans-Antarctic seaways could be revealed by dating coalescent events recorded in DNA. These methods allow alternative scenarios to be tested against a fit to genomic data. Ideal candidate taxa for this work would need to possess a circumpolar distribution, a benthic habitat, and some level of genetic structure indicated by phylogeographical investigation. The purpose of this perspective piece is to set out an ecological genetics method to help resolve when the West Antarctic Ice Shelf last collapsed.

  20. Modeling the Thermal Interactions of Meteorites Below the Antarctic Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldroyd, William Jared; Radebaugh, Jani; Stephens, Denise C.; Lorenz, Ralph; Harvey, Ralph; Karner, James

    2017-10-01

    Meteorites with high specific gravities, such as irons, appear to be underrepresented in Antarctic collections over the last 40 years. This underrepresentation is in comparison with observed meteorite falls, which are believed to represent the actual population of meteorites striking Earth. Meteorites on the Antarctic ice sheet absorb solar flux, possibly leading to downward tunneling into the ice, though observations of this in action are very limited. This descent is counteracted by ice sheet flow supporting the meteorites coupled with ablation near mountain margins, which helps to force meteorites towards the surface. Meteorites that both absorb adequate thermal energy and are sufficiently dense may instead reach a shallow equilibrium depth as downward melting overcomes upward forces during the Antarctic summer. Using a pyronometer, we have measured the incoming solar flux at multiple depths in two deep field sites in Antarctica, the Miller Range and Elephant Moraine. We compare these data with laboratory analogues and model the thermal and physical interactions between a variety of meteorites and their surroundings. Our Matlab code model will account for a wide range of parameters used to characterize meteorites in an Antarctic environment. We will present the results of our model along with depth estimates for several types of meteorites. The recovery of an additional population of heavy meteorites would increase our knowledge of the formation and composition of the solar system.

  1. Thermohaline structure and water masses in the north of Antarctic Peninsula from data collected in situ by southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilana E. K. C. Wainer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The Western Antarctic Peninsula is rapidly warming and exhibits high indices of biodiversity concentrated mostly along its continental shelf. This region has great importance due to the the mixing caused by the interaction of waters from Weddell Sea (MW, Bransfield Strait (EB and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (CCA transmits thermohaline characteristics and nutrients of different sites and finally connects with all the world’s oceans. However, studies focusing on the temporal variability of the region’s oceanographic conditions that finally determine the water mass formation are sparse due to the logistical difficulties of conducting oceanographic surveys and traditional monitoring during the winter. For this study, variations of the thermohaline structure and water masses in the vicinity and below the sea ice in the North of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP and Scotia Sea (SS were recorded between February and November 2008 by two female southern elephant seals (SES, Mirounga leonina tagged with Conductivity–Temperature–Depth/Satellite-Relay Data Logger (CTD–SRDL. One thousand three hundred and thirty vertical profiles of temperature and salinity were collected by seals which were tagged by the MEOP-BR Project team at the Elephant Island, South Shetlands. These profiles, together with spread state diagrams allowed the identification of water masses and their variances in the ocean’s vertical structure. Among the set of identified water masses we cite: Antarctic Surface Water (AASW, Winter Water (WW, Warm Deep Water (WDW, Modified Warm Deep Water (MWDW, Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW, Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW, Lower Circumpolar Deep Water (LCDW and Ice Shelf Water (ISW. Our results show that the oceanic vertical structure undergoes changes that cannot be traditionally monitored, particularly during the Austral winter and that SES are important and modern oceanographic data collection platforms allowing for the improvement of our

  2. Antarctic Sea Ice Variability and Trends, 1979-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, C. L.; Cavalieri, D. J.

    2012-01-01

    In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978 - December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17,100 +/- 2,300 square km/yr. Much of the increase, at 13,700 +/- 1,500 square km/yr, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has, like the Arctic, instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of -8,200 +/- 1,200 square km/yr. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-year period 1979-2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9,100 +/- 6,300 square km/yr in February to a high of 24,700 +/- 10,000 square km/yr in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and Western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but differences in the magnitudes of the two trends identify regions with overall increasing ice concentrations and others with overall decreasing ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  3. Antarctic Peninsula troposphere-stratosphere-ionosphere coupling (APTIC) and conjugate events investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milinevsky, G.

    2005-04-01

    Researches of troposphere-stratosphere-ionosphere coupling are based on idea of the strong influence of the long- and short-term solar activity variations on the polar terrestrial climate and the asymmetry in the energy deposition from the magnetosphere into the polar ionospheres. The solar activity variations produce changeable impact on magnetosphere and polar ionosphere in both hemispheres. Results of this impact are (1) differences in the ozone concentrations in the Antarctic and Arctic stratosphere due to different forcing in spring; (2) different planetary wave activity; (3) different gravity wave flux intensity depended on strengths of the weather frontal cyclones activity. The study of upper atmosphere in both hemispheres is necessary to better understand various physical mechanisms responsible for the energy transfer from the Sun into atmosphere and ionosphere as well as reverse flux from troposphere to geospace. A simultaneous consideration of phenomena occurring over both polar regions is very important for understanding of these processes. The solution of the problem of energy exchange between neutral atmosphere and geospace plasma is need in study of industrial EM pollution from Earth surface to geospace. A corresponding work must promote modeling space weather on satellite heights and earthquake prediction using ionosphere parameters changes. A determinative significance of Antarctic Peninsula is caused by following features: (1) Antarctic Peninsula is situated near an extremely cyclonic active region - Drake Passage, (2) only this region in Antarctica is magnetically conjugated to industrial area in Northern hemisphere, and (3) this region contains many Antarctic stations which are good equipped by devices to study weather and climate, ozone layer, ionosphere and magnetic field. Last years weather observations at Vernadsky station show that up to 60 atmospheric frontal cyclones (with pressure variation more 20 millibars) swept over Antarctic

  4. Atmospheric Influences on the Anomalous 2016 Antarctic Sea Ice Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raphael, M. N.; Schlosser, E.; Haumann, A.

    2017-12-01

    Over the past three decades, a small but significant increase in sea ice extent (SIE) has been observed in the Antarctic. However, in 2016 there was a surprisingly early onset of the melt season. The maximum Antarctic SIE was reached in August rather than end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decline of the sea ice area (SIA) started even earlier, in July. The retreat of the ice was particularly large in November where Antarctic SIE exhibited a negative anomaly (compared to the 1981-2010 average) of almost 2 Mio. km2, which, combined with reduced Arctic SIE, led to a distinct minimum in global SIE. And, satellite observations show that from November 2016 to February 2017, the daily Antarctic SIE has been at record low levels. We use sea level pressure and geopotential height data from the ECMWF- Interim reanalysis, in conjunction with sea ice data obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), to investigate possible atmospheric influences on the observed phenomena. Indications are that both the onset of the melt in July and the rapid decrease in SIA and SIE in November were triggered by atmospheric flow patterns related to a positive Zonal Wave 3 index, i.e. synoptic situations leading to strong meridional flow. Additionally the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index reached its second lowest November value since the beginning of the satellite observations. It is likely that the SIE decrease was preconditioned by SIA decrease. Positive feedback effects led to accelerated melt and consequently to the extraordinary low November SIE.

  5. Atmospheric influences on the anomalous 2016 Antarctic sea ice decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosser, Elisabeth; Haumann, F. Alexander; Raphael, Marilyn N.

    2018-03-01

    In contrast to the Arctic, where total sea ice extent (SIE) has been decreasing for the last three decades, Antarctic SIE has shown a small, but significant, increase during the same time period. However, in 2016, an unusually early onset of the melt season was observed; the maximum Antarctic SIE was already reached as early as August rather than the end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decay was particularly strong in November, when Antarctic SIE exhibited a negative anomaly (compared to the 1979-2015 average) of approximately 2 million km2. ECMWF Interim reanalysis data showed that the early onset of the melt and the rapid decrease in sea ice area (SIA) and SIE were associated with atmospheric flow patterns related to a positive zonal wave number three (ZW3) index, i.e., synoptic situations leading to strong meridional flow and anomalously strong southward heat advection in the regions of strongest sea ice decline. A persistently positive ZW3 index from May to August suggests that SIE decrease was preconditioned by SIA decrease. In particular, in the first third of November northerly flow conditions in the Weddell Sea and the Western Pacific triggered accelerated sea ice decay, which was continued in the following weeks due to positive feedback effects, leading to the unusually low November SIE. In 2016, the monthly mean Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index reached its second lowest November value since the beginning of the satellite observations. A better spatial and temporal coverage of reliable ice thickness data is needed to assess the change in ice mass rather than ice area.

  6. Seabed images from Southern Ocean shelf regions off the northern Antarctic Peninsula and in the southeastern Weddell Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piepenburg, Dieter; Buschmann, Alexander; Driemel, Amelie; Grobe, Hannes; Gutt, Julian; Schumacher, Stefanie; Segelken-Voigt, Alexandra; Sieger, Rainer

    2017-07-01

    Recent advances in underwater imaging technology allow for the gathering of invaluable scientific information on seafloor ecosystems, such as direct in situ views of seabed habitats and quantitative data on the composition, diversity, abundance, and distribution of epibenthic fauna. The imaging approach has been extensively used within the research project DynAMo (Dynamics of Antarctic Marine Shelf Ecosystems) at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven (AWI), which aimed to comparatively assess the pace and quality of the dynamics of Southern Ocean benthos. Within this framework, epibenthic spatial distribution patterns have been comparatively investigated in two regions in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean: the shelf areas off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, representing a region with above-average warming of surface waters and sea-ice reduction, and the shelves of the eastern Weddell Sea as an example of a stable high-Antarctic marine environment that is not (yet) affected by climate change. The AWI Ocean Floor Observation System (OFOS) was used to collect seabed imagery during two cruises of the German research vessel Polarstern, ANT-XXIX/3 (PS81) to the Antarctic Peninsula from January to March 2013 and ANT-XXXI/2 (PS96) to the Weddell Sea from December 2015 to February 2016. Here, we report on the image and data collections gathered during these cruises. During PS81, OFOS was successfully deployed at a total of 31 stations at water depths between 29 and 784 m. At most stations, series of 500 to 530 pictures ( > 15 000 in total, each depicting a seabed area of approximately 3.45 m2 or 2.3 × 1.5 m) were taken along transects approximately 3.7 km in length. During PS96, OFOS was used at a total of 13 stations at water depths between 200 and 754 m, yielding series of 110 to 293 photos (2670 in total) along transects 0.9 to 2.6 km in length. All seabed images taken during the two cruises

  7. The Last Interglacial History of the Antarctic Ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Sarah; Siddall, Mark; Milne, Glenn A.; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Wolff, Eric; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.

    2014-05-01

    In this paper we present a summary of the work which was conducted as part of the 'PAST4FUTURE -WP4.1: Sea Level and Ice sheets' project. The overall aim of this study was to understand the response of the Antarctic Ice sheet (AIS) to climate forcing during the Last interglacial (LIG) and its contribution to the observed higher than present sea level during this period. The study involved the application and development of a novel technique which combined East Antarctic stable isotope ice core data with the output from a Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) model [Bradley et al., 2012]. We investigated if the stable isotope ice core data are sensitive to detecting isostatically driven changes in the surface elevation driven by changes in the ice-loading history of the AIS and if so, could we address some key questions relating to the LIG history of the AIS. Although it is believed that the West Antarctic Ice sheet (WAIS) reduced in size during the LIG compared to the Holocene, major uncertainties and unknowns remain unresolved: Did the WAIS collapse? What would the contribution of such a collapse be the higher than present LIG eustatic sea level (ESL)? We will show that a simulated collapse of the WAIS does not generate a significant elevation driven signal at the EAIS LIG ice core sites, and as such, these ice core records cannot be used to assess WAIS stability over this period. However, we will present 'treasure maps' [Bradley et al., 2012] to identify regions of the AIS where results from geological studies and/or new paleoclimate data may be sensitive to detecting a WAIS collapse. These maps can act as a useful tool for the wider science community/field scientists as a guide to highlight sites suitable to constrain the evolution of the WAIS during the LIG. Studies have proposed that the surface temperature across the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) was significantly warmer, 2-5°C during the LIG compared to present [Lang and Wolff, 2011]. These higher

  8. A reversal of fortunes: climate change 'winners' and 'losers' in Antarctic Peninsula penguins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clucas, Gemma V; Dunn, Michael J; Dyke, Gareth; Emslie, Steven D; Naveen, Ron; Polito, Michael J; Pybus, Oliver G; Rogers, Alex D; Hart, Tom

    2014-06-12

    Climate change is a major threat to global biodiversity. Antarctic ecosystems are no exception. Investigating past species responses to climatic events can distinguish natural from anthropogenic impacts. Climate change produces 'winners', species that benefit from these events and 'losers', species that decline or become extinct. Using molecular techniques, we assess the demographic history and population structure of Pygoscelis penguins in the Scotia Arc related to climate warming after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). All three pygoscelid penguins responded positively to post-LGM warming by expanding from glacial refugia, with those breeding at higher latitudes expanding most. Northern (Pygoscelis papua papua) and Southern (Pygoscelis papua ellsworthii) gentoo sub-species likely diverged during the LGM. Comparing historical responses with the literature on current trends, we see Southern gentoo penguins are responding to current warming as they did during post-LGM warming, expanding their range southwards. Conversely, Adélie and chinstrap penguins are experiencing a 'reversal of fortunes' as they are now declining in the Antarctic Peninsula, the opposite of their response to post-LGM warming. This suggests current climate warming has decoupled historic population responses in the Antarctic Peninsula, favoring generalist gentoo penguins as climate change 'winners', while Adélie and chinstrap penguins have become climate change 'losers'.

  9. Mercury accumulation in sediments and seabird feathers from the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Paola; Alvarado, Omar; Monserrate, Lorena; Cevallos, Juan Manuel; Calle, Nastenka; Alava, Juan José

    2015-02-28

    In an effort to assess the impact of mercury in the Antarctic Peninsula, we conducted ecotoxicological research in this region during the summer of 2012 and 2013. The objectives were to assess: (a) mercury levels in sediment samples; (b) mercury accumulation in Antarctic seabird feathers: Catharacta lonnbergi (brown skua), Pygoscelis papua (gentoo penguin) and Pygoscelis antarctica (chinstrap penguin); and (c) biomagnification (BMF predator/prey) and biota sediment accumulation (BSAF skuas/sediment) factors. Mercury concentrations in sediment were relatively low. Mercury concentrations were significantly higher in brown skuas and gentoo penguins than in chinstrap penguins (2012), and significantly higher in brown skuas than in both penguins (2013). BMF indicated 2-7.5 times greater mercury levels in brown skuas than in penguins. BSAF values suggested an apparent temporal decrease of 18.2% of this ratio from 2012 to 2013. Long-range environmental transport is the likely route of entry of mercury into the Antarctic Peninsula. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Glacial isostatic stress shadowing by the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivins, E. R.; James, T. S.; Klemann, V.

    2005-01-01

    Numerous examples of fault slip that offset late Quaternary glacial deposits and bedrock polish support the idea that the glacial loading cycle causes earthquakes in the upper crust. A semianalytical scheme is presented for quantifying glacial and postglacial lithospheric fault reactivation using contemporary rock fracture prediction methods. It extends previous studies by considering differential Mogi-von Mises stresses, in addition to those resulting from a Coulomb analysis. The approach utilizes gravitational viscoelastodynamic theory and explores the relationships between ice mass history and regional seismicity and faulting in a segment of East Antarctica containing the great Antarctic Plate (Balleny Island) earthquake of 25 March 1998 (Mw 8.1). Predictions of the failure stress fields within the seismogenic crust are generated for differing assumptions about background stress orientation, mantle viscosity, lithospheric thickness, and possible late Holocene deglaciation for the D91 Antarctic ice sheet history. Similar stress fracture fields are predicted by Mogi-von Mises and Coulomb theory, thus validating previous rebound Coulomb analysis. A thick lithosphere, of the order of 150-240 km, augments stress shadowing by a late melting (middle-late Holocene) coastal East Antarctic ice complex and could cause present-day earthquakes many hundreds of kilometers seaward of the former Last Glacial Maximum grounding line.

  11. MASS BALANCE CHANGES AND ICE DYNAMICS OF GREENLAND AND ANTARCTIC ICE SHEETS FROM LASER ALTIMETRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. S. Babonis

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available During the past few decades the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost ice at accelerating rates, caused by increasing surface temperature. The melting of the two big ice sheets has a big impact on global sea level rise. If the ice sheets would melt down entirely, the sea level would rise more than 60 m. Even a much smaller rise would cause dramatic damage along coastal regions. In this paper we report about a major upgrade of surface elevation changes derived from laser altimetry data, acquired by NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite mission (ICESat and airborne laser campaigns, such as Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS. For detecting changes in ice sheet elevations we have developed the Surface Elevation Reconstruction And Change detection (SERAC method. It computes elevation changes of small surface patches by keeping the surface shape constant and considering the absolute values as surface elevations. We report about important upgrades of earlier results, for example the inclusion of local ice caps and the temporal extension from 1993 to 2014 for the Greenland Ice Sheet and for a comprehensive reconstruction of ice thickness and mass changes for the Antarctic Ice Sheets.

  12. Synoptic and mesoscale climate forcing on Antarctic ice shelf surface melt dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karmosky, Christopher

    Given that the polar regions, especially the Antarctic Peninsula, have experienced one of the largest temperature increases on Earth over the last few decades, an understanding of Antarctic climate has become more urgent. Ice shelves themselves are located at the intersection of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and the cryosphere---the air-ice-ocean boundary, and are sensitive to changes in any of these media. In addition to being particularly sensitive to changes in climate, ice shelves play an important role in controlling the flow of glaciers into the ocean, which has important implications for sea level changes. In a warming world, an increased understanding of how climate change is affecting Antarctic ice shelves is valuable for assessing vulnerable regions of the Antarctic that may be prone to further instability. This work focuses on determining the underlying climatic processes controlling energy and mass balance responsible for driving melting over ice shelves. A novel melt-magnitude retrieval method is presented that uses Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived near-IR reflectance coupled with ice surface temperature as a proxy for surface melt magnitude. This method has a higher spatial resolution than passive microwave melt detection, has the added benefit of retrieving melt magnitude rather than a binary melt occurrence or non-occurrence, but has a lower temporal resolution than either passive-microwave or microwave-scatterometry melt detection. This limitation is a result of the opacity of cloud cover to both visible and IR radiation, requiring more satellite overpasses to obtain spatially contiguous imagery. This work also examines several weather variables associated with a large-extent, long-duration surface melt event on the Ross Ice Shelf. It is shown that cloudy conditions coupled with increased sensible and latent heat flux to the surface were present during the event, and these conditions are consistent with those that induce

  13. Ice matters. Arctic and Antarctic under-ice communities linking sea ice with the pelagic food web

    OpenAIRE

    Flores, Hauke; van Franeker, Jan Andries; Lange, Benjamin; Siegel, Volker; Kruse, Svenja; Hunt, Brian; Pakhomov, E. A.

    2013-01-01

    In both Polar Regions, sea ice environments are undergoing rapid environmental change. Because sea ice constitutes an important habitat for numerous species, as well as an important carbon source during critical periods of the year, these changes impact significantly on ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, species distribution and population sizes, including commercially exploited fish stocks. Species dwelling at the ice-water interface (e.g. Antarctic krill and Arctic cod) play a key role in...

  14. A shift in the biogenic silica of sediment in the Larsen B continental shelf, off the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula, resulting from climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabet Sañé

    Full Text Available In 2002, section B of the Larsen ice shelf, off of the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula, collapsed and created the opportunity to study whether the changes at the sea surface left evidence in the sedimentary record. Biogenic silica is major constituent of Antarctic marine sediment, and its presence in the sediment column is associated with diatom production in the euphotic zone. The abundance of diatom valves and the number of sponge spicules in the biogenic silica was analyzed to determine how the origin of the biogenic silica in the upper layers of the sediment column responded to recent environmental changes. Diatom valves were present only in the upper 2 cm of sediment, which roughly corresponds to the period after the collapse of the ice shelf. In contrast, sponge spicules, a more robust form of biogenic silica, were also found below the upper 2 cm layer of the sediment column. Our results indicate that in this region most of the biogenic silica in the sedimentary record originated from sponge spicules rather than diatoms during the time when the sea surface was covered by the Larsen ice shelf. Since the collapse of the ice shelf, the development of phytoplankton blooms and the consequent influx of diatom debris to the seabed have shifted the biogenic silica record to one dominated by diatom debris, as occurs in most of the Antarctic marine sediment. This shift provides further evidence of the anthropogenic changes to the benthic habitats of the Antarctic and will improve the interpretation of the sedimentary record in Polar Regions where these events occur.

  15. The role of feedbacks in Antarctic sea ice change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, D. L.; Frew, R. C.; Holland, P.

    2017-12-01

    The changes in Antarctic sea ice over the last thirty years have a strong seasonal dependence, and the way these changes grow in spring and decay in autumn suggests that feedbacks are strongly involved. The changes may ultimately be caused by atmospheric warming, the winds, snowfall changes, etc., but we cannot understand these forcings without first untangling the feedbacks. A highly simplified coupled sea ice -mixed layer model has been developed to investigate the importance of feedbacks on the evolution of sea ice in two contrasting regions in the Southern Ocean; the Amundsen Sea where sea ice extent has been decreasing, and the Weddell Sea where it has been expanding. The change in mixed layer depth in response to changes in the atmosphere to ocean energy flux is implicit in a strong negative feedback on ice cover changes in the Amundsen Sea, with atmospheric cooling leading to a deeper mixed layer resulting in greater entrainment of warm Circumpolar Deep Water, causing increased basal melting of sea ice. This strong negative feedback produces counter intuitive responses to changes in forcings in the Amundsen Sea. This feedback is absent in the Weddell due to the complete destratification and strong water column cooling that occurs each winter in simulations. The impact of other feedbacks, including the albedo feedback, changes in insulation due to ice thickness and changes in the freezing temperature of the mixed layer, were found to be of secondary importance compared to changes in the mixed layer depth.

  16. Bayesian Inversion for Large Scale Antarctic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Ghattas, Omar

    2015-01-07

    The flow of ice from the interior of polar ice sheets is the primary contributor to projected sea level rise. One of the main difficulties faced in modeling ice sheet flow is the uncertain spatially-varying Robin boundary condition that describes the resistance to sliding at the base of the ice. Satellite observations of the surface ice flow velocity, along with a model of ice as a creeping incompressible shear-thinning fluid, can be used to infer this uncertain basal boundary condition. We cast this ill-posed inverse problem in the framework of Bayesian inference, which allows us to infer not only the basal sliding parameters, but also the associated uncertainty. To overcome the prohibitive nature of Bayesian methods for large-scale inverse problems, we exploit the fact that, despite the large size of observational data, they typically provide only sparse information on model parameters. We show results for Bayesian inversion of the basal sliding parameter field for the full Antarctic continent, and demonstrate that the work required to solve the inverse problem, measured in number of forward (and adjoint) ice sheet model solves, is independent of the parameter and data dimensions

  17. Characterization of winter foraging locations of Adélie penguins along the Western Antarctic Peninsula, 2001–2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdmann, Eric S.; Ribic, Christine; Patterson-Fraser, Donna L.; Fraser, William R.

    2011-01-01

    In accord with the hypotheses driving the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (SO GLOBEC) program, we tested the hypothesis that the winter foraging ecology of a major top predator in waters off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), is constrained by oceanographic features related to the physiography of the region. This hypothesis grew from the supposition that breeding colonies in the WAP during summer are located adjacent to areas of complex bathymetry where circulation and upwelling processes appear to ensure predictable food resources. Therefore, we tested the additional hypothesis that these areas continue to contribute to the foraging strategy of this species throughout the non-breeding winter season. We used satellite telemetry data collected as part of the SO GLOBEC program during the austral winters of 2001 and 2002 to characterize individual penguin foraging locations in relation to bathymetry, sea ice variability within the pack ice, and wind velocity and divergence (as a proxy for potential areas with cracks and leads). We also explored differences between males and females in core foraging area overlap. Ocean depth was the most influential variable in the determination of foraging location, with most birds focusing their effort on shallow (of deep troughs. Within-ice variability and wind (as a proxy for potential areas with cracks and leads) were not found to be influential variables, which is likely because of the low resolution satellite imagery and model outputs that were available. Throughout the study period, all individuals maintained a core foraging area separated from other individuals with very little overlap. However, from a year with light sea ice to one with heavy ice cover (2001–2002), we observed an increase in the overlap of individual female foraging areas with those of other birds, likely due to restricted access to the water column, reduced prey abundance, or higher prey

  18. A review of Tertiary climate changes in southern South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. Part 2: continental conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Roux, J. P.

    2012-03-01

    uninterruptedly into the Pleistocene. The Antarctic Peninsula saw its first mountain glaciation between 45 and 41 Ma, with major ice sheet expansion commencing at about 34 Ma. Isolated stands of Nothofagus forests were still present in low-lying areas, suggesting that the glaciers were initially wet-based, but dry-based glaciers were established at around 8 Ma. Although temperatures rose briefly during the Messinian-Pliocene transition, causing sub-Antarctic flora to retreat to higher elevations of the Transantarctic Mountains, the present cold polar conditions were finally established by about 3 Ma.

  19. ICESat-Derived Grounding Zone for Antarctic Ice Shelves, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set includes estimates of the location of the grounding zone of Antarctic ice shelves based on laser altimeter data acquired during the Ice, Cloud, and...

  20. Geomorphological mapping of ice-free areas using polarimetric RADARSAT-2 data on Fildes Peninsula and Ardley Island, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, T.; López-Martínez, J.; Guillaso, S.; Serrano, E.; D'Hondt, O.; Koch, M.; Nieto, A.; O'Neill, T.; Mink, S.; Durán, J. J.; Maestro, A.

    2017-09-01

    Satellite-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has been used for characterizing and mapping in two relevant ice-free areas in the South Shetland Islands. The objective has been to identify and characterize land surface covers that mainly include periglacial and glacial landforms, using fully polarimetric SAR C band RADARSAT-2 data, on Fildes Peninsula that forms part of King George Island, and Ardley Island. Polarimetric parameters obtained from the SAR data, a selection of field based training and validation sites and a supervised classification approach, using the support vector machine were chosen to determine the spatial distribution of the different landforms. Eight periglacial and glacial landforms were characterized according to their scattering mechanisms using a set of 48 polarimetric parameters. The mapping of the most representative surface covers included colluvial deposits, stone fields and pavements, patterned ground, glacial till and rock outcrops, lakes and glacier ice. The overall accuracy of the results was estimated at 81%, a significant value when mapping areas that are within isolated regions where access is limited. Periglacial surface covers such as stone fields and pavements occupy 25% and patterned ground over 20% of the ice-free areas. These are results that form the basis for an extensive monitoring of the ice-free areas throughout the northern Antarctic Peninsula region.

  1. Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Depoorter, M A; Bamber, J L; Griggs, J A; Lenaerts, J T M; Ligtenberg, S R M; van den Broeke, M R; Moholdt, G

    2013-10-03

    Iceberg calving has been assumed to be the dominant cause of mass loss for the Antarctic ice sheet, with previous estimates of the calving flux exceeding 2,000 gigatonnes per year. More recently, the importance of melting by the ocean has been demonstrated close to the grounding line and near the calving front. So far, however, no study has reliably quantified the calving flux and the basal mass balance (the balance between accretion and ablation at the ice-shelf base) for the whole of Antarctica. The distribution of fresh water in the Southern Ocean and its partitioning between the liquid and solid phases is therefore poorly constrained. Here we estimate the mass balance components for all ice shelves in Antarctica, using satellite measurements of calving flux and grounding-line flux, modelled ice-shelf snow accumulation rates and a regional scaling that accounts for unsurveyed areas. We obtain a total calving flux of 1,321 ± 144 gigatonnes per year and a total basal mass balance of -1,454 ± 174 gigatonnes per year. This means that about half of the ice-sheet surface mass gain is lost through oceanic erosion before reaching the ice front, and the calving flux is about 34 per cent less than previous estimates derived from iceberg tracking. In addition, the fraction of mass loss due to basal processes varies from about 10 to 90 per cent between ice shelves. We find a significant positive correlation between basal mass loss and surface elevation change for ice shelves experiencing surface lowering and enhanced discharge. We suggest that basal mass loss is a valuable metric for predicting future ice-shelf vulnerability to oceanic forcing.

  2. Exposure age and ice-sheet model constraints on Pliocene East Antarctic ice sheet dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamane, Masako; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Obrochta, Stephen; Saito, Fuyuki; Moriwaki, Kiichi; Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki

    2015-04-24

    The Late Pliocene epoch is a potential analogue for future climate in a warming world. Here we reconstruct Plio-Pleistocene East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) variability using cosmogenic nuclide exposure ages and model simulations to better understand ice sheet behaviour under such warm conditions. New and previously published exposure ages indicate interior-thickening during the Pliocene. An ice sheet model with mid-Pliocene boundary conditions also results in interior thickening and suggests that both the Wilkes Subglacial and Aurora Basins largely melted, offsetting increased ice volume. Considering contributions from West Antarctica and Greenland, this is consistent with the most recent IPCC AR5 estimate, which indicates that the Pliocene sea level likely did not exceed +20 m on Milankovitch timescales. The inception of colder climate since ∼3 Myr has increased the sea ice cover and inhibited active moisture transport to Antarctica, resulting in reduced ice sheet thickness, at least in coastal areas.

  3. STS-48 ESC Earth observation of ice pack, Antarctic Ice Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    STS-48 Earth observation taken aboard Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, is of the breakup of pack ice along the periphery of the Antarctic Ice Shelf. Strong offshore winds, probably associated with katabatic downdrafts from the interior of the continent, are seen peeling off the edges of the ice shelf into long filaments of sea ice, icebergs, bergy bits, and growlers to flow northward into the South Atlantic Ocean. These photos are used to study ocean wind, tide and current patterns. Similar views photographed during previous missions, when analyzed with these recent views may yield information about regional ice drift and breakup of ice packs. The image was captured using an electronic still camera (ESC), was stored on a removable hard disk or small optical disk, and was converted to a format suitable for downlink transmission. The ESC documentation was part of Development Test Objective (DTO) 648, Electronic Still Photography.

  4. Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic atmospheric responses to future sea-ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, M.; Polvani, L. M.; Sun, L.

    2017-12-01

    By the end of this century, the annual mean Antarctic sea ice area is projected to decline by over a third, an amount similar to that in the Arctic, but the effect of Antarctic sea ice loss on the atmosphere remains largely unexplored. Using the Community Earth Systems Model (CESM) Whole Atmosphere Coupled Climate Model (WACCM), we investigate the effect of future Antarctic sea ice loss, and contrast it with its Arctic counterpart. This is accomplished by analyzing integrations of the model with historic and future sea ice levels, using the RCP8.5 scenario. This allows us to disentangle the effect of future sea ice loss on the atmosphere from other aspects of the coupled system. We find that both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice loss act to shift the tropospheric jet equatorwards, counteracting the poleward shift due to increases in greenhouse gases. Although the total forcing to the atmosphere is similar in both hemispheres, the response to Arctic sea ice loss is larger in amplitude and but more seasonally varying, while the response in the Antarctic persists throughout the year but with a smaller amplitude. Furthermore, the atmospheric temperature response over the Antarctic is trapped closer to the surface than in the Arctic, and perhaps surprisingly, we find that the surface temperature response to Antarctic sea ice loss is unable to penetrate the Antarctic continent.

  5. The Influence of Ice Properties on Borehole Deformation at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinkler, E.; Pettit, E. C.; Obbard, R. W.

    2017-12-01

    It is widely known that ice flow is affected by many properties, including crystal fabric and impurities, though these relationships are not fully understood. This study uses data from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide borehole to better determine the influence of such properties on ice flow. The WAIS Divide borehole, the byproduct of the 2006-2012 coring project, offers a unique opportunity to study deep Antarctic Ice. Thanks to the work of many researchers, extensive data on ice properties are available from both coring and borehole logging at this site. The borehole, kept open with a density-approximating fluid, closes and tilts due to ice flow. We have tracked this deformation over two years using a set of repeat measurements with an Acoustic Televiewer. This tool acts as an acoustic caliper allowing us to view cross-sections of the borehole shape and size with up to 1.25 degree azimuthal resolution and a depth resolution as high as 1.4 mm. In addition, the tool collects tilt and azimuth data. These measurements are compared to a 1D Glen's Flow Law model for borehole closure that uses density differences between the ice and borehole fluid as its driving force and incorporates temperature effects. This is then compared to ice properties like crystal fabric and impurities in order to determine the influence of these properties on ice deformation at this site. Crystal fabric has appeared as an important factor in this study.This work builds on that of others who have studied in-situ deep ice through borehole deformation (e.g. Paterson, 1977 and Dahl-Jensen and Gundestrup, 1987). Our results have implications for ice flow modeling and therefore interpretation of depth-age relationships in deep ice cores.

  6. Antarctic sea ice variability using NASA team algorithm data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.; Compagnucci, R.

    Sea ice is an important, highly variable feature of the Earth's surface, both reflecting and influencing climatic conditions. Sea ice covers approximately 7 percent of the world oceans, significantly reduces the amount of solar radiation absorbed at the Earth's surface, greatly restricts the transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere in winter, and influences global atmospheric and oceanic circulation. In this paper, monthly through interannual variability of the sea ice between 0 and 120W is analysed for the 22-year period 1979 through 2000. The monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations data set derived from the Nimbus-7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's (DMSP) DMSP-F8, F11 and F13, Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) generated by NASA team algorithm were used. This data were acquired from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and are gridded on the SSM/I polar stereographic grid (25 x 25 km) provided in two-byte integer format. Principal Components Analysis in T-Mode was performed on pre-processed sea ice data (anomalies from which have been removed continent and perennial open water), in order to investigate which are the main space patterns, when do they present and how they are coupled to different atmospheric variables. This analysis provide 12 patterns (6 in direct mode and 6 in inverse mode) that represent the most important spatial features that dominate sea ice variability in the Weddell, Amudsen and Bellinghausen Seas. These 12 patterns, or their combinations, describe completely the behavior of the 264 month means sea ice concentration anomalies of the record we used of the selected Antarctic region.

  7. A geoelectrical survey above an Antarctic ice shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Pavan

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available A geoelectrical survey was performed on the Hells Gate ice shelf (Victoria Land-Antarctic within the framework of an integrated geophysical and glaciological research program. The resistivity profiles show a similar trend, with resistivity values ranging from about 25000 W · m to 500000 W · m. These results have been interpreted as the effect of a sharp transition from "marine ice" to "continental" ice an interpretation that is consistent with the results of surface mapping. Interpreting the Vertical Electrical Soundings (VES is a complex process. In fact, the alternating layers of ice with different compositions and salt content generate great uncertainty relative to the corresponding electric stratigraphies. To solve these problems of equivalency, all the available constraints were used including the drilling thickness, seismic reflection profiles as well as radar profiles. The results were used to provide what is mainly a qualitative overview that is coherent with the glaciological hypotheses relative to the evolution and structure proposed by some researchers for this ice shelf.

  8. Mapping lichen distribution on the Antarctic Peninsula using remote sensing, lichen spectra and photographic documentation by citizen scientists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Casanovas

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available On the Antarctic Peninsula, lichens are the most diverse botanical component of the terrestrial ecosystem. However, detailed information on the distribution of lichens on the Antarctic Peninsula region is scarce, and the data available exhibit significant heterogeneity in sampling frequency and effort. Satellite remote sensing, in particular the use of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, has facilitated determination of vegetation richness and cover distribution in some remote and otherwise inaccessible environments. However, it is known that using NDVI for the detection of vegetation can overlook the presence of lichens even if their land cover is extensive. We tested the use of known spectra of lichens in a matched filtering technique for the detection and mapping of lichen-covered land from remote sensing imagery on the Antarctic Peninsula, using data on lichen presence collected by citizen scientists and other non-specialists as ground truthing. Our results confirm that the use of this approach allows for the detection of lichen flora on the Antarctic Peninsula, showing an improvement over the use of NDVI alone for the mapping of flora in this area.

  9. The Mendel Formation: Evidence for Late Miocene climatic cyclicity at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nývlt, D.; Košler, J.; Mlčoch, B.; Mixa, P.; Lisá, Lenka; Bubík, M.; Hendriks, B. W. H.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 299, 1/2 (2011), s. 363-384 ISSN 0031-0182 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Mendel Formation * Late Miocene * chmate * Antarctic Peninsula Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.392, year: 2011

  10. Overview of the chemical ecology of benthic marine invertebrates along the western Antarctic peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClintock, James B; Amsler, Charles D; Baker, Bill J

    2010-12-01

    Thirteen years ago in a review that appeared in the American Zoologist, we presented the first survey of the chemical and ecological bioactivity of Antarctic shallow-water marine invertebrates. In essence, we reported that despite theoretical predictions to the contrary the incidence of chemical defenses among sessile and sluggish Antarctic marine invertebrates was widespread. Since that time we and others have significantly expanded upon the base of knowledge of Antarctic marine invertebrates' chemical ecology, both from the perspective of examining marine invertebrates in new, distinct geographic provinces, as well as broadening the evaluation of the ecological significance of secondary metabolites. Importantly, many of these studies have been framed within established theoretical constructs, particularly the Optimal Defense Theory. In the present article, we review the current knowledge of chemical ecology of benthic marine invertebrates comprising communities along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), a region of Antarctica that is both physically and biologically distinct from the rest of the continent. Our overview indicates that, similar to other regions of Antarctica, anti-predator chemical defenses are widespread among species occurring along the WAP. In some groups, such as the sponges, the incidence of chemical defenses against predation is comparable to, or even slightly higher than, that found in tropical marine systems. While there is substantial knowledge of the chemical defenses of benthic marine invertebrates against predators, much less is known about chemical anti-foulants. The sole survey conducted to date suggests that secondary metabolites in benthic sponges are likely to be important in the prevention of fouling by benthic diatoms, yet generally lack activity against marine bacteria. Our understanding of the sensory ecology of Antarctic benthic marine invertebrates, despite its great potential, remains in its infancy. For example, along the

  11. Do pelagic grazers benefit from sea ice? Insights from the Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Katrin; Brown, Thomas A.; Belt, Simon T.; Ireland, Louise C.; Taylor, Kyle W. R.; Thorpe, Sally E.; Ward, Peter; Atkinson, Angus

    2018-04-01

    Sea ice affects primary production in polar regions in multiple ways. It can dampen water column productivity by reducing light or nutrient supply, provide a habitat for ice algae and condition the marginal ice zone (MIZ) for phytoplankton blooms on its seasonal retreat. The relative importance of three different carbon sources (sea ice derived, sea ice conditioned, non-sea-ice associated) for the polar food web is not well understood, partly due to the lack of methods that enable their unambiguous distinction. Here we analysed two highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) biomarkers to trace sea-ice-derived and sea-ice-conditioned carbon in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and relate their concentrations to the grazers' body reserves, growth and recruitment. During our sampling in January-February 2003, the proxy for sea ice diatoms (a di-unsaturated HBI termed IPSO25, δ13C = -12.5 ± 3.3 ‰) occurred in open waters of the western Scotia Sea, where seasonal ice retreat was slow. In suspended matter from surface waters, IPSO25 was present at a few stations close to the ice edge, but in krill the marker was widespread. Even at stations that had been ice-free for several weeks, IPSO25 was found in krill stomachs, suggesting that they gathered the ice-derived algae from below the upper mixed layer. Peak abundances of the proxy for MIZ diatoms (a tri-unsaturated HBI termed HBI III, δ13C = -42.2 ± 2.4 ‰) occurred in regions of fast sea ice retreat and persistent salinity-driven stratification in the eastern Scotia Sea. Krill sampled in the area defined by the ice edge bloom likewise contained high amounts of HBI III. As indicators for the grazer's performance we used the mass-length ratio, size of digestive gland and growth rate for krill, and recruitment for the biomass-dominant calanoid copepods Calanoides acutus and Calanus propinquus. These indices consistently point to blooms in the MIZ as an important feeding ground for pelagic grazers. Even though ice

  12. Determination of trace elements in aerosols from the antarctic peninsula by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loureiro, A.L.M.

    1989-01-01

    In this work the neutron activation method was applied to carry out multielemental analysis in aerosols collected in the Brazilian Station 'Comandante Ferraz', located on King George Island, at the Antarctic Peninsula, during 1986 and 1987. The aerosols were collected on 0.45 μum Millipore-MF filter paper, type HA. The analytical method was based on the simultaneous irradiations of filters and synthetic standards in the IEA-R1 nuclear reactor under a thermal neutron flux of about 10 12 n cm -2 s -1 . The induced radioactivity was measured in a gamma ray spectrometer after suitable cooling times. Samples were irradiated twice, with irradiation times varying from 5 minutes to 24 hours. The elements Na, Al, Cl, K, Ca, Sc, V, Mn, Fe, Zn, Br, Sb, La, Au and Th were determined with concentration levels from ng/m 3 to pg/m 3 [pt

  13. New Carcharhiniform Sharks (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii) from the Early to Middle Eocene of Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelbrecht, Andrea; Mörs, Thomas; Reguero, Marcelo A.; Kriwet, Jürgen

    2018-01-01

    Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula, is known for its wealth of fossil remains. This island provides one of the richest fossiliferous Paleogene sequences in the world. Chondrichthyans seemingly dominate this Eocene marine fauna and offer a rare insight into high-latitude faunas during the Palaeogene. So far, only a few isolated teeth of carcharhinid sharks have been reported from Seymour Island. Bulk sampling in the well-exposed La Meseta and Submeseta formations yielded new and abundant chondrichthyan material, including numerous teeth of carcharhinid and triakid sharks. Here, we present a reevaluation of the previously described carcharhinid remains and a description of new taxa: Meridiogaleus cristatus, gen. et sp. nov., Kallodentis rythistemma, gen. et sp. nov., Abdounia richteri, sp. nov., and Abdounia mesetae, sp. nov. The carcharhiniforms Mustelus sp. and Galeorhinus sp. are reported based on rare material, whereas teeth previously assigned to Scoliodon represent a nomen dubium. PMID:29551850

  14. A new species of Halcampella (Actiniaria, Halcampoididae from the eastern Weddell Sea and Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estefanía Rodríguez

    2002-03-01

    Full Text Available A new species of soft-bottom-dwelling sea anemone of the genus Halcampella is described and illustrated based on 47 specimens collected during the Polarstern cruises ANT XV/3 and ANT XVII/3 to the Antarctic Peninsula and the eastern Weddell Sea. The new Halcampella species is easily distinguishable from its congeners by the number of cycles of mesenteries and tentacles, the cnidae and the geographic distribution. The new species is described and compared to the available type material of the other species of the genus and new cnidae data are given for H. maxima Hertwig, 1888 and H. robusta Carlgren, 1931. According to other authors H. endromitata (Andres, 1881 is considered a nomen dubium and H. maxima is here proposed as the types species of the genus.

  15. Analysis on variability and trend in Antarctic sea ice albedo between 1983 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Minji; Kim, Hyun-cheol; Choi, Sungwon; Lee, Kyeong-sang; Han, Kyung-soo

    2017-04-01

    Sea ice is key parameter in order to understand the cryosphere climate change. Several studies indicate the different trend of sea ice between Antarctica and Arctic. Albedo is important factor for understanding the energy budget and factors for observing of environment changes of Cryosphere such as South Pole, due to it mainly covered by ice and snow with high albedo value. In this study, we analyzed variability and trend of long-term sea ice albedo data to understand the changes of sea ice over Antarctica. In addiction, sea ice albedo researched the relationship with Antarctic oscillation in order to determine the atmospheric influence. We used the sea ice albedo data at The Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring and Antarctic Oscillation data at NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC). We analyzed the annual trend in albedo using linear regression to understand the spatial and temporal tendency. Antarctic sea ice albedo has two spatial trend. Weddle sea / Ross sea sections represent a positive trend (0.26% ˜ 0.04% yr-1) and Bellingshausen Amundsen sea represents a negative trend (- 0.14 ˜ -0.25%yr-1). Moreover, we performed the correlation analysis between albedo and Antarctic oscillation. As a results, negative area indicate correlation coefficient of - 0.3639 and positive area indicates correlation coefficient of - 0.0741. Theses results sea ice albedo has regional trend according to ocean. Decreasing sea ice trend has negative relationship with Antarctic oscillation, its represent a possibility that sea ice influence atmospheric factor.

  16. Drake Passage-Antarctic Peninsula Ecosystem Research: Spring and Fall Zooplankton and Seabird Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeb, V. J.; Chereskin, T. K.; Santora, J. A.

    2016-02-01

    Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) records from multiple "L.M. Gould" supply transits of Drake Passage from 1999 to present demonstrate spatial and temporal (diel, seasonal, annual and longer term) variability in acoustics backscattering. Acoustics backscattering strength in the upper water column corresponds to zooplankton and nekton biomass that relates to seabird and mammal distribution and abundance. Recent results indicate that interannual variability in backscattering strength is correlated to climate indices. The interpretation of these ecological changes is severely limited because the sound scatterers previously had not been identified and linkages to upper trophic level predators are unknown. Net-tows, depth-referenced underwater videography and seabird/mammal visual surveys during spring 2014 and fall 2015 transits provided information on the taxonomic-size composition, distribution, aggregation and behavioral patterns of dominant ADCP backscattering organisms and relate these to higher level predator populations. The distribution and composition of zooplankton species and seabird assemblages conformed to four biogeographic regions. Areas of elevated secondary productivity coincided with increased ADCP target strength with highest concentrations off Patagonia and Antarctic Peninsula and secondary peaks around the Polar Front. Small sized zooplankton taxa dominated north of the Polar Front while larger taxa dominated to the south. Regionally important prey items likely are: copepods, amphipods, small euphausiids and fish (Patagonia); copepods, myctophids, shelled pteropods and squid (Polar Front); large euphausiids (Antarctic Peninsula). This study demonstrates that biological observations during "L.M. Gould" supply transits greatly augment the value of routinely collected ADCP and XBT data and provide basic information relevant to the impacts of climate change in this rapidly warming portion of the Southern Ocean

  17. Temporal and Regional Variability in the Skin Microbiome of Humpback Whales along the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierlich, K C; Miller, Carolyn; DeForce, Emelia; Friedlaender, Ari S; Johnston, David W; Apprill, Amy

    2018-03-01

    The skin is the first line of defense between an animal and its environment, and disruptions in skin-associated microorganisms can be linked to an animal's health and nutritional state. To better understand the skin microbiome of large whales, high-throughput sequencing of partial small subunit rRNA genes was used to study the skin-associated bacteria of 89 seemingly healthy humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ) sampled along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) during early (2010) and late (2013) austral summers. Six core groups of bacteria were present in 93% or more of all humpback skin samples. A shift was observed in the average relative abundances of these core bacteria over time, with the emergence of four additional core groups of bacteria that corresponded to a decrease in water temperature, possibly caused by season- or foraging-related changes in skin biochemistry that influenced microbial growth, or other temporal factors. The skin microbiome differed between whales sampled at several regional locations along the WAP, suggesting that environmental factors or population may also influence the whale skin microbiome. Overall, the skin microbiome of humpback whales appears to provide insight into animal- and environment-related factors and may serve as a useful indicator for animal health or ecosystem alterations. IMPORTANCE The microbiomes of wild animals are currently understudied but may provide information about animal health and/or animal-environment interactions. In the largest sampling of any marine mammal microbiome, this study demonstrates conservation in the skin microbiome of 89 seemingly healthy humpback whales sampled in the Western Antarctic Peninsula, with shifts in the bacterial community composition related to temporal and regional variability. This study is important because it suggests that the skin microbiome of humpback whales could provide insight into animal nutritional or seasonal/environment-related factors, which are becoming

  18. Zoogeographical relationships of the littoral ascidiofauna at the Antarctic Peninsula, in the Scotia Arc and in the Magellan region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso A. Ramos-Esplá

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Three Spanish Antarctic research cruises (Ant-8611, Bentart-94 and Bentart-95 were carried out in the South Shetland Archipelago (Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Arc (South Orkney, South Sandwich and South Georgia archipelagos on the continental shelf and upper slope (10-600 m depth. They have contributed to our knowledge about ascidian distribution and the zoogeographical relationships with the neighbouring areas and the other Subantarctic islands. The distribution of ascidian species suggests that the Scotia Arc is divided into two sectors, the South Orkney Archipelago, related to the Antarctic Province, and the South Georgia Archipelago (probably including the South Sandwich Archipelago, which is intermediate between the Antarctic Province and the Magellan region.

  19. Temporal and spatial variabilities of Antarctic ice mass changes inferred by GRACE in a Bayesian framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L.; Davis, J. L.; Tamisiea, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) holds about 60% of all fresh water on the Earth, an amount equivalent to about 58 m of sea-level rise. Observation of AIS mass change is thus essential in determining and predicting its contribution to sea level. While the ice mass loss estimates for West Antarctica (WA) and the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) are in good agreement, what the mass balance over East Antarctica (EA) is, and whether or not it compensates for the mass loss is under debate. Besides the different error sources and sensitivities of different measurement types, complex spatial and temporal variabilities would be another factor complicating the accurate estimation of the AIS mass balance. Therefore, a model that allows for variabilities in both melting rate and seasonal signals would seem appropriate in the estimation of present-day AIS melting. We present a stochastic filter technique, which enables the Bayesian separation of the systematic stripe noise and mass signal in decade-length GRACE monthly gravity series, and allows the estimation of time-variable seasonal and inter-annual components in the signals. One of the primary advantages of this Bayesian method is that it yields statistically rigorous uncertainty estimates reflecting the inherent spatial resolution of the data. By applying the stochastic filter to the decade-long GRACE observations, we present the temporal variabilities of the AIS mass balance at basin scale, particularly over East Antarctica, and decipher the EA mass variations in the past decade, and their role in affecting overall AIS mass balance and sea level.

  20. Diatom-induced silicon isotopic fractionation in Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francois, F.; Damien, C.; Jean-Louis, T.; Anthony, W.; Luc, A.

    2006-12-01

    We measured silicon-isotopic composition of dissolved silicon and biogenic silica collected by sequential melting from spring 2003 Antarctic pack ice (Australian sector). Sea ice is a key ecosystem in the Southern Ocean and its melting in spring has been often thought to have a seeding effect for the surface waters, triggering blooms in the mixed layer. This work is the first investigation of the silicon isotopes' proxy in sea ice and allows to estimate the activity of sea-ice diatoms in the different brine structures and the influence of sea- ice diatoms on the spring ice edge blooms. The relative use of the dissolved silicon pool by sea-ice diatoms is usually assessed by calculating nutrient:salinity ratios in the brines. However such an approach is biased by difficulties in evaluating the initial nutrient concentrations in the different brines structures, and by the impossibility to account for late sporadic nutrient replenishments. The silicon-isotopic composition of biogenic silica is a convenient alternative since it integrates an average Si utilization on all generations of diatoms. Measurements were performed on a MC-ICP-MS, in dry plasma mode using external Mg doping. Results are expressed as delta29Si relative to the NBS28 standard. From three sea ice cores with contrasted physico-chemical characteristics, we report significant isotopic fractionations linked to the diatoms activity, with distinct silicon biogeochemical dynamics between different brine structure. The diatoms in snow ice and in brine pockets of frazil or congelation ice have the most positive silicon-isotopic composition (+0.53 to +0.86 p.mil), indicating that they grow in a closed system and use a significant part of the small dissolved silicon pool. In the brine channels and skeletal layer, diatoms display a relatively less positive Si-isotopic composition (+0.41 to +0.70 p.mil), although it is still heavier compared to equilibrium fractionation (+0.38 p.mil). This suggests that they have

  1. Benthic colonization in newly ice-free soft-bottom areas in an Antarctic fjord.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian Lagger

    Full Text Available Extended glacier retreat is among the main consequences of the rapid warming of the West Antarctic Peninsula. Particularly, in the inner part of Potter Cove (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica large areas are now exposed to open sea conditions owing to the retreat of Fourcade glacier. During the 2010 austral summer, underwater photographic surveys were undertaken by SCUBA diving up to 30 m in these new ice-free areas 80 m from the glacier front. Our main aim was to investigate colonization and early succession of the benthic assemblages on soft-bottom areas. Here, we reported a total of 1,146 animals belonging to 13 taxa. Filter-feeders comprised the largest trophic group and sessile fauna showed much higher coverages and densities than mobile fauna at all depths. The most abundant groups were ascidians and bryozoans, which together comprised ~90% of all taxa documented. In a region where most of marine-terminating glaciers are in retreat, these results are an important contribution to improve our knowledge on colonization in the newly ice-free areas.

  2. Acute gastrointestinal haemorrhage on board a cruise ship in the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carron, Mathieu; Globokar, Peter; Sicard, Bruno A

    2016-01-01

    Antarctic tourism on board cruise ships has expanded since the 1990s, essentially in the Antarctic Peninsula. Due to remoteness, medical cases may evolve into life threatening conditions as emergency medical evacuations are challenging. We discuss the case of a young crew member who suddenly fainted with an epigastric pain and abundant rectal bleeding while on board a cruise ship heading to the Deception Island (62°57.6 South, 60°29.5 West), 44 h away from Ushuaia by sea. A medical evacuation was necessary to save the patient whose haemoglobin level rapidly decreased from 11 g/dL to 8.7 g/dL over an 8 h period due to uncontrolled gastrointestinal bleeding. Following discussions between the French, Chilean and Argentinean Medical Top Side Support and Maritime Rescue Authorities and despite poor weather conditions, an emergency medical evacuation by air to Chile was made possible. The evacuation, which was 2 days shorter compared to an evacuation by sea, allowed the patient to reach a hospital facility in time to save his life whereas he decompensated in haemorrhagic shock. As passengers on cruise ships are typically elderly and often following anticoagulant therapies, the risk of bleeding is most important. Facing a gastric haemorrhage, a transfusion is often required. In remote areas, transfusion of fresh whole blood to stabilize a critical patient until he reaches a hospital must be considered.

  3. Characteristics of TIDs in Antarctic Peninsula region from HF and GNSS observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paznukhov, V.; Groves, K. M.; Yampolski, Y.; Sopin, A.; Zalizovski, A.; Kascheev, S. B.; Kashcheyev, A.; Kraemer, K.

    2017-12-01

    Data-acquisition system for coherent HF sounding of the ionosphere has been operating in Antarctic Peninsula since the summer of 2015. HF radar with sounding frequencies from 2 to 6 MHz operates in oblique and vertical sounding modes between Palmer (USA) and Vernadsky (Ukraine) Antarctic stations. The system is built on software defined radio USRP N210. Temporal variations of the ionospherically reflected HF signal parameters on this quasi-vertical radio paths are used for deriving TID characteristics with Frequency and Angular (FAS) technique. The observed climatology of ionospheric disturbances in Antarctic Peninsula region varies significantly through the analyzed period of 2015-2016 and appears to be mainly controlled by background plasma density and neutral wind direction. The most frequently observed periods of the disturbances range from about 20 min to almost an hour, with typical velocities of the order of 100-300 m/s, and spatial scales of several hundreds of kilometers. Analysis of the data shows that during the nighttime, TIDs are observed only about 30%, while during the daytime they were typically observed 70-80% of the time. The intensities of the daytime TIDs are also higher by almost a factor of 2. During the winter period disturbances are present mostly during the day time. During the summer part of the year, disturbances are present for the most part of the day, characterized by somewhat lower velocities and are absent near the minimum of the local plasma density of the ionosphere. The exact mechanism for such pattern and the role of the solar terminator needs further investigation, but it is clear that the main controlling factor is the background plasma density. The first results of the TID propagation direction analysis indicate that during the geomagnetically quiet time propagation direction varies through the day and follows the direction opposite to the background neutral wind flow. This is most likely the effect of the wind filtering of

  4. Meteorological Drivers of West Antarctic Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf Surface Melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, R. C.; Nicolas, J. P.; Bromwich, D. H.; Norris, J. R.; Lubin, D.

    2017-12-01

    We identify synoptic patterns and surface energy balance components driving warming and surface melting on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and ice shelves using reanalysis and satellite remote sensing data from 1973-present. We have developed a synoptic climatology of atmospheric circulation patterns during the summer melt season using k-means cluster and composite analysis of daily 700-mb geopotential height and near-surface air temperature and wind fields from the ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis. Surface melt occurrence is detected in satellite passive microwave brightness temperature observations (K-band, horizontal polarization) beginning with the NASA Nimbus-5 Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR) and continuing with its more familiar descendants SMMR, SSM/I and SSMIS. To diagnose synoptic precursors and physical processes driving surface melt we combine the circulation climatology and multi-decadal records of cloud cover with surface radiative fluxes from the Extended AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP-x) project. We identify three distinct modes of regional summer West Antarctic warming since 1979 involving anomalous ridging over West Antarctica (WA) and the Amundsen Sea (AS). During the 1970s, ESMR data reveal four extensive melt events on the Ross Sea sector of the WAIS also linked to AS blocking. We therefore define an Amundsen Sea Blocking Index (ASBI). The ASBI and synoptic circulation pattern occurrence frequencies are correlated with the tropical Pacific (ENSO) and high latitude Southern Annular Mode (SAM) indices and the West Antarctic melt index. Surface melt in WA is favored by enhanced downwelling infrared and turbulent sensible heat fluxes associated with intrusions of warm, moist marine air. Consistent with recent findings from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE), marine advection to the Ross sector is favored by El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific and a negative SAM. We also find

  5. New insights into the use of stable water isotopes at the northern Antarctic Peninsula as a tool for regional climate studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandoy, Francisco; Tetzner, Dieter; Meyer, Hanno; Gacitúa, Guisella; Hoffmann, Kirstin; Falk, Ulrike; Lambert, Fabrice; MacDonell, Shelley

    2018-03-01

    Due to recent atmospheric and oceanic warming, the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most challenging regions of Antarctica to understand in terms of both local- and regional-scale climate signals. Steep topography and a lack of long-term and in situ meteorological observations complicate the extrapolation of existing climate models to the sub-regional scale. Therefore, new techniques must be developed to better understand processes operating in the region. Isotope signals are traditionally related mainly to atmospheric conditions, but a detailed analysis of individual components can give new insight into oceanic and atmospheric processes. This paper aims to use new isotopic records collected from snow and firn cores in conjunction with existing meteorological and oceanic datasets to determine changes at the climatic scale in the northern extent of the Antarctic Peninsula. In particular, a discernible effect of sea ice cover on local temperatures and the expression of climatic modes, especially the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), is demonstrated. In years with a large sea ice extension in winter (negative SAM anomaly), an inversion layer in the lower troposphere develops at the coastal zone. Therefore, an isotope-temperature relationship (δ-T) valid for all periods cannot be obtained, and instead the δ-T depends on the seasonal variability of oceanic conditions. Comparatively, transitional seasons (autumn and spring) have a consistent isotope-temperature gradient of +0.69 ‰ °C-1. As shown by firn core analysis, the near-surface temperature in the northern-most portion of the Antarctic Peninsula shows a decreasing trend (-0.33 °C year-1) between 2008 and 2014. In addition, the deuterium excess (dexcess) is demonstrated to be a reliable indicator of seasonal oceanic conditions, and therefore suitable to improve a firn age model based on seasonal dexcess variability. The annual accumulation rate in this region is highly variable, ranging between 1060 and 2470 kg m

  6. Temperature Profile of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Deep Borehole, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set reports depth versus temperatures in the fluid-filled portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS–D) deep borehole (70 to 3328 meters depth)....

  7. NASA SCP Arctic and Antarctic Ice Extent from QuikSCAT, 1999-2009, Version 2

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set provides sea ice extent for the Arctic (60-90 degrees North) and Antarctic (52-90 degrees South) in Scatterometer Image Reconstruction (SIR) binary...

  8. MEaSUREs Annual Antarctic Ice Velocity Maps 2005-2017 V001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, provides 12 annual maps of Antarctic ice...

  9. MEaSUREs Annual Antarctic Ice Velocity Maps 2005-2017, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, provides 12 annual maps of Antarctic ice...

  10. MEaSUREs Annual Antarctic Ice Velocity Maps 2005-2016, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, provides 11 annual maps of Antarctic ice...

  11. Atmospheric Mixing Ratios of Hydroperoxides above the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains atmospheric mixing ratios of hydrogen peroxide and methylhydroperoxide at 21 sites on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) were obtained from...

  12. NASA SCP Arctic and Antarctic Ice Extent from QuikSCAT, 1999-2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set provides sea ice extent for the Arctic (60-90 degrees North) and Antarctic (52-90 degrees South) in Scatterometer Image Reconstruction (SIR) binary...

  13. The last ice-sheet advance and retreat across the Antarctic continental shelf: Synchrony or diachrony?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, C.; Livingstone, S. J.; O'Cofaigh, C.; Stokes, C. R.; Vieli, A.; Jamieson, S.; Smith, J.; Kuhn, G.; Melles, M.; Graham, A. G.; Larter, R. D.

    2012-12-01

    Over the last few decades, numerous studies from various sectors of the Antarctic continental shelf have reconstructed the spatial extent of grounded ice-sheet advance during the last glacial period and the timing of its retreat. Most reconstructions were based on the bathymetric mapping of subglacial bedforms on the seabed and the palaeoenvironmental interpretation and dating of sub-seafloor sediments in cores. In addition, surface exposure age dating on rocks from the hinterland using cosmogenic isotopes and ice-sheet models were used to constrain the last ice-sheet advance and retreat. Different regional reconstructions provided consistent results for several study areas. In contrast, recent circum-Antarctic reviews that compiled the spatial and temporal information about maximum ice-sheet advance and retreat from these regional studies came to conflicting conclusions regarding i) the maximum extent of grounded ice, and ii) the synchronous/diachronous behaviour of the northern and southern hemispheric ice sheets and the individual drainage sectors within the Antarctic Ice Sheet, respectively. Resolving these conflicts is essential for identifying the main drivers of Antarctic ice-sheet retreat, evaluating the contribution of Antarctic ice-sheet melting to global sea-level rise over the last ~20 ka, understanding the dynamics of individual drainage sectors within the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and locating possible glacial refuges for benthic organisms on the Antarctic shelf. Here we will present examples of circum-Antarctic reconstructions and discuss possible reasons for conflicting conclusions. In some cases, apparent discrepancies can simply be explained by the ambiguity of terms such as "Last Glacial Maximum", which can refer either to a particular time slice (e.g. 23-19 ka BP) or to the time when grounded ice reached its last maximum extent in a particular sector of the Antarctic continental shelf, and "deglaciation", which can refer either to the time of

  14. Antarctic Circumpolar Current Dynamics and Their Relation to Antarctic Ice Sheet and Perennial Sea-Ice Variability in the Central Drake Passage During the Last Climate Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, G.; Wu, S.; Hass, H. C.; Klages, J. P.; Zheng, X.; Arz, H. W.; Esper, O.; Hillenbrand, C. D.; Lange, C.; Lamy, F.; Lohmann, G.; Müller, J.; McCave, I. N. N.; Nürnberg, D.; Roberts, J.; Tiedemann, R.; Timmermann, A.; Titschack, J.; Zhang, X.

    2017-12-01

    The evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last climate cycle and the interrelation to global atmospheric and ocean circulation remains controversial and plays an important role for our understanding of ice sheet response to modern global warming. The timing and sequence of deglacial warming is relevant for understanding the variability and sensitivity of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climatic changes, and the continuing rise of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is a pivotal component of the global water budget. Freshwater fluxes from the ice sheet may affect the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which is strongly impacted by the westerly wind belt in the Southern Hemisphere (SHWW) and constricted to its narrowest extent in the Drake Passage. The flow of ACC water masses through Drake Passage is, therefore, crucial for advancing our understanding of the Southern Ocean's role in global meridional overturning circulation and global climate change. In order to address orbital and millennial-scale variability of the Antarctic ice sheet and the ACC, we applied a multi-proxy approach on a sediment core from the central Drake Passage including grain size, iceberg-rafted debris, mineral dust, bulk chemical and mineralogical composition, and physical properties. In combination with already published and new sediment records from the Drake Passage and Scotia Sea, as well as high-resolution data from Antarctic ice cores (WDC, EDML), we now have evidence that during glacial times a more northerly extent of the perennial sea-ice zone decreased ACC current velocities in the central Drake Passage. During deglaciation the SHWW shifted southwards due to a decreasing temperature gradient between subtropical and polar latitudes caused by sea ice and ice sheet decline. This in turn caused Southern Hemisphere warming, a more vigorous ACC, stronger Southern Ocean ventilation, and warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) upwelling on Antarctic shelves

  15. Observational Evidence of a Hemispheric-wide Ice-ocean Albedo Feedback Effect on Antarctic Sea-ice Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nihashi, Sohey; Cavalieri, Donald J.

    2007-01-01

    The effect of ice-ocean albedo feedback (a kind of ice-albedo feedback) on sea-ice decay is demonstrated over the Antarctic sea-ice zone from an analysis of satellite-derived hemispheric sea ice concentration and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ERA-40) atmospheric data for the period 1979-2001. Sea ice concentration in December (time of most active melt) correlates better with the meridional component of the wind-forced ice drift (MID) in November (beginning of the melt season) than the MID in December. This 1 month lagged correlation is observed in most of the Antarctic sea-ice covered ocean. Daily time series of ice , concentration show that the ice concentration anomaly increases toward the time of maximum sea-ice melt. These findings can be explained by the following positive feedback effect: once ice concentration decreases (increases) at the beginning of the melt season, solar heating of the upper ocean through the increased (decreased) open water fraction is enhanced (reduced), leading to (suppressing) a further decrease in ice concentration by the oceanic heat. Results obtained fi-om a simple ice-ocean coupled model also support our interpretation of the observational results. This positive feedback mechanism explains in part the large interannual variability of the sea-ice cover in summer.

  16. Antarctic Ice Sheet Slope and Aspect Based on Icesat's Repeat Orbit Measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, L.; Li, F.; Zhang, S.; Xie, S.; Xiao, F.; Zhu, T.; Zhang, Y.

    2017-09-01

    Accurate information of ice sheet surface slope is essential for estimating elevation change by satellite altimetry measurement. A study is carried out to recover surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet from Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) elevation measurements based on repeat orbits. ICESat provides repeat ground tracks within 200 meters in cross-track direction and 170 meters in along-track direction for most areas of Antarctic ice sheet. Both cross-track and along-track surface slopes could be obtained by adjacent repeat ground tracks. Combining those measurements yields a surface slope model with resolution of approximately 200 meters. An algorithm considering elevation change is developed to estimate the surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet. Three Antarctic Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) were used to calculate surface slopes. The surface slopes from DEMs are compared with estimates by using in situ GPS data in Dome A, the summit of Antarctic ice sheet. Our results reveal an average surface slope difference of 0.02 degree in Dome A. High resolution remote sensing images are also used in comparing the results derived from other DEMs and this paper. The comparison implies that our results have a slightly better coherence with GPS observation than results from DEMs, but our results provide more details and perform higher accuracy in coastal areas because of the higher resolution for ICESat measurements. Ice divides are estimated based on the aspect, and are weakly consistent with ice divides from other method in coastal regions.

  17. ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET SLOPE AND ASPECT BASED ON ICESAT’S REPEAT ORBIT MEASUREMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Yuan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Accurate information of ice sheet surface slope is essential for estimating elevation change by satellite altimetry measurement. A study is carried out to recover surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet from Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat elevation measurements based on repeat orbits. ICESat provides repeat ground tracks within 200 meters in cross-track direction and 170 meters in along-track direction for most areas of Antarctic ice sheet. Both cross-track and along-track surface slopes could be obtained by adjacent repeat ground tracks. Combining those measurements yields a surface slope model with resolution of approximately 200 meters. An algorithm considering elevation change is developed to estimate the surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet. Three Antarctic Digital Elevation Models (DEMs were used to calculate surface slopes. The surface slopes from DEMs are compared with estimates by using in situ GPS data in Dome A, the summit of Antarctic ice sheet. Our results reveal an average surface slope difference of 0.02 degree in Dome A. High resolution remote sensing images are also used in comparing the results derived from other DEMs and this paper. The comparison implies that our results have a slightly better coherence with GPS observation than results from DEMs, but our results provide more details and perform higher accuracy in coastal areas because of the higher resolution for ICESat measurements. Ice divides are estimated based on the aspect, and are weakly consistent with ice divides from other method in coastal regions.

  18. 210-Pb Study of Fjord Sedimentation Rates in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimball, B. L.; Nittrouer, C. A.; Landowski, C. M.; Koppes, M.; Hallet, B.

    2007-12-01

    As part of a study concerning the factors controlling rates of glacial erosion and sedimentation across climatic regimes, sixteen kasten cores were collected from ten fjords in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula in April and May, 2007 from the R/VIB Nathaniel B. Palmer. They were sampled for 210Pb measurements of accumulation rates and associated sedimentological observations (x-radiography, sedimentology). The cores were collected from basins within a few kilometers of the calving front at the respective glacier, where sediment accumulation was observed in 3.5 kHz sub-bottom profiles. Core lengths ranged from 34-289 cm; in 7 of the 16 core locations, multiple deployments were required to retrieve even a short sediment core due to the hardness of the bed. For most of the cores (10 of 16) sandy mud has accumulated steadily at rates ranging from 1 to 10 mm/y over the past century, as tightly defined by clear linear trends of 10 to 15 log 210Pb values versus depth, with r2 ranging from 0.75-0.98. The rates of accumulation appear to be independent of distance from the calving front, and most likely reflect variability in glacial-marine sediment delivery to, and basin morphology of, individual fjords. Several cores show evidence of variable sedimentation with pulses of sand emplacement. Three cores contained a surficial layer >50 cm thick of uniform 210Pb activity, indicating recent, rapid deposition of a large turbidity current or mass flow. The consistency of many of the 210Pb profiles implies that, over the past century, the glacial-marine processes that supplied, transported and deposited sediment in these sub-polar and polar fjords have not varied markedly. This contrasts with other glacial-marine systems in warmer regions such SE Alaska, where sedimentation in the fjords from calving temperate glaciers tends to vary significantly, and where the accumulation tends to slow as the calving front recedes rapidly from the core location. The rates of

  19. Overview and Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in more recent reports lie between approximately ?50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009. The 300 Gt/year range is approximately 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (?28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. We also modify the IOM estimate using (1) an alternate extrapolation to estimate the discharge from the non-observed 15% of the periphery, and (2) substitution of input from a field data compilation for input from an atmospheric model in 6% of area. The modified IOM estimate reduces the loss from 136 Gt/year to 13 Gt/year. Two ERS-based estimates, the modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 2005 lie in a narrowed range of ?27 to -40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992 2001 is -47 Gt/year for West Antarctica, ?16 Gt/year for East Antarctica, and -31 Gt/year overall (?0.1 mm/year SLE), not including part of the Antarctic Peninsula (1.07% of the AIS area). Although recent reports of large and increasing rates of mass loss with time from GRACE-based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion

  20. Influence of snow depth and surface flooding on light transmission through Antarctic pack ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, Stefanie; Meiners, Klaus M.; Ricker, Robert; Krumpen, Thomas; Katlein, Christian; Nicolaus, Marcel

    2017-03-01

    Snow on sea ice alters the properties of the underlying ice cover as well as associated physical and biological processes at the interfaces between atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean. The Antarctic snow cover persists during most of the year and contributes significantly to the sea-ice mass due to the widespread surface flooding and related snow-ice formation. Snow also enhances the sea-ice surface reflectivity of incoming shortwave radiation and determines therefore the amount of light being reflected, absorbed, and transmitted to the upper ocean. Here, we present results of a case study of spectral solar radiation measurements under Antarctic pack ice with an instrumented Remotely Operated Vehicle in the Weddell Sea in 2013. In order to identify the key variables controlling the spatial distribution of the under-ice light regime, we exploit under-ice optical measurements in combination with simultaneous characterization of surface properties, such as sea-ice thickness and snow depth. Our results reveal that the distribution of flooded and nonflooded sea-ice areas dominates the spatial scales of under-ice light variability for areas smaller than 100 m-by-100 m. However, the heterogeneous and highly metamorphous snow on Antarctic pack ice obscures a direct correlation between the under-ice light field and snow depth. Compared to the Arctic, light levels under Antarctic pack ice are extremely low during spring (<0.1%). This is mostly a result of the distinctly different dominant sea ice and snow properties with seasonal snow cover (including strong surface melt and summer melt ponds) in the Arctic and a year-round snow cover and widespread surface flooding in the Southern Ocean.

  1. Forecast of Antarctic Sea Ice and Meteorological Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.; Orquera, F.

    2017-12-01

    Since 2001, we have been forecasting the climatic fields of the Antarctic sea ice (SI) and surface air temperature, surface pressure and precipitation anomalies for the Southern Hemisphere at the Meteorological Department of the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service with different techniques that have evolved with the years. Forecast is based on the results of Principal Components Analysis applied to SI series (S-Mode) that gives patterns of temporal series with validity areas (these series are important to determine which areas in Antarctica will have positive or negative SI anomalies based on what happen in the atmosphere) and, on the other hand, to SI fields (T-Mode) that give us the form of the SI fields anomalies based on a classification of 16 patterns. Each T-Mode pattern has unique atmospheric fields associated to them. Therefore, it is possible to forecast whichever atmosphere variable we decide for the Southern Hemisphere. When the forecast is obtained, each pattern has a probability of occurrence and sometimes it is necessary to compose more than one of them to obtain the final result. S-Mode and T-Mode are monthly updated with new data, for that reason the forecasts improved with the increase of cases since 2001. We used the Monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations database derived from satellite information generated by NASA Team algorithm provided monthly by the National Snow and Ice Data Center of USA that begins in November 1978. Recently, we have been experimenting with multilayer Perceptron (neuronal network) with supervised learning and a back-propagation algorithm to improve the forecast. The Perceptron is the most common Artificial Neural Network topology dedicated to image pattern recognition. It was implemented through the use of temperature and pressure anomalies field images that were associated with a the different sea ice anomaly patterns. The variables analyzed included only composites of surface air temperature and pressure anomalies

  2. Ice age aerosol content from east Antarctic ice core samples and past wind strength

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petit, J.R.; Briat, M.; Royer, A.

    1981-01-01

    The possible link between the aerosol content from the 905 deep Dome C ice core (East Antartica) which spans some 32,000 yr (Lorius et al. Nature; 280:644 (1979)) and climate, is considered. No evidence of major global or local volcanic activity was found though large marine and continental inputs (respectively 5 and 20 times higher than present) were observed at the end of the last Glacial stage. It is considered that they reflect glacial age climate with stronger atmospheric circulation, enhanced aridity and faster aerosol transport towards the Antarctic continent. (U.K.)

  3. Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992 - 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Published mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) lie between approximately +50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009, which span a range equivalent to 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar-altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (+28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. Although recent reports of large and accelerating rates of mass loss from GRACE=based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion. We find that the extrapolation used in the published IOM estimates for the 15 % of the periphery for which discharge velocities are not observed gives twice the rate of discharge per unit of associated ice-sheet area than the 85% faster-moving parts. Our calculations show that the published extrapolation overestimates the ice discharge by 282 Gt/yr compared to our assumption that the slower moving areas have 70% as much discharge per area as the faster moving parts. Also, published data on the time-series of discharge velocities and accumulation/precipitation do not support mass output increases or input decreases with time, respectively. Our modified IOM estimate, using the 70% discharge assumption and substituting input from a field-data compilation for input from an atmospheric model over 6% of area, gives a loss of only 13 Gt/year (versus 136 Gt/year) for the period around 2000. Two ERS-based estimates, our modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 to 2005 lie in a narrowed range of +27 to - 40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992-2001 is - 47 Gt

  4. Do pelagic grazers benefit from sea ice? Insights from the Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Schmidt

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice affects primary production in polar regions in multiple ways. It can dampen water column productivity by reducing light or nutrient supply, provide a habitat for ice algae and condition the marginal ice zone (MIZ for phytoplankton blooms on its seasonal retreat. The relative importance of three different carbon sources (sea ice derived, sea ice conditioned, non-sea-ice associated for the polar food web is not well understood, partly due to the lack of methods that enable their unambiguous distinction. Here we analysed two highly branched isoprenoid (HBI biomarkers to trace sea-ice-derived and sea-ice-conditioned carbon in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba and relate their concentrations to the grazers' body reserves, growth and recruitment. During our sampling in January–February 2003, the proxy for sea ice diatoms (a di-unsaturated HBI termed IPSO25, δ13C  =  −12.5 ± 3.3 ‰ occurred in open waters of the western Scotia Sea, where seasonal ice retreat was slow. In suspended matter from surface waters, IPSO25 was present at a few stations close to the ice edge, but in krill the marker was widespread. Even at stations that had been ice-free for several weeks, IPSO25 was found in krill stomachs, suggesting that they gathered the ice-derived algae from below the upper mixed layer. Peak abundances of the proxy for MIZ diatoms (a tri-unsaturated HBI termed HBI III, δ13C  =  −42.2 ± 2.4 ‰ occurred in regions of fast sea ice retreat and persistent salinity-driven stratification in the eastern Scotia Sea. Krill sampled in the area defined by the ice edge bloom likewise contained high amounts of HBI III. As indicators for the grazer's performance we used the mass–length ratio, size of digestive gland and growth rate for krill, and recruitment for the biomass-dominant calanoid copepods Calanoides acutus and Calanus propinquus. These indices consistently point to blooms in the MIZ as an important feeding

  5. Response of lightning energy and total electron content with sprites over Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suparta, W.; Yusop, N.

    2017-05-01

    This paper investigates the response of the lightning energy with the total electron content (TEC) derived from GPS over Antarctic Peninsula during St Patrick’s geomagnetic storm. During this event, sprite as one of the mesospheric transient luminous events (TLEs) associated with positive cloud-to-ground (+CG) lightning discharges can be generated. In this work, GPS and lightning data for the period from 14 to 20 March 2015 is analyzed. Geomagnetic activity and electric field data are also processed to relate the geomagnetic storm and lightning. Results show that during St Patrick’s geomagnetic storm, the lighting energy was produced up to ∼257 kJ. The ionospheric TEC was obtained 60 TECU, 38 TECU and 78 TECU between 18:00 and 21:00 UT for OHI3, PALV and ROTH stations, respectively. The peak of lightning energy was observed 14 hours after peaked of TEC. Sprite possibly generated through the electrical coupling process between the top cloud, middle and upper atmosphere with the DC electric field found to be ∼10 mVm-1 which leading to the sprite generation after the return strokes on 18 March 2015.

  6. Regional Geological Mapping in the Graham Land of Antarctic Peninsula Using LANDSAT-8 Remote Sensing Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pour, A. B.; Hashim, M.; Park, Y.

    2017-10-01

    Geological investigations in Antarctica confront many difficulties due to its remoteness and extreme environmental conditions. In this study, the applications of Landsat-8 data were investigated to extract geological information for lithological and alteration mineral mapping in poorly exposed lithologies in inaccessible domains such in Antarctica. The north-eastern Graham Land, Antarctic Peninsula (AP) was selected in this study to conduct a satellite-based remote sensing mapping technique. Continuum Removal (CR) spectral mapping tool and Independent Components Analysis (ICA) were applied to Landsat-8 spectral bands to map poorly exposed lithologies at regional scale. Pixels composed of distinctive absorption features of alteration mineral assemblages associated with poorly exposed lithological units were detected by applying CR mapping tool to VNIR and SWIR bands of Landsat-8.Pixels related to Si-O bond emission minima features were identified using CR mapping tool to TIR bands in poorly mapped andunmapped zones in north-eastern Graham Land at regional scale. Anomaly pixels in the ICA image maps related to spectral featuresof Al-O-H, Fe, Mg-O-H and CO3 groups and well-constrained lithological attributions from felsic to mafic rocks were detectedusing VNIR, SWIR and TIR datasets of Landsat-8. The approach used in this study performed very well for lithological andalteration mineral mapping with little available geological data or without prior information of the study region.

  7. TID Parameters over the Antarctic Peninsula as Derived from TEC Measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paznukhov, V.; Galushko, V.; Groves, K. M.; Sopin, A.; Yampolski, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Results of TID analysis from multi-site TEC observations over the Antarctic Peninsula for the period from 2009 to 2012 are presented. Diurnal dependences of the occurrence frequency, and motion velocity and direction probability density distributions are determined for middle-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MSTIDs). TID parameters are calculated using dynamic approach to the problem of ionospheric disturbance diagnostics which has been extended to allow for an arbitrary waveform of TEC perturbations. We have also developed a dedicated algorithm to determine the presence of TID disturbances in the TEC records which is based on the correlation analysis. Statistical treatment of the obtained results shows that during daytime the TIDs propagate predominantly in the northern and northeastern directions. In the evening and nocturnal hours the northwestern direction is prevailing, with the characteristic TID velocities range from 10 to 250 m/s. The most probable TID velocities are tens of meters per second, while the mean values are equal to about 100 - 130 m/s. During the daytime the velocities of the ionospheric disturbances are even higher. The work also presents variations of the TID parameters with seasons and geomagnetic conditions and the role of the solar terminator as a possible source of the disturbances is discussed.

  8. Upper ocean variability in west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf waters as measured using instrumented seals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Daniel P.; Klinck, John M.; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Dinniman, Michael S.; Burns, Jennifer M.

    2008-02-01

    Temperature profile data for the west Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) continental shelf waters, collected from freely ranging instrumented seals (crabeater, Lobodon carcinophagus and leopard, Hydrurga leptonyx), were used to demonstrate that these platforms can be used to supplement traditional oceanographic sampling methods to investigate the physical properties of the upper water column. The seal-derived profiles were combined with temperature profiles obtained from ship-based CTD measurements and from a numerical circulation model developed for the WAP to describe changes in temperature structure, heat content, and heat flux in the upper ocean waters of the WAP continental shelf. The seal-derived data documented the fall-to-winter transition of the surface waters and the shelf-wide presence of modified Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) below 150-200 m on the WAP continental shelf. The heat content of the upper 200 m calculated from the seal-derived temperature profiles ranged between 1000 and 1500 MJ m -2; similar estimates were obtained from simulated temperature distributions. The seal-derived temperature measurements provided broader space and time resolution than was possible using any other currently available oceanographic sampling method. As such, the seal-derived measurements provided a valuable dataset for evaluation of temperature fields obtained from a numerical circulation model.

  9. Analysis of Glacial Change in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula Region Using Photogrammetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, W.; Arkle, J.; Devillier, K.; Neely, N.; Velasco, A. A.

    2009-05-01

    Clearly and robustly documenting global climate change over this past century remains a key goal for researchers. Polar regions are an ideal place to study change, since they are particularly sensitive to temperature changes. As part of an International Polar Year (IPY) grant called IPY-ROAM (Research and Educational Opportunities in Antarctica for Minorities), faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) took 29 underrepresented minority students and teachers on a research expedition to Antarctica over winter break 2007. One goal of the program was to document glacial change along the Antarctic Peninsula over the past century using photogrammetry, a technique that uses photos to make accurate geographic measurements. Prior to embarkation, we gathered historic photos of glaciers along our travel route. During the expedition, new photos were taken within the old photo sites, where we made Global Positioning System (GPS) readings and accurately measurement angles to the geographic features. The geographic features (including top and bottom of a glacier) were then mapped onto a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) that allowed us to determine location, scale and distance to these features on the photos. With the angle and distance, the height difference between the old and current photo of the glacier was calculated using basic trigonometric functions. In one case, we determined a 14 m reduction in glacier height from 1934 to 2007. Future work will include analysis from more glaciers in the region, and to determine if there is a correlation between glacier retreat and climate change. ROAM/index.html

  10. Dynamics of phytoplankton communities during late summer around the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Carlos Rafael Borges; de Souza, Márcio Silva; Garcia, Virginia Maria Tavano; Leal, Miguel Costa; Brotas, Vanda; Garcia, Carlos Alberto Eiras

    The composition and distribution of phytoplankton assemblages around the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula were studied during two summer cruises (February/March 2008 and 2009). Water samples were collected for HPLC/CHEMTAX pigment and microscopic analysis. A great spatial variability in chlorophyll a (Chl a) was observed in the study area: highest levels in the vicinity of the James Ross Island (exceeding 7 mg m-3 in 2009), intermediate values (0.5 to 2 mg m-3) in the Bransfield Strait, and low concentrations in the Weddell Sea and Drake Passage (below 0.5 mg m-3). Phytoplankton assemblages were generally dominated by diatoms, especially at coastal stations with high Chl a concentration, where diatom contribution was above 90% of total Chl a. Nanoflagellates, such as cryptophytes and/or Phaeocystis antarctica, replaced diatoms in open-ocean areas (e.g., Weddell Sea). Many species of peridinin-lacking autotrophic dinoflagellates (e.g., Gymnodinium spp.) were also important to total Chl a biomass at well-stratified stations of Bransfield Strait. Generally, water column structure was the most important environmental factor determining phytoplankton communities' biomass and distribution. The HPLC pigment data also allowed the assessment of different physiological responses of phytoplankton to ambient light variation. The present study provides new insights about the dynamics of phytoplankton in an undersampled region of the Southern Ocean highly susceptible to global climate change.

  11. Decadal variability in phytoplankton community structure along the West Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, O.; Saba, G.; Miles, T. N.; Carvalho, F.; Couto, N.

    2016-02-01

    The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is associated with large phytoplankton blooms that are dominated by large (>20 microns) diatoms however, nanoplankton (Research (Pal LTER) program, we assessed long-term patterns and stability in the coastal phytoplankton communities in the WAP. There was significant interannual variability in the integrated water column chlorophyll a (chl-a) concentrations, which varied by a factor of 5 over the 20-year time series. Within the time series the dominant phytoplankton taxa were diatoms, with the second most abundant phytoplankton taxa present being cryptophyes. While diatoms were observed over the full range of observed salinities (34.5 to 32) as well as over the full range of in situ temperatures (-1.5 to 2.5° C), the cryptophyte populations were observed in lower salinity (33.75 to 32.5) and colder water (-1 to 1° C) for the local time series at Palmer Station. This pattern was not observed for the ship spatial time series data, which might reflect the species diversity in the cryptophyte species between northern and southern waters of the WAP. Regardless, diatoms and cryptophytes were inversely related to each other across the entire WAP. Years when environmental factors favor water column stability, there are anomalously large summer diatom blooms. Consistent with modeling studies this suggests a potential shift to multivorous food web, which has significant ecological and biogeochemical implications, such as decreased efficiency of atmospheric carbon sequesteration.

  12. Actively evolving subglacial conduits and eskers initiate ice shelf channels at an Antarctic grounding line

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drews, R.; Pattyn, F.; Hewitt, I. J.; Ng, F. S. L.; Berger, S.; Matsuoka, K.; Helm, V.; Bergeot, N.; Favier, L.; Neckel, N.

    2017-05-01

    Ice-shelf channels are long curvilinear tracts of thin ice found on Antarctic ice shelves. Many of them originate near the grounding line, but their formation mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we use ice-penetrating radar data from Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, to infer that the morphology of several ice-shelf channels is seeded upstream of the grounding line by large basal obstacles indenting the ice from below. We interpret each obstacle as an esker ridge formed from sediments deposited by subglacial water conduits, and calculate that the eskers' size grows towards the grounding line where deposition rates are maximum. Relict features on the shelf indicate that these linked systems of subglacial conduits and ice-shelf channels have been changing over the past few centuries. Because ice-shelf channels are loci where intense melting occurs to thin an ice shelf, these findings expose a novel link between subglacial drainage, sedimentation and ice-shelf stability.

  13. Actively evolving subglacial conduits and eskers initiate ice shelf channels at an Antarctic grounding line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drews, R; Pattyn, F; Hewitt, I J; Ng, F S L; Berger, S; Matsuoka, K; Helm, V; Bergeot, N; Favier, L; Neckel, N

    2017-05-09

    Ice-shelf channels are long curvilinear tracts of thin ice found on Antarctic ice shelves. Many of them originate near the grounding line, but their formation mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we use ice-penetrating radar data from Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, to infer that the morphology of several ice-shelf channels is seeded upstream of the grounding line by large basal obstacles indenting the ice from below. We interpret each obstacle as an esker ridge formed from sediments deposited by subglacial water conduits, and calculate that the eskers' size grows towards the grounding line where deposition rates are maximum. Relict features on the shelf indicate that these linked systems of subglacial conduits and ice-shelf channels have been changing over the past few centuries. Because ice-shelf channels are loci where intense melting occurs to thin an ice shelf, these findings expose a novel link between subglacial drainage, sedimentation and ice-shelf stability.

  14. Spatial and Temporal Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Trends, Glacio-Isostatic Adjustment, and Surface Processes from a Joint Inversion of Satellite Altimeter, Gravity, and GPS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Espanol, Alba; Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Clarke, Peter J.; Flament, Thomas; Helm, Veit; King, Matt A.; Luthcke, Scott B.; Petrie, Elizabeth; Remy, Frederique; Schon, Nana; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present spatiotemporal mass balance trends for the Antarctic Ice Sheet from a statistical inversion of satellite altimetry, gravimetry, and elastic-corrected GPS data for the period 2003-2013. Our method simultaneously determines annual trends in ice dynamics, surface mass balance anomalies, and a time-invariant solution for glacio-isostatic adjustment while remaining largely independent of forward models. We establish that over the period 2003-2013, Antarctica has been losing mass at a rateof -84 +/- 22 Gt per yr, with a sustained negative mean trend of dynamic imbalance of -111 +/- 13 Gt per yr. West Antarctica is the largest contributor with -112 +/- 10 Gt per yr, mainly triggered by high thinning rates of glaciers draining into the Amundsen Sea Embayment. The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a dramatic increase in mass loss in the last decade, with a mean rate of -28 +/- 7 Gt per yr and significantly higher values for the most recent years following the destabilization of the Southern Antarctic Peninsula around 2010. The total mass loss is partly compensated by a significant mass gain of 56 +/- 18 Gt per yr in East Antarctica due to a positive trend of surface mass balance anomalies.

  15. The LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica, LARISSA a Model for Antarctic Integrated System Science (AISS) Investigations using Marine Platforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domack, E. W.; Huber, B. A.; Vernet, M.; Leventer, A.; Scambos, T. A.; Mosley-Thompson, E. S.; Smith, C. R.; de Batist, M. A.; Yoon, H.; Larissa

    2010-12-01

    The LARISSA program is the first interdisciplinary project funded in the AISS program of the NSF Office of Polar Programs and was officially launched in the closing days of the IPY. This program brings together investigators, students, and media to address the rapid and fundamental changes taking place in the region of the Larsen Ice Shelf and surrounding areas. Scientific foci include: glaciologic and oceanographic interactions, the response of pelagic and benthic ecosystems to ice shelf decay, sedimentary record of ice shelf break disintegration, the geologic evolution of ice shelf systems over the last 100,000 years, paleoclimate/environmental records from marine sediment and ice cores, and the crustal response to ice mass loss at decade to millennial time scales. The first major field season took place this past austral summer aboard the NB Palmer (cruise NBP10-01) which deployed with a multi-layered logistical infrastructure that included: two Bell 220 aircraft, a multifunctional deep water ROV, video guided sediment corer, jumbo piston core, and an array of oceanographic and biological sensors and instruments. In tandem with this ship based operation Twin Otter aircraft supported an ice core team upon the crest of the Bruce Plateau with logistic support provided by the BAS at Rothera Station. Although unusually heavy sea ice prevented much of the original work from being completed in the Larsen Embayment the interdisciplinary approach proved useful. Further the logistical model of ship based aircraft to support interdisciplinary work proved viable, again despite an unusually severe summer meterologic pattern across the northern Antarctic Peninsula. As the program moves forward other vessels will come into play and the model can be applied to interdisciplinary objectives in other regions of Antarctica which are remote and lack land based infrastructure to support coastal field programs in glaciology, geology, or meteorology. This work could then be completed

  16. Future Antarctic bed topography and its implications for ice sheet dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, S.; Ivins, E. R.; Larour, E.; Seroussi, H.; Morlighem, M.; Nowicki, S.

    2014-06-01

    The Antarctic bedrock is evolving as the solid Earth responds to the past and ongoing evolution of the ice sheet. A recently improved ice loading history suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) has generally been losing its mass since the Last Glacial Maximum. In a sustained warming climate, the AIS is predicted to retreat at a greater pace, primarily via melting beneath the ice shelves. We employ the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) capability of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) to combine these past and future ice loadings and provide the new solid Earth computations for the AIS. We find that past loading is relatively less important than future loading for the evolution of the future bed topography. Our computations predict that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may uplift by a few meters and a few tens of meters at years AD 2100 and 2500, respectively, and that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is likely to remain unchanged or subside minimally except around the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amundsen Sea Sector in particular is predicted to rise at the greatest rate; one hundred years of ice evolution in this region, for example, predicts that the coastline of Pine Island Bay will approach roughly 45 mm yr-1 in viscoelastic vertical motion. Of particular importance, we systematically demonstrate that the effect of a pervasive and large GIA uplift in the WAIS is generally associated with the flattening of reverse bed slope, reduction of local sea depth, and thus the extension of grounding line (GL) towards the continental shelf. Using the 3-D higher-order ice flow capability of ISSM, such a migration of GL is shown to inhibit the ice flow. This negative feedback between the ice sheet and the solid Earth may promote stability in marine portions of the ice sheet in the future.

  17. Future Antarctic Bed Topography and Its Implications for Ice Sheet Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, Surendra; Ivins, Erik R.; Larour, Eric Y.; Seroussi, Helene L.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Nowicki, S.

    2014-01-01

    The Antarctic bedrock is evolving as the solid Earth responds to the past and ongoing evolution of the ice sheet. A recently improved ice loading history suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) has generally been losing its mass since the Last Glacial Maximum. In a sustained warming climate, the AIS is predicted to retreat at a greater pace, primarily via melting beneath the ice shelves.We employ the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) capability of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) to combine these past and future ice loadings and provide the new solid Earth computations for the AIS.We find that past loading is relatively less important than future loading for the evolution of the future bed topography. Our computations predict that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may uplift by a few meters and a few tens of meters at years AD 2100 and 2500, respectively, and that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is likely to remain unchanged or subside minimally except around the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amundsen Sea Sector in particular is predicted to rise at the greatest rate; one hundred years of ice evolution in this region, for example, predicts that the coastline of Pine Island Bay will approach roughly 45mmyr-1 in viscoelastic vertical motion. Of particular importance, we systematically demonstrate that the effect of a pervasive and large GIA uplift in the WAIS is generally associated with the flattening of reverse bed slope, reduction of local sea depth, and thus the extension of grounding line (GL) towards the continental shelf. Using the 3-D higher-order ice flow capability of ISSM, such a migration of GL is shown to inhibit the ice flow. This negative feedback between the ice sheet and the solid Earth may promote stability in marine portions of the ice sheet in the future.

  18. Changes in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice as a Microcosm of Global Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is a key element of the climate system and has now been monitored through satellite observations for over three and a half decades. The satellite observations reveal considerable information about polar ice and its changes since the late 1970s, including a prominent downward trend in Arctic sea ice coverage and a much lesser upward trend in Antarctic sea ice coverage, illustrative of the important fact that climate change entails spatial contrasts. The decreasing ice coverage in the Arctic corresponds well with contemporaneous Arctic warming and exhibits particularly large decreases in the summers of 2007 and 2012, influenced by both preconditioning and atmospheric conditions. The increasing ice coverage in the Antarctic is not as readily explained, but spatial differences in the Antarctic trends suggest a possible connection with atmospheric circulation changes that have perhaps been influenced by the Antarctic ozone hole. The changes in the polar ice covers and the issues surrounding those changes have many commonalities with broader climate changes and their surrounding issues, allowing the sea ice changes to be viewed in some important ways as a microcosm of global climate change.

  19. Millennial-scale instability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last glaciation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kanfoush, S.L.; Hodell, D.A.; Charles, C.D.; Guilderson, T.P.; Mortyn, P.G.

    2000-01-01

    Records of ice-rafted detritus (IRD) concentration in deep-sea cores from the southeast Atlantic Ocean reveal millennial-scale pulses of IRD delivery between 20,000 and 74,000 years ago. Prominent IRD layers correlate across the Polar Frontal Zone, suggesting episodes of Antarctic Ice Sheet

  20. Ages, ablation and accumulation rates from 14C measurements on Antarctic ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roijen, J.J. van; Borg, K. van der; Jong, A.F.M. de; Oerlemans, J.

    1995-01-01

    Shallow ice cores from an Antarctic blue-ice area at Scharllenbergbotncn were 14C-analyzed using a dry-extraction technique and accelerator mass spectrometry. The in situ production was determined from the 14CO component and used to deduce the natural 14CO2 component. The ages were measured

  1. Pathways of basal meltwater from Antarctic ice shelves: A model study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusahara, Kazuya; Hasumi, Hiroyasu

    2014-09-01

    We investigate spreading pathways of basal meltwater released from all Antarctic ice shelves using a circumpolar coupled ice shelf-sea ice-ocean model that reproduces major features of the Southern Ocean circulation, including the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). Several independent virtual tracers are used to identify detailed pathways of basal meltwaters. The spreading pathways of the meltwater tracers depend on formation sites, because the meltwaters are transported by local ambient ocean circulation. Meltwaters from ice shelves in the Weddell and Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas in surface/subsurface layers are effectively advected to lower latitudes with the ACC. Although a large portion of the basal meltwaters is present in surface and subsurface layers, a part of the basal meltwaters penetrates into the bottom layer through active dense water formation along the Antarctic coastal margins. The signals at the seafloor extend along the topography, showing a horizontal distribution similar to the observed spreading of Antarctic Bottom Water. Meltwaters originating from ice shelves in the Weddell and Ross Seas and in the Indian sector significantly contribute to the bottom signals. A series of numerical experiments in which thermodynamic interaction between the ice shelf and ocean is neglected regionally demonstrates that the basal meltwater of each ice shelf impacts sea ice and/or ocean thermohaline circulation in the Southern Ocean. This article was corrected on 10 OCT 2014. See the end of the full text for details.

  2. Dynamic Antarctic ice sheet during the early to mid-Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasson, Edward; DeConto, Robert M.; Pollard, David; Levy, Richard H.

    2016-03-01

    Geological data indicate that there were major variations in Antarctic ice sheet volume and extent during the early to mid-Miocene. Simulating such large-scale changes is problematic because of a strong hysteresis effect, which results in stability once the ice sheets have reached continental size. A relatively narrow range of atmospheric CO2 concentrations indicated by proxy records exacerbates this problem. Here, we are able to simulate large-scale variability of the early to mid-Miocene Antarctic ice sheet because of three developments in our modeling approach. (i) We use a climate-ice sheet coupling method utilizing a high-resolution atmospheric component to account for ice sheet-climate feedbacks. (ii) The ice sheet model includes recently proposed mechanisms for retreat into deep subglacial basins caused by ice-cliff failure and ice-shelf hydrofracture. (iii) We account for changes in the oxygen isotopic composition of the ice sheet by using isotope-enabled climate and ice sheet models. We compare our modeling results with ice-proximal records emerging from a sedimentological drill core from the Ross Sea (Andrill-2A) that is presented in a companion article. The variability in Antarctic ice volume that we simulate is equivalent to a seawater oxygen isotope signal of 0.52-0.66‰, or a sea level equivalent change of 30-36 m, for a range of atmospheric CO2 between 280 and 500 ppm and a changing astronomical configuration. This result represents a substantial advance in resolving the long-standing model data conflict of Miocene Antarctic ice sheet and sea level variability.

  3. Measurement of the fracture toughness of polycrystalline bubbly ice from an Antarctic ice core

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Christmann

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The critical fracture toughness is a material parameter describing the resistance of a cracked body to further crack extension. It is an important parameter for simulating and predicting the breakup behavior of ice shelves from the calving of single icebergs to the disintegration of entire ice shelves over a wide range of length scales. The fracture toughness values are calculated with equations that are derived from an elastic stress analysis. Additionally, an X-ray computer tomography (CT scanner was used to identify the density as a function of depth. The critical fracture toughness of 91 Antarctic bubbly ice samples with densities between 840 and 870 kg m−3 has been determined by applying a four-point bending technique on single-edge v-notched beam samples. The examined ice core was drilled 70 m north of Kohnen Station, Dronnning Maud Land (75°00' S, 00°04' E; 2882 m. Supplementary data are available at doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.835321.

  4. Neoglacial Antarctic sea-ice expansion driven by mid-Holocene retreat of the Ross Ice Shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendle, J. A.; Newton, K.; Mckay, R. M.; Crosta, X.; Etourneau, J.; Anya, A. B.; Seki, O.; Golledge, N. R.; Bertler, N. A. N.; Willmott, V.; Schouten, S.; Riesselman, C. R.; Masse, G.; Dunbar, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    Recent decades have seen expanding Antarctic sea-ice coverage, coeval with thinning West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice shelves and the rapid freshening of surface and bottom waters along the Antarctic margin. The mid-Holocene Neoglacial transition represents the last comparable baseline shift in sea-ice behaviour. The drivers and feedbacks involved in both the recent and Holocene events are poorly understood and characterised by large proxy-model mismatches. We present new records of compound specific fatty acid isotope analyses (δ2H-FA), highly-branched isoprenoid alkenes (HBIs) TEX86L temperatures, grain-size, mass accumulations rates (MARs) and image analyses from a 171m Holocene sediment sequence from Site U1357 (IODP leg 318). In combination with published records we reconstruct Holocene changes in glacial meltwater, sedimentary inputs and sea-ice. The early Holocene (11 to 10 ka) is characterised by large fluctuations in inputs of deglacial meltwater and sediments and seismic evidence of downlapping material from the south, suggesting a dominating influence from glacial retreat of the local outlet glaciers. From 10 to 8 ka there is decreasing meltwater inputs, an onlapping drift and advection of material from the east. After ca. 8 ka positively correlated δ2H-FA and MARs infer that pulses of glacial melt correlate to stronger easterly currents, driving erosion of material from upstream banks and that the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) becomes a major influence. A large mid-Holocene meltwater pulse (preceded by warming TEX86L temperatures) is evident between ca. 6 to 4.5 ka, culminating in a rapid and permanent increase in sea-ice from 4.5 ka. This is coeval with cosmogenic nuclide evidence for a rapid thinning of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Holocene (Hein et al., 2016). We suggest this represents a final major pulse of deglaciation from the Ross Ice Shelf, which initiates the Neoglacial, driving cool surface waters along the coast and greater sea-ice

  5. Holocene records of geomagnetic field behavior from a north-south transect along the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brachfeld, S. A.; Shah, D. P.; St-Onge, M.; St-Onge, G.

    2013-12-01

    Geochronology is inherently difficult when working with Antarctic margin sediments. Radiocarbon dating and oxygen isotope stratigraphy are challenging or impossible in sites with poor preservation of biogenic calcite. Radiocarbon dating of the acid insoluble organic matter (AIOM) is further complicated by organically lean sediment and the presence of reworked organic carbon or detrital carbon from sedimentary rocks. These complications limit the ability to interpret a paleoclimate record. Geomagnetic paleointensity dating is a proven 'tuning' technique that has been successfully applied in several studies around the Antarctic margin. However, the reference curves to which these sites were tuned were constructed primarily from Northern Hemisphere data. Here we present paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV) and relative paleointensity (RPI) data from three Antarctic Peninsula sites that possess independent chronologies and which have moderate to ultra-high sedimentation rates (40 - 700 cm/ka). Maxwell Bay, located in the volcanic South Shetland Islands, is an ultra-high-resolution site with strongly magnetic sediments from which the Shallow Drilling (SHALDRIL) program recovered a 108-m record spanning the last 14 ka. Outer Barilari Bay and Hugo Island Trough, which lie to the South along the western Antarctic Peninsula, are moderate resolution sites with a high proportion of biogenic silica. Maxwell Bay and Bariliari Bay are unique in that they possess homogenous sediment and uniform magnetic mineral assemblages, while also preserving biogenic calcite, a rare combination on the Antarctic margin. All three sites preserve strong, stable remanent magnetizations with an easily isolated characteristic component and MAD values generally < 2°, with the exception of turbidites, intervals with abundant dropstones, and biosiliceous ooze intervals. Inclination values fluctuate between the present-day value at the cores sites (-58°) and the geomagnetic axial dipole inclination

  6. Improved simulation of Antarctic sea ice due to the radiative effects of falling snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.-L. F.; Richardson, Mark; Hong, Yulan; Lee, Wei-Liang; Wang, Yi-Hui; Yu, Jia-Yuh; Fetzer, Eric; Stephens, Graeme; Liu, Yinghui

    2017-08-01

    Southern Ocean sea-ice cover exerts critical control on local albedo and Antarctic precipitation, but simulated Antarctic sea-ice concentration commonly disagrees with observations. Here we show that the radiative effects of precipitating ice (falling snow) contribute substantially to this discrepancy. Many models exclude these radiative effects, so they underestimate both shortwave albedo and downward longwave radiation. Using two simulations with the climate model CESM1, we show that including falling-snow radiative effects improves the simulations relative to cloud properties from CloudSat-CALIPSO, radiation from CERES-EBAF and sea-ice concentration from passive microwave sensors. From 50-70°S, the simulated sea-ice-area bias is reduced by 2.12 × 106 km2 (55%) in winter and by 1.17 × 106 km2 (39%) in summer, mainly because increased wintertime longwave heating restricts sea-ice growth and so reduces summer albedo. Improved Antarctic sea-ice simulations will increase confidence in projected Antarctic sea level contributions and changes in global warming driven by long-term changes in Southern Ocean feedbacks.

  7. A comparison of the present and last interglacial periods in six Antarctic ice cores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Masson-Delmotte

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available We compare the present and last interglacial periods as recorded in Antarctic water stable isotope records now available at various temporal resolutions from six East Antarctic ice cores: Vostok, Taylor Dome, EPICA Dome C (EDC, EPICA Dronning Maud Land (EDML, Dome Fuji and the recent TALDICE ice core from Talos Dome. We first review the different modern site characteristics in terms of ice flow, meteorological conditions, precipitation intermittency and moisture origin, as depicted by meteorological data, atmospheric reanalyses and Lagrangian moisture source diagnostics. These different factors can indeed alter the relationships between temperature and water stable isotopes. Using five records with sufficient resolution on the EDC3 age scale, common features are quantified through principal component analyses. Consistent with instrumental records and atmospheric model results, the ice core data depict rather coherent and homogenous patterns in East Antarctica during the last two interglacials. Across the East Antarctic plateau, regional differences, with respect to the common East Antarctic signal, appear to have similar patterns during the current and last interglacials. We identify two abrupt shifts in isotopic records during the glacial inception at TALDICE and EDML, likely caused by regional sea ice expansion. These regional differences are discussed in terms of moisture origin and in terms of past changes in local elevation histories, which are compared to ice sheet model results. Our results suggest that elevation changes may contribute significantly to inter-site differences. These elevation changes may be underestimated by current ice sheet models.

  8. Halogen species record Antarctic sea ice extent over glacial–interglacial periods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Spolaor

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice is an integral part of the earth's climate system because it affects planetary albedo, sea-surface salinity, and the atmosphere–ocean exchange of reactive gases and aerosols. Bromine and iodine chemistry is active at polar sea ice margins with the occurrence of bromine explosions and the biological production of organoiodine from sea ice algae. Satellite measurements demonstrate that concentrations of bromine oxide (BrO and iodine oxide (IO decrease over sea ice toward the Antarctic interior. Here we present speciation measurements of bromine and iodine in the TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE ice core (159°11' E, 72°49' S; 2315 m a.s.l. spanning the last 215 ky. The Talos Dome ice core is located 250 km inland and is sensitive to marine air masses intruding onto the Antarctic Plateau. Talos Dome bromide (Br− is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with sodium (Na. Based on the Br−/Na seawater ratio, bromide is depleted in the ice during glacial periods and enriched during interglacial periods. Total iodine, consisting of iodide (I− and iodate (IO3−, peaks during glacials with lower values during interglacial periods. Although IO3− is considered the most stable iodine species in the atmosphere it was only observed in the TALDICE record during glacial maxima. Sea ice dynamics are arguably the primary driver of halogen fluxes over glacial–interglacial timescales, by altering the distance between the sea ice edge and the Antarctic plateau and by altering the surface area of sea ice available to algal colonization. Based on our results we propose the use of both halogens for examining Antarctic variability of past sea ice extent.

  9. Quaternary and Tertiary microfossils from beneath Ice Stream B: Evidence for a dynamic West Antarctic Ice Sheet history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Reed P.

    1991-10-01

    Some glaciologists have suggested that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is grounded well below sea level, may be susceptible to rapid grounding-line retreat and disintegration. However, until now, geologic evidence of previous ice sheet "collapses" has been lacking. Sediments that have recently been collected from beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet at Ice Stream B contain direct evidence of ice-free conditions in the West Antarctic interior during certain Cenozoic intervals, both prior to and subsequent to the development of grounded ice sheets in West Antarctica. The sediments contain rare but diverse microfossils that represent a wide variety of biostratigraphic ages and depositional environments. Microfossils present include relatively common marine and non-marine diatoms and sponge spicules, plus rare foraminifera, nannofossils, radiolarians, silicoflagellates, chrysophyte cysts and palynomorphs. Clasts of Neogene freshwater diatomite demonstrate the former presence of large lake systems in West Antarctica, possibly as part the Cenozoic West Antarctica rift system. Age-diagnostic marine fossils in the sediment include Late Paleogene calcareous nannofossils and planktonic foraminifera, Miocene marine planktonic diatoms and, significantly, late Pleistocene marine diatoms. Relatively common late Miocene diatoms probably reflect marine deposition prior to initiation of a dominantly glacial phase in West Antarctica. It is likely that Pliocene and early Pleistocene diatoms were deposited in the West Antarctic interior during certain warm interglacials, but these have been eroded and transported toward the continental shelf edge during repeated ice sheet expansions. The late Pleistocene diatoms from Upstream B were deposited in the West Antarctic interior basins during a marine phase, subsequent to an ice sheet collapse, during at least one late Pleistocene interglacial. This discovery provides an indication of the complex history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

  10. The potential macroalgae habitat shifts in an Antarctic Peninsula fjord due to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerosch, Kerstin; Scharf, Frauke; Deregibus, Dolores; Campana, Gabriela; Zacher, Katharina; Hass, Christian; Quartino, Liliana; Abele, Doris

    2016-04-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region is one of the most rapidly warming on earth since the last 50 yr. The WAP glaciers currently contribute one third of the melt water to global sea level rise. Climate warming is supposed to induce important changes in polar ecosystems, from microbial communities to apex predators' levels. Macroalgae are the main biomass producers in Potter Cove located at King George Island, the biggest island of the South Shetland Arc. They are sensitive to climate change factors such as suspended particulate matter (SPM). Macroalgae presence and absence data were used to test SDMs suitability and, simultaneously, to assess the environmental response of macroalgae as well as to model four scenarios of distribution shifts by varying SPM conditions due to climate change. Species distribution models (SDM) predict species occurrence based on statistical relationships with environmental conditions. The R-package 'biomod2' which includes 10 different SDM techniques and 10 different evaluation methods was used in this study. According to the averaged evaluation scores of Relative Operating Characteristics (ROC) and True scale statistics (TSS) by models, those methods based on a multitude of decision trees such as Random Forest and Classification Tree Analysis, reached the highest predictive power followed by generalized boosted models (GBM) and maximum-entropy approaches (Maxent). The final ensemble model (EM) used 135 of 200 calculated models (TSS > 0.7) and identified hard substrate and SPM as the most influencing parameters followed by distance to glacier, total organic carbon (TOC), bathymetry and slope. The modeled current status of macroalgae distribution results in only 18.25% of earlier estimated areas populated by macroalgae in Potter Cove. The climate change scenarios show an invasive reaction of the macroalgae in case of less SPM and a retreat of the macroalgae in case of higher assumed SPM values.

  11. Multi-year analysis of distributed glacier mass balance modelling and equilibrium line altitude on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Falk

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The South Shetland Islands are located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP. This region was subject to strong warming trends in the atmospheric surface layer. Surface air temperature increased about 3 K in 50 years, concurrent with retreating glacier fronts, an increase in melt areas, ice surface lowering and rapid break-up and disintegration of ice shelves. The positive trend in surface air temperature has currently come to a halt. Observed surface air temperature lapse rates show a high variability during winter months (standard deviations up to ±1.0 K (100 m−1 and a distinct spatial heterogeneity reflecting the impact of synoptic weather patterns. The increased mesocyclonic activity during the wintertime over the past decades in the study area results in intensified advection of warm, moist air with high temperatures and rain and leads to melt conditions on the ice cap, fixating surface air temperatures to the melting point. Its impact on winter accumulation results in the observed negative mass balance estimates. Six years of continuous glaciological measurements on mass balance stake transects as well as 5 years of climatological data time series are presented and a spatially distributed glacier energy balance melt model adapted and run based on these multi-year data sets. The glaciological surface mass balance model is generally in good agreement with observations, except for atmospheric conditions promoting snow drift by high wind speeds, turbulence-driven snow deposition and snow layer erosion by rain. No drift in the difference between simulated mass balance and mass balance measurements can be seen over the course of the 5-year model run period. The winter accumulation does not suffice to compensate for the high variability in summer ablation. The results are analysed to assess changes in meltwater input to the coastal waters, specific glacier mass balance and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA. The

  12. Productivity and linkages of the food web of the southern region of the western Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballerini, Tosca; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Ainley, David G.; Daly, Kendra; Marrari, Marina; Ribic, Christine A.; Smith, Walker O.; Steele, John H.

    2014-03-01

    The productivity and linkages in the food web of the southern region of the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf were investigated using a multi-trophic level mass balance model. Data collected during the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics field program were combined with data from the literature on the abundance and diet composition of zooplankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals to calculate energy flows in the food web and to infer the overall food web structure at the annual level. Sensitivity analyses investigated the effects of variability in growth and biomass of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and in the biomass of Antarctic krill predators on the structure and energy fluxes in the food web. Scenario simulations provided insights into the potential responses of the food web to a reduced contribution of large phytoplankton (diatom) production to total primary production, and to reduced consumption of primary production by Antarctic krill and mesozooplankton coincident with increased consumption by microzooplankton and salps. Model-derived estimates of primary production were 187-207 g C m-2 y-1, which are consistent with observed values (47-351 g C m-2 y-1). Simulations showed that Antarctic krill provide the majority of energy needed to sustain seabird and marine mammal production, thereby exerting a bottom-up control on higher trophic level predators. Energy transfer to top predators via mesozooplanton was a less efficient pathway, and salps were a production loss pathway because little of the primary production they consumed was passed to higher trophic levels. Increased predominance of small phytoplankton (nanoflagellates and cryptophytes) reduced the production of Antarctic krill and of its predators, including seabirds and seals.

  13. Productivity and linkages of the food web of the southern region of the western Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballerini, Tosca; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Ainley, David G.; Daly, Kendra L.; Marrari, Marina; Ribic, Christine A.; Smith, Walker O.; Steele, John H.

    2014-01-01

    The productivity and linkages in the food web of the southern region of the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf were investigated using a multi-trophic level mass balance model. Data collected during the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics field program were combined with data from the literature on the abundance and diet composition of zooplankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals to calculate energy flows in the food web and to infer the overall food web structure at the annual level. Sensitivity analyses investigated the effects of variability in growth and biomass of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and in the biomass of Antarctic krill predators on the structure and energy fluxes in the food web. Scenario simulations provided insights into the potential responses of the food web to a reduced contribution of large phytoplankton (diatom) production to total primary production, and to reduced consumption of primary production by Antarctic krill and mesozooplankton coincident with increased consumption by microzooplankton and salps. Model-derived estimates of primary production were 187–207 g C m−2 y−1, which are consistent with observed values (47–351 g C m−2 y−1). Simulations showed that Antarctic krill provide the majority of energy needed to sustain seabird and marine mammal production, thereby exerting a bottom-up control on higher trophic level predators. Energy transfer to top predators via mesozooplanton was a less efficient pathway, and salps were a production loss pathway because little of the primary production they consumed was passed to higher trophic levels. Increased predominance of small phytoplankton (nanoflagellates and cryptophytes) reduced the production of Antarctic krill and of its predators, including seabirds and seals.

  14. Hibernation in an antarctic fish: on ice for winter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamish A Campbell

    Full Text Available Active metabolic suppression in anticipation of winter conditions has been demonstrated in species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, but not fish. This is because the reduction in metabolic rate in fish is directly proportional to the decrease in water temperature and they appear to be incapable of further suppressing their metabolic rate independently of temperature. However, the Antarctic fish (Notothenia coriiceps is unusual because it undergoes winter metabolic suppression irrespective of water temperature. We assessed the seasonal ecological strategy by monitoring swimming activity, growth, feeding and heart rate (f(H in N. coriiceps as they free-ranged within sub-zero waters. The metabolic rate of wild fish was extrapolated from f(H recordings, from oxygen consumption calibrations established in the laboratory prior to fish release. Throughout the summer months N. coriiceps spent a considerable proportion of its time foraging, resulting in a growth rate (G(w of 0.18 +/- 0.2% day(-1. In contrast, during winter much of the time was spent sedentary within a refuge and fish showed a net loss in G(w (-0.05 +/- 0.05% day(-1. Whilst inactive during winter, N. coriiceps displayed a very low f(H, reduced sensory and motor capabilities, and standard metabolic rate was one third lower than in summer. In a similar manner to other hibernating species, dormancy was interrupted with periodic arousals. These arousals, which lasted a few hours, occurred every 4-12 days. During arousal activity, f(H and metabolism increased to summer levels. This endogenous suppression and activation of metabolic processes, independent of body temperature, demonstrates that N. coriiceps were effectively 'putting themselves on ice' during winter months until food resources improved. This study demonstrates that at least some fish species can enter a dormant state similar to hibernation that is not temperature driven and presumably provides seasonal energetic

  15. Predicting subglacial lakes and meltwater drainage pathways beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingstone, S. J.; Clark, C. D.; Woodward, J.

    2013-03-01

    In this paper we use the Shreve hydraulic potential equation to predict subglacial lakes and meltwater drainage pathways beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. For the Antarctic Ice Sheet we are able to predict known subglacial lakes with a >70% success rate, which demonstrates the validity of this method. Despite the success in predicting known subglacial lakes the calculations produce two-orders of magnitude more lakes than are presently identified, covering 4% of the ice-sheet bed. The difference is thought to result from our poor knowledge of the bed (which has resulted in artefacts associated with the interpolation method), intrinsic errors associated with the simplified modelling approach and because thousands of subglacial lakes, particularly smaller ones, remain to be found. Applying the same modelling approach to the Greenland Ice Sheet predicts only 90 lakes under the present-day ice-sheet configuration, covering 0.2% of the bed. The paucity of subglacial lakes in Greenland is thought to be a function of steeper overall ice-surface gradients. As no lakes have currently been located under Greenland, model predictions will make suitable targets for radar surveys of Greenland to identify subglacial lakes. During deglaciation from the Last Glacial Maximum both ice sheets had more subglacial lakes at their beds, though many of these lakes have persisted to present conditions. These lakes, inherited from past ice-sheet configurations would not form under current surface conditions, suggesting a retreating ice-sheet will have many more subglacial lakes than an advancing ice sheet. This hysteresis effect has implications for ice-stream formation and flow, bed lubrication and meltwater drainage. The lake model also allows modelling of the drainage pathways of the present-day and former Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Significantly, key sectors of the ice sheets, such as the Siple Coast (Antarctica) and NE Greenland Ice Stream system, are shown to have

  16. A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Michael J.; Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Anderson, John B.; Conway, Howard; Davies, Bethan; Graham, Alastair G. C.; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Jamieson, Stewart S. R.; Larter, Robert D.; Mackintosh, Andrew; Smith, James A.; Verleyen, Elie; Ackert, Robert P.; Bart, Philip J.; Berg, Sonja; Brunstein, Daniel; Canals, Miquel; Colhoun, Eric A.; Crosta, Xavier; Dickens, William A.; Domack, Eugene; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Dunbar, Robert; Ehrmann, Werner; Evans, Jeffrey; Favier, Vincent; Fink, David; Fogwill, Christopher J.; Glasser, Neil F.; Gohl, Karsten; Golledge, Nicholas R.; Goodwin, Ian; Gore, Damian B.; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Hall, Brenda L.; Hall, Kevin; Hedding, David W.; Hein, Andrew S.; Hocking, Emma P.; Jakobsson, Martin; Johnson, Joanne S.; Jomelli, Vincent; Jones, R. Selwyn; Klages, Johann P.; Kristoffersen, Yngve; Kuhn, Gerhard; Leventer, Amy; Licht, Kathy; Lilly, Katherine; Lindow, Julia; Livingstone, Stephen J.; Massé, Guillaume; McGlone, Matt S.; McKay, Robert M.; Melles, Martin; Miura, Hideki; Mulvaney, Robert; Nel, Werner; Nitsche, Frank O.; O'Brien, Philip E.; Post, Alexandra L.; Roberts, Stephen J.; Saunders, Krystyna M.; Selkirk, Patricia M.; Simms, Alexander R.; Spiegel, Cornelia; Stolldorf, Travis D.; Sugden, David E.; van der Putten, Nathalie; van Ommen, Tas; Verfaillie, Deborah; Vyverman, Wim; Wagner, Bernd; White, Duanne A.; Witus, Alexandra E.; Zwartz, Dan

    2014-09-01

    A robust understanding of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglacial history since the Last Glacial Maximum is important in order to constrain ice sheet and glacial-isostatic adjustment models, and to explore the forcing mechanisms responsible for ice sheet retreat. Such understanding can be derived from a broad range of geological and glaciological datasets and recent decades have seen an upsurge in such data gathering around the continent and Sub-Antarctic islands. Here, we report a new synthesis of those datasets, based on an accompanying series of reviews of the geological data, organised by sector. We present a series of timeslice maps for 20 ka, 15 ka, 10 ka and 5 ka, including grounding line position and ice sheet thickness changes, along with a clear assessment of levels of confidence. The reconstruction shows that the Antarctic Ice sheet did not everywhere reach the continental shelf edge at its maximum, that initial retreat was asynchronous, and that the spatial pattern of deglaciation was highly variable, particularly on the inner shelf. The deglacial reconstruction is consistent with a moderate overall excess ice volume and with a relatively small Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse 1a. We discuss key areas of uncertainty both around the continent and by time interval, and we highlight potential priorities for future work. The synthesis is intended to be a resource for the modelling and glacial geological community.

  17. Antarctic ice sheet discharge driven by atmosphere-ocean feedbacks at the Last Glacial Termination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogwill, C J; Turney, C S M; Golledge, N R; Etheridge, D M; Rubino, M; Thornton, D P; Baker, A; Woodward, J; Winter, K; van Ommen, T D; Moy, A D; Curran, M A J; Davies, S M; Weber, M E; Bird, M I; Munksgaard, N C; Menviel, L; Rootes, C M; Ellis, B; Millman, H; Vohra, J; Rivera, A; Cooper, A

    2017-01-05

    Reconstructing the dynamic response of the Antarctic ice sheets to warming during the Last Glacial Termination (LGT; 18,000-11,650 yrs ago) allows us to disentangle ice-climate feedbacks that are key to improving future projections. Whilst the sequence of events during this period is reasonably well-known, relatively poor chronological control has precluded precise alignment of ice, atmospheric and marine records, making it difficult to assess relationships between Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) dynamics, climate change and sea level. Here we present results from a highly-resolved 'horizontal ice core' from the Weddell Sea Embayment, which records millennial-scale AIS dynamics across this extensive region. Counterintuitively, we find AIS mass-loss across the full duration of the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR; 14,600-12,700 yrs ago), with stabilisation during the subsequent millennia of atmospheric warming. Earth-system and ice-sheet modelling suggests these contrasting trends were likely Antarctic-wide, sustained by feedbacks amplified by the delivery of Circumpolar Deep Water onto the continental shelf. Given the anti-phase relationship between inter-hemispheric climate trends across the LGT our findings demonstrate that Southern Ocean-AIS feedbacks were controlled by global atmospheric teleconnections. With increasing stratification of the Southern Ocean and intensification of mid-latitude westerly winds today, such teleconnections could amplify AIS mass loss and accelerate global sea-level rise.

  18. Roles of wind stress and thermodynamic forcing in recent trends in Antarctic sea ice and Southern Ocean SST: An ocean-sea ice model study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusahara, Kazuya; Williams, Guy D.; Massom, Robert; Reid, Phillip; Hasumi, Hiroyasu

    2017-11-01

    In contrast to a strong decrease in Arctic sea ice extent, overall Antarctic sea ice extent has modestly increased since 1979. Several hypotheses have been proposed for the net Antarctic sea ice expansion, including atmosphere/ocean circulation and temperature changes, sea ice-atmospheric-ocean feedback, increased precipitation, and enhanced basal meltwater from ice shelves. Concomitant with this positive trend in Antarctic sea ice, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) over the Southern Ocean south of approximately 45°S have cooled over this period. However, the mechanisms responsible for the Antarctic sea ice expansion and the SST cooling trend remain poorly defined. Here, we conduct comprehensive sensitivity experiments using a coupled ocean-sea ice model with a steady-state ice shelf component in order to investigate the main drivers of recent trends in Antarctic sea ice and SST over the Southern Ocean. The results suggest that Antarctic sea ice expansion is mostly explained by trends in the thermodynamic surface forcing, notably cooling and drying and a reduction in longwave radiation. Similarly, thermodynamic forcing is found to be the main driver of the zonal SST cooling trend. While apparently less influential on sea ice extent and SST, wind stress plays a key role in sea ice motion, thickening coastal sea ice, and thinning and decreasing the concentration of ice in mid-pack regions of the Amundsen-eastern Ross seas and 65-95°E in winter-spring. Furthermore, the model suggests that ocean-ice shelf interaction does not significantly influence the observed trends in Antarctic sea ice coverage and Southern Ocean SST in recent decades.

  19. Antarctic Circumpolar Current Fronts, Winter Sea Ice and Variability: Topographic Influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talley, L. D.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic winter sea ice edge is closely associated with the southernmost Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) fronts, which are guided northeastward, with their cold waters, by mid-ocean ridges in the Pacific and Atlantic, and Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian. In the Amundsen/Bellingshausen Seas and along Adelie Land, the southern ACC fronts are free from topographic control, and swing southwards towards Antarctica, carrying warmer waters. This suggests poleward Sverdrup transport due to wind-driven upwelling, distorted by the major topographic ridges. Hydrographic observations show stronger penetration of full-depth ACC water into the Amundsen/ Bellingshausen Seas in 2011 compared with 1992, consistent with decreasing sea ice and increasing ice-shelf melt. Winter sea ice increased where the southern ACC is topographically locked into northeastward pathways. The standing eddy pattern of ACC poleward heat flux, strengthening winds, and decadal winter sea ice changes are consistent with strengthening circulation along the southern side of the ACC.

  20. Assessment of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice predictability in CMIP5 decadal hindcasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.-Y. Yang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the ability of coupled global climate models to predict decadal variability of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. We analyze decadal hindcasts/predictions of 11 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5 models. Decadal hindcasts exhibit a large multi-model spread in the simulated sea ice extent, with some models deviating significantly from the observations as the predicted ice extent quickly drifts away from the initial constraint. The anomaly correlation analysis between the decadal hindcast and observed sea ice suggests that in the Arctic, for most models, the areas showing significant predictive skill become broader associated with increasing lead times. This area expansion is largely because nearly all the models are capable of predicting the observed decreasing Arctic sea ice cover. Sea ice extent in the North Pacific has better predictive skill than that in the North Atlantic (particularly at a lead time of 3–7 years, but there is a re-emerging predictive skill in the North Atlantic at a lead time of 6–8 years. In contrast to the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice decadal hindcasts do not show broad predictive skill at any timescales, and there is no obvious improvement linking the areal extent of significant predictive skill to lead time increase. This might be because nearly all the models predict a retreating Antarctic sea ice cover, opposite to the observations. For the Arctic, the predictive skill of the multi-model ensemble mean outperforms most models and the persistence prediction at longer timescales, which is not the case for the Antarctic. Overall, for the Arctic, initialized decadal hindcasts show improved predictive skill compared to uninitialized simulations, although this improvement is not present in the Antarctic.

  1. Potential subglacial lake locations and meltwater drainage pathways beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingstone, S. J.; Clark, C. D.; Woodward, J.; Kingslake, J.

    2013-11-01

    We use the Shreve hydraulic potential equation as a simplified approach to investigate potential subglacial lake locations and meltwater drainage pathways beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. We validate the method by demonstrating its ability to recall the locations of >60% of the known subglacial lakes beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. This is despite uncertainty in the ice-sheet bed elevation and our simplified modelling approach. However, we predict many more lakes than are observed. Hence we suggest that thousands of subglacial lakes remain to be found. Applying our technique to the Greenland Ice Sheet, where very few subglacial lakes have so far been observed, recalls 1607 potential lake locations, covering 1.2% of the bed. Our results will therefore provide suitable targets for geophysical surveys aimed at identifying lakes beneath Greenland. We also apply the technique to modelled past ice-sheet configurations and find that during deglaciation both ice sheets likely had more subglacial lakes at their beds. These lakes, inherited from past ice-sheet configurations, would not form under current surface conditions, but are able to persist, suggesting a retreating ice-sheet will have many more subglacial lakes than advancing ones. We also investigate subglacial drainage pathways of the present-day and former Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Key sectors of the ice sheets, such as the Siple Coast (Antarctica) and NE Greenland Ice Stream system, are suggested to have been susceptible to subglacial drainage switching. We discuss how our results impact our understanding of meltwater drainage, basal lubrication and ice-stream formation.

  2. Model intercomparison of sea-level response to sudden Antarctic ice-shelf collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank; Sun, Sainan; Golledge, Nicholas

    2017-04-01

    The magnitude of the Antarctic ice sheet's contribution to global sea level is dominated by the potential of its marine sectors to become unstable and collapse to ocean (and atmospheric) forcing. Ice shelf buttressing is a key element in the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet. Therefore, a useful model experiment to test this stability is the sudden removal of all floating ice shelves. It serves several purposes: (i) investigating an upper bound of Antarctic mass loss, and (ii) testing numerical ice sheet models on their sensitivity to grounding line migration and marine ice sheet instability (MISI). Two types of de-buttressing are investigated, i.e., (i) sudden removal followed by ice-shelf regrowth due to increased ice discharge across the grounding line, and (ii) without ice shelf regrowth after de-buttressing (so-called float-kill). Experiments are carried out with two state-of-the-art marine ice sheet models (f.ETISh and PISM) and different settings of grounding-line treatment. For the f.ETISh model these settings pertain to grounding-line flux conditions according to power-law basal sliding and Coulomb friction; for PISM this includes different settings on transition zone width and grounding-line interpolation. Results of the experiments show that regrowth of ice shelves after sudden de-buttressing stabilizes grounding lines and reduces the effect of MISI. Float-kill conditions lead to significant mass loss, which is further exacerbated by the type of grounding-line treatment, i.e., Coulomb friction renders grounding lines more sensitive (Tsai et al., 2015). However, compared to recent model studies where effects of hydro-fracturing and cliff-failure are considered (DeConto and Pollard, 2016), similar amounts of ice loss are only obtained when the highest grounding-line sensitivity is considered.

  3. A new research project on the interaction of the solid Earth and the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Y.; Nishijima, J.; Kazama, T.; Nakamura, K.; Doi, K.; Suganuma, Y.; Okuno, J.; Araya, A.; Kaneda, H.; Aoyama, Y.

    2017-12-01

    A new research project of "Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas" funded by JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) has recently been launched. The title of the project is "Giant reservoirs of heat/water/material: Global environmental changes driven by Southern Ocean and Antarctic Ice Sheet", and as a five years project, is aiming to establish a new research area for Antarctic environmental system science. The project consists of 7 research topics, including Antarctic ice sheet and Southern ocean sciences, new observation methodology, modeling and other interdisciplinary topics, and we are involved in the topic A02-2, "Interaction of the solid Earth and the Antarctic Ice Sheet". The Antarctic ice sheet, which relates to the global climate changes through the sea level rise and ocean circulation, is an essential element of the Earth system for predicting the future environment changes. Thus many studies of the ice sheet changes have been conducted by means of geomorphological, geological, geodetic surveys, as well as satellite gravimetry and satellite altimetry. For these studies, one of the largest uncertainties is the effects of GIA. Therefore, GIA as a key to investigate the interaction between the solid Earth and the ice sheet changes, we plan to conduct geomorphological, geological and geodetic surveys in the inland mountain areas and the coastal areas including the surrounding areas of a Japanese station Syowa in East Antarctica, where the in-situ data for constraining GIA models are very few. Combining these new observations with other in-site data, various satellite data and numerical modeling, we aim to estimating a precise GIA model, constructing a reliable ice melting history after the last glacial maximum and obtaining the viscoelastic structure of the Earth's interior. In the presentation, we also show the five years research plans as well. This study was partially supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant No. 17H06321.

  4. Neoglacial ice expansion and late Holocene cold-based ice cap dynamics on Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island, Arctic Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margreth, Annina; Dyke, Arthur S.; Gosse, John C.; Telka, Alice M.

    2014-05-01

    Radiocarbon dating of fossil flora and fauna collected along receding cold-based ice caps and cold-based sections of polythermal glaciers on Cumberland Peninsula reveal insights into Neoglacial ice expansion and late Holocene ice dynamics. The taphonomic advantages of subfossilized moss were exploited to precisely document regional expansions of ice caps through the late Holocene. When compared with climate proxies and records of volcanic eruptions, the moss radiocarbon age distributions indicate i) onset of Neoglaciation shortly after 5 ka, concomitant with increased sea ice cover, ii) intensification of ice expansion between 1.9 and 1.1 ka, followed by halt of ice growth, or ice recession during the Medieval Warm Period, and iii) renewed ice expansion after 0.8 ka, in response to cooling related to a combination of large volcanic eruptions and low solar activity. Overall, the observations support a model of near-instantaneous glacial response to regional climate controls and that these responses were synchronous throughout eastern Canadian Arctic and possibly eastern Greenland.

  5. Molluscan systematics and biostratigraphy: lower tertiary, La Meseta formation, Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stilwell, Jeffrey D; Zinsmeister, William J

    1992-01-01

    Contents: The Antarctic research series: statement of objectives - Acknowledgements - Abstract - Introduction - Previous investigations - Stratigraphy - Age of the La Meseta Formation - Biostratigraphy - Depositional environments...

  6. In situ expression of eukaryotic ice-binding proteins in microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhlig, Christiane; Kilpert, Fabian; Frickenhaus, Stephan; Kegel, Jessica U; Krell, Andreas; Mock, Thomas; Valentin, Klaus; Beszteri, Bánk

    2015-01-01

    Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) have been isolated from various sea-ice organisms. Their characterisation points to a crucial role in protecting the organisms in sub-zero environments. However, their in situ abundance and diversity in natural sea-ice microbial communities is largely unknown. In this study, we analysed the expression and phylogenetic diversity of eukaryotic IBP transcripts from microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. IBP transcripts were found in abundances similar to those of proteins involved in core cellular processes such as photosynthesis. Eighty-nine percent of the IBP transcripts grouped with known IBP sequences from diatoms, haptophytes and crustaceans, but the majority represented novel sequences not previously characterized in cultured organisms. The observed high eukaryotic IBP expression in natural eukaryotic sea ice communities underlines the essential role of IBPs for survival of many microorganisms in communities living under the extreme conditions of polar sea ice. PMID:25885562

  7. Influence of Sea Ice Crack Formation on the Spatial Distribution of Nutrients and Microalgae in Flooded Antarctic Multiyear Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Daiki; Aoki, Shigeru; Simizu, Daisuke; Iida, Takahiro

    2018-02-01

    Cracks are common and natural features of sea ice formed in the polar oceans. In this study, a sea ice crack in flooded, multiyear, land-fast Antarctic sea ice was examined to assess its influence on biological productivity and the transport of nutrients and microalgae into the upper layers of neighboring sea ice. The water inside the crack and the surrounding host ice were characterized by a strong discoloration (brown color), an indicator of a massive algal bloom. Salinity and oxygen isotopic ratio measurements indicated that 64-84% of the crack water consisted of snow meltwater supplied during the melt season. Measurements of nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations within the slush layer pool (the flooded layer at the snow-ice interface) revealed the intrusion of water from the crack, likely forced by mixing with underlying seawater during the tidal cycle. Our results suggest that sea ice crack formation provides conditions favorable for algal blooms by directly exposing the crack water to sunlight and supplying nutrients from the under-ice water. Subsequently, constituents of the crack water modified by biological activity were transported into the upper layer of the flooded sea ice. They were then preserved in the multiyear ice column formed by upward growth of sea ice caused by snow ice formation in areas of significant snow accumulation.

  8. Plankton assembly in an ultra-oligotrophic Antarctic lake over the summer transition from the ice-cover to ice-free period: A size spectra approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochera, Carlos; Quesada, Antonio; Toro, Manuel; Rico, Eugenio; Camacho, Antonio

    2017-03-01

    Lakes from the Antarctic maritime region experience climate change as a main stressor capable of modifying their plankton community structure and function, essentially because summer temperatures are commonly over the freezing point and the lake's ice cap thaws. This study was conducted in such seasonally ice-covered lake (Lake Limnopolar, Byers Peninsula, Livingston Is., Antarctica), which exhibits a microbial dominated pelagic food web. An important feature is also the occurrence of benthic mosses (Drepanocladus longifolius) covering the lake bottom. Plankton dynamics were investigated during the ice-thawing transition to the summer maximum. Both bacterioplankton and viral-like particles were higher near the lake's bottom, suggesting a benthic support. When the lake was under dim conditions because of the snow-and-ice cover, autotrophic picoplankters dominated at deep layers. The taxa-specific photopigments indicated dominance of picocyanobacteria among them when the light availability was lower. By contrast, larger and less edible phytoplankton dominated at the onset of the ice melting. The plankton size spectra were fitted to the continuous model of Pareto distribution. Spectra evolved similarly at two sampled depths, in surface and near the bottom, with slopes increasing until mid-January. However, slopes were less steep (i.e., size classes more uniformly distributed) at the bottom, thus denoting a more efficient utilization of resources. These findings suggest that microbial loop pathways in the lake are efficiently channelized during some periods to the metazoan production (mainly the copepod Boeckella poppei). Our results point to that trophic interactions may still occur in these lakes despite environmental harshness. This results of interest in a framework of increasing temperatures that may reduce the climatic restrictions and therefore stimulate biotic interactions.

  9. Carbon Sinks in a Changing Climate: Relative Buoyancy and Sinking Potentials of Various Antarctic Phytoplankton and Ice Algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nirmel, S.; Selz, V.

    2016-12-01

    Polar phytoplankton play instrumental roles in global biogeochemical cycles, sometimes serving as massive carbon sinks via the biological pump. In addition to phytoplankton, sea ice supports a significant amount of ice algae, the essential primary producers for the ecosystem in winter and early spring. While sea ice habitat declines on regional scales, the fate of sea ice algae post-ice melt remains relatively unknown, despite its importance in understanding how the biological pump might be affected by sea ice loss. Through a series of settling column experiments on the icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer, we aimed to address the question: What controls the fate of the carbon-rich ice algae across the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) during ice melt? We focused on whether species composition affects the sinking potential of ice algal communities. Using FlowCAM imagery, we classified samples collected from the buoyant, neutral, and negatively buoyant portions of the settling columns into genus-level taxonomic classes. We used image parameters and geometric shape equations to calculate the biovolume of each taxonomic group. We further explored relationships between taxa-specific sinking potentials, environmental parameters (temperature and nutrients), and physiological properties of associated algal communities (as described by Fast Rate Repetition fluorometry). Results indicate that colonial Phaeocystis antarctica tends to dominate lower regions of the settling column. Moreover, we observe strong correlations between geographic location and both nutrients and phytoplankton physiology. We found that these three factors are indeed related to taxa-specific buoyancy and sinking indices. An understanding of these relationships sheds more light on the role P. antarctica (a carbon-rich bloom-forming genus) plays in the biological pump; higher sinking rates suggest greater carbon export to depth, while lower sinking rates increase the likelihood of carbon being respired back

  10. Transport of terrestrially derived nutrients along the Western Antarctic Peninsula, Anvers Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbett, D. R.; Crenshaw, J.; Null, K. A.

    2016-02-01

    The surface waters of the Southern Ocean play a key role in global climate and carbon cycles with some of the world's largest phytoplankton blooms. Several studies have emphasized the importance of glacial and sediment inputs of Fe that likely fuel the primary production of the Fe-limited Southern Ocean. Although the fertile surface waters along the shelf of the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) are influenced by large inputs of freshwater, this freshwater may take multiple pathways (e.g. calving, streams, groundwater discharge) with different degrees of water/rock interactions leading to variable Fe flux to coastal waters. Here, we evaluate the shore-normal mixing rate of nearshore waters to evaluate the potential transport of nutrients, derived from an unevaluated source (i.e., submarine groundwater discharge), offshore along the WAP. Stable (i.e., 2H, 18O) and radioactive (i.e., 223,224,226,228Ra, 222Rn) tracers were used to evaluate the potential transport of these nutrients across the shelf. During the austral summers of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, seawater samples were collected along the WAP, near Anvers Island, aboard the R/V Laurence M. Gould to observe water-column and tracer dynamics in nearshore and offshore. Porewaters collected near Palmer Station were found to be elevated in short-lived Ra isotopes and 222Rn, demonstrating that these tracers are valuable to delineating terrestrially-derived water masses as has been reported in temperate and tropical shelf systems. Using the full suite of tracers, comparisons of freshwater delivery to coastal waters are compared across seasons, with increased freshwater observed during the late austral summer, 2014. Horizontal mixing rates of water masses along the WAP ranged from 570 to 6820 m2 s-1. Fluorescence was elevated in several nearshore locations and found to be coincident with the high tracer activities used in this study to evaluate the distribution of terrestrial meltwater, suggesting the importance of

  11. Developmental History of an Intriguing Peat-Forming Community Along the West Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loisel, J.; Yu, Z.; Beilman, D.; Kaiser, K.

    2014-12-01

    Permafrost peatbanks along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) have become valuable high-resolution archives for late-Holocene climatic conditions recently. We recently observed and studied a few water-saturated peatlands that had formed in rocky depressions near Vernadsky Station and in mainland Antarctica (~ 65°S, 64°W). Remarkably, we seem to be the very first ones to analyze these systems for environmental reconstructions. The similarity between these peatlands and fens from the lower latitudes is striking, and the rarity of these systems along the WAP is intriguing. We present a high-resolution, multi-proxy record of ecosystem development and paleoenvironmental conditions for Rasmussen peatland. The ecosystem is ~100 m2 in size and is characterized by a shallow water table depth at 7 cm below the surface. Surface vegetation is dominated by Calliergon spp., a wet-adapted moss found along the WAP. The studied moss deposit is 50 cm thick and has a high organic matter content (> 90% dry weight). Plant macrofossil analysis reveals that the peatland was initially a wet Sanionia spp. carpet and that a sharp transition to Calliergon spp. occurred about half way through the deposit. A distinct layer of highly decomposed organic matter was observed from 32 to 40 cm and could indicate a period of slowed peat formation, potentially due to dry conditions (enhanced peat decay) or perennial snow cover (limited plant growth). Biochemical decomposition indicators such as carbohydrate yields, acid:aldehyde ratios of lignin phenols, and hydroxyproline yields are being determined to better understand the extent of peat decay that has occurred at this site throughout its development, particularly to further address the nature of the observed stratigraphic changes. Preliminary results indicate that carbohydrate yields of the bottom half of the core are about 1/3 smaller than those of the top half, indicating substantial carbon loss due to decomposition. Overall, these peatlands

  12. Antarctic ice shelf potentially stabilized by export of meltwater in surface river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Robin E.; Chu, Winnie; Kingslake, Jonathan; Das, Indrani; Tedesco, Marco; Tinto, Kirsty J.; Zappa, Christopher J.; Frezzotti, Massimo; Boghosian, Alexandra; Lee, Won Sang

    2017-04-01

    Meltwater stored in ponds and crevasses can weaken and fracture ice shelves, triggering their rapid disintegration. This ice-shelf collapse results in an increased flux of ice from adjacent glaciers and ice streams, thereby raising sea level globally. However, surface rivers forming on ice shelves could potentially export stored meltwater and prevent its destructive effects. Here we present evidence for persistent active drainage networks—interconnected streams, ponds and rivers—on the Nansen Ice Shelf in Antarctica that export a large fraction of the ice shelf’s meltwater into the ocean. We find that active drainage has exported water off the ice surface through waterfalls and dolines for more than a century. The surface river terminates in a 130-metre-wide waterfall that can export the entire annual surface melt over the course of seven days. During warmer melt seasons, these drainage networks adapt to changing environmental conditions by remaining active for longer and exporting more water. Similar networks are present on the ice shelf in front of Petermann Glacier, Greenland, but other systems, such as on the Larsen C and Amery Ice Shelves, retain surface water at present. The underlying reasons for export versus retention remain unclear. Nonetheless our results suggest that, in a future warming climate, surface rivers could export melt off the large ice shelves surrounding Antarctica—contrary to present Antarctic ice-sheet models, which assume that meltwater is stored on the ice surface where it triggers ice-shelf disintegration.

  13. Dynamics of the last glacial maximum Antarctic ice-sheet and its response to ocean forcing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, Nicholas R; Fogwill, Christopher J; Mackintosh, Andrew N; Buckley, Kevin M

    2012-10-02

    Retreat of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) Antarctic ice sheet is thought to have been initiated by changes in ocean heat and eustatic sea level propagated from the Northern Hemisphere (NH) as northern ice sheets melted under rising atmospheric temperatures. The extent to which spatial variability in ice dynamics may have modulated the resultant pattern and timing of decay of the Antarctic ice sheet has so far received little attention, however, despite the growing recognition that dynamic effects account for a sizeable proportion of mass-balance changes observed in modern ice sheets. Here we use a 5-km resolution whole-continent numerical ice-sheet model to assess whether differences in the mechanisms governing ice sheet flow could account for discrepancies between geochronological studies in different parts of the continent. We first simulate the geometry and flow characteristics of an equilibrium LGM ice sheet, using pan-Antarctic terrestrial and marine geological data for constraint, then perturb the system with sea level and ocean heat flux increases to investigate ice-sheet vulnerability. Our results identify that fast-flowing glaciers in the eastern Weddell Sea, the Amundsen Sea, central Ross Sea, and in the Amery Trough respond most rapidly to ocean forcings, in agreement with empirical data. Most significantly, we find that although ocean warming and sea-level rise bring about mainly localized glacier acceleration, concomitant drawdown of ice from neighboring areas leads to widespread thinning of entire glacier catchments-a discovery that has important ramifications for the dynamic changes presently being observed in modern ice sheets.

  14. Dynamics of the last glacial maximum Antarctic ice-sheet and its response to ocean forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, Nicholas R.; Fogwill, Christopher J.; Mackintosh, Andrew N.; Buckley, Kevin M.

    2012-01-01

    Retreat of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) Antarctic ice sheet is thought to have been initiated by changes in ocean heat and eustatic sea level propagated from the Northern Hemisphere (NH) as northern ice sheets melted under rising atmospheric temperatures. The extent to which spatial variability in ice dynamics may have modulated the resultant pattern and timing of decay of the Antarctic ice sheet has so far received little attention, however, despite the growing recognition that dynamic effects account for a sizeable proportion of mass-balance changes observed in modern ice sheets. Here we use a 5-km resolution whole-continent numerical ice-sheet model to assess whether differences in the mechanisms governing ice sheet flow could account for discrepancies between geochronological studies in different parts of the continent. We first simulate the geometry and flow characteristics of an equilibrium LGM ice sheet, using pan-Antarctic terrestrial and marine geological data for constraint, then perturb the system with sea level and ocean heat flux increases to investigate ice-sheet vulnerability. Our results identify that fast-flowing glaciers in the eastern Weddell Sea, the Amundsen Sea, central Ross Sea, and in the Amery Trough respond most rapidly to ocean forcings, in agreement with empirical data. Most significantly, we find that although ocean warming and sea-level rise bring about mainly localized glacier acceleration, concomitant drawdown of ice from neighboring areas leads to widespread thinning of entire glacier catchments—a discovery that has important ramifications for the dynamic changes presently being observed in modern ice sheets. PMID:22988078

  15. A Microbial Community in Sediments Beneath the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet, Ice Stream C (Kamb)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, M.; Han, S.; Foo, W.; Bui, D.; Lanoil, B.

    2004-12-01

    In 2000, an ice-drilling project focusing on the "sticky spot" of Ice Stream C recovered cores of sub-glacial sediments from beneath the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet. We have characterized several chemical and microbiological parameters of the sole intact sediment core. Pore waters extracted from these sediments were brackish and some were supersaturated with respect to calcite. Ion chromatography demonstrated the presence of several organic acids at low, but detectable, levels in the pore water. DAPI direct cell counts were approximately 107 cells g-1. Aerobic viable plate counts were much lower than direct cell counts; however, they were two orders of magnitude higher on plates incubated at low temperature (4 ° C; 3.63 x 105 CFU ml-1) than at higher temperatures (ca. 22° C; 1.5 x 103 CFU ml-1); no colonies were detected on plates incubated anaerobically at either temperature. 16S rDNA clone library analysis indicates extremely limited bacterial diversity in these samples: six phylogenetic clades were detected. The three dominant bacterial phylogenetic clades in the clone libraries (252 clones total) were most closely related to Thiobacillus thioparus (180 clones), Polaromonas vacuolata (34 clones), and Gallionella ferruginea (35 clones) and their relatives; one clone each represented the other three phylogenetic clades (most closely related to Ralstonia pickettii, Lysobacter antibioticus, and Xylella fastidiosa, respectively). These sequences match closely with sequences previously obtained from other subglacial environments in Alaska, Ellesmere Island, Canada and New Zealand. Implications of this microbial community to subglacial chemistry and microbial biogeography will be discussed.

  16. Antarctic ice sheet thickness estimation based on P-receiver function and waveform inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, P.; Li, F.; LI, Z.; Li, J.; Yang, Y.; Hao, W.

    2016-12-01

    Antarctic ice sheet thickness is key parameter and boundary condition for ice sheet model construction, which has great significance for glacial isostatic adjustment, ice sheet mass balance and global change study. Ice thickness acquired utilizing seismological receiver function method can complement and verify with results obtained by radar echo sounding method. In this paper, P-receiver functions(PRFs) are extracted for stations deployed on Antarctic ice sheet, then Vp/Vs ratio and ice thickness are obtained using H-Kappa stacking. Comparisons are made between Bedmap2 dataset and the ice thickness from PRFs, most of the absolute value of the differences are less than 200 meters, only a few reach 600 meters. Taking into account of the intensity of Bedmap2 dataset survey lines and the uncertainty of radio echo sounding, as well as the inherit complexity of the internal ice structure beneath some stations, the ice thickness obtained from receiver function method is reliable. However limitation exists when using H-Kappa stacking method for stations where sediment squeezed between the ice and the bed rock layer. For better verifying the PRF result, a global optimizing method-Neighbourhood algotithm(NA) and spline interpolation are used to modeling PRFs assuming an isotropic layered ice sheet with depth varied densities and velocities beneath the stations. Then the velocity structure and ice sheet thickness are obtained through nonlinear searching by optimally fitting the real and the theoretical PRFs. The obtained ice sheet thickness beneath the stations agree well with the former H-Kappa method, but further detailed study are needed to constrain the inner ice velocity structure.

  17. Levels, sources and chemical fate of persistent organic pollutants in the atmosphere and snow along the western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khairy, Mohammed A; Luek, Jenna L; Dickhut, Rebecca; Lohmann, Rainer

    2016-09-01

    The Antarctic continent is among the most pristine regions; yet various organic contaminants have been measured there routinely. Air and snow samples were collected during the austral spring (October-November, 2010) along the western Antarctic Peninsula and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) to assess the relative importance of long-range transport versus local primary or secondary emissions. Highest concentrations of PCBs, PBDEs and DDTs were observed in the glacier's snow sample, highlighting the importance of melting glaciers as a possible secondary source of legacy pollutants to the Antarctic. In the atmosphere, contaminants were mainly found in the vapor phase (>65%). Hexachlorobenzene (33.6 pg/m(3)), PCBs (11.6 pg/m(3)), heptachlor (5.64 pg/m(3)), PBDEs (4.22 pg/m(3)) and cis-chlordane (2.43 pg/m(3)) were the most abundant contaminants. In contrast to other compounds, PBDEs seem to have originated from local sources, possibly the research station itself. Gas-particle partitioning for analytes were better predicted using the adsorption partitioning model than an octanol-based absorption approach. Diffusive flux calculations indicated that net deposition is the dominant pathway for PBDEs and chlordanes, whereas re-volatilization from snow (during melting or metamorphosis) was observed for PCBs and some OCPs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Parasite fauna of the Antarctic dragonfish Parachaenichthys charcoti (Perciformes: Bathydraconidae) and closely related Bathydraconidae from the Antarctic Peninsula, Southern Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münster, Julian; Kochmann, Judith; Grigat, Juline; Klimpel, Sven; Kuhn, Thomas

    2017-05-12

    As members of the Notothenioidei - the dominant fish taxon in Antarctic waters - the family Bathydraconidae includes 12 genera and 17 species. The knowledge of these species inhabiting an isolated environment is rather fragmentary, including their parasite fauna. Studies on fish hosts and their associated parasites can help gain insights into even remote ecosystems and be used to infer ecological roles in food webs; however, ecological studies on the Bathydraconidae are scarce. In this study, stomach contents and parasite fauna of the Antarctic dragonfish species Parachaenichthys charcoti (n = 47 specimens) as well as of Gerlachea australis (n = 5), Gymnodraco acuticeps (n = 9) and Racovitzia glacialis (n = 6) were examined. The parasite fauna of P. charcoti consisted of eight genera represented by 11 species, with three of them being new host records. Overall, 24 parasite genera and 26 species were found in the sampled fish, including eleven new host records. Analyses revealed that the majority of the parasite species found in the different fish hosts are endemic to Antarctic waters and are characterized by a broad host range. These findings are evidence for the current lack of knowledge and the need for further parasitological studies of fish species in this unique habitat.

  19. Sympagic occurrence of Eusirid and Lysianassoid amphipods under Antarctic pack ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krapp, Rupert H.; Berge, Jorgen; Flores, Hauke; Gulliksen, Bjorn; Werner, Iris

    2008-01-01

    During three Antarctic expeditions (2004, ANT XXI-4 and XXII-2; 2006, ANT XXIII-6) with the German research icebreaker R/V Polarstern, six different amphipod species were recorded under the pack ice of the Weddell Sea and the Lazarev Sea. These cruises covered Austral autumn (April), summer

  20. Determination of lead isotopes in Arctic and Antarctic snow and ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosman, K.J.R.; Chisholm, W.

    1994-01-01

    The development of high sensitivity mass spectrometry to measure Pb isotopes in Arctic and Antarctic snow and ice has provided a powerful tool for identifying sources of global Pb pollution. The combination of isotope abundance information with concentration measurements adds another dimension to analytical chemistry. (authors). 11 refs., 4 figs

  1. Organic compounds and suspended matter in the marine ice of the Eastern Antarctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nemirovskaya, I.A.; Novigatsky, A.N.

    2005-01-01

    Data on the composition of organic compounds in Antarctic sea ice are virtually non-existent, as most works concentrate on the structure, physical composition and biological properties of the ice. Data is needed for the study of the global carbon cycle and the estimation of background values and anthropogenic compounds. Specific features of the hydrometeorological regime near Antarctica affect the structure of the ice cover and its properties. The transportation of large volumes of snow to the ocean results in the formation of a snow sludge layer which gradually accumulates on the sea surface and freezes into young slush ice. The irregular distribution of snow at the ice surface and seawater infiltration results in the formation of ice with a specific crystalline structure and physiochemical properties. This paper discussed the dissolved and suspended lipids and hydrocarbons, as well as suspended matter (SM) concentrations in snow, sea ice and sub-ice water in coastal zones of the East Antarctic. The data was obtained during the Russian Antarctic Expedition in 2003. Variations in the concentration and distribution of the various substances suggest that they are related to ice forming conditions and to the processes that occur when ice forms, as well as in the interaction of the substances with ice, snow and sub-ice water. The SM and organic compounds are accumulated in layers characterized by intense autochthonous processes. It was noted that the zones stay biogeochemically active even under low temperature conditions. The highest concentrations of organic compounds, along with the biggest variations in their proportions have been discovered in the areas surrounded by penguin colonies near Buromsky Island and Haswell Island's Lake. The presence of significant quantities of PAHs in both pack and seasonal ice of high latitudes indicates that their formation is relatively rapid even at low temperatures. Many biochemical processes are intense under the influence of ice

  2. Interaction between Antarctic sea ice and synoptic activity in the circumpolar trough

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosser, Elisabeth

    2010-05-01

    Different from conditions in the Arctic, total Antarctic sea ice extent does not show large interannual variability and almost no long-term trend is found. On a regional/monthly scale, however, large differences are observed, depending on winds and oceanic currents, thus on the prevailing synoptic weather situation. At the same time, the sea ice influences atmospheric conditions: presence of sea ice considerably changes the energy exchange between ocean and atmosphere, thus the meridional air temperature gradient, which is usually strongest at the sea ice edge. This leads to high baroclinicity in this area and thus favours cyclogenesis. The position and movement of low pressure systems, in turn, together with the local heat balance, determines sea ice extent and concentration. Divergence and convergence of sea ice also depends on the position of the circumpolar trough relative to the sea ice edge, since its position determines whether the atmospheric flow is predominantly easterly or westerly, which leads to sea ice transport to the southwest or the northeast, respectively. The circumpolar trough is usually situated closer to the coast in spring and autumn and moves north in summer and winter. In this study, meteorological data from the ECMWF ERA-interim reanalysis as well as sea ice extent and concentration derived from passive microwave data (SSMI/SMMR) are used to investigate the interactions between Antarctic sea ice and synoptic activity in the polar ocean. Special consideration is given to the frequency of regional sea ice minima and warm air advection from lower latitudes. A stable synoptic situation with amplified Rossby waves can lead to regional extrema in sea ice extent. An extreme case was observed in the austral summer of 2001/2002 in the Weddell Sea, when continuous northwesterly winds removed the ice from the northwestern part of the Weddell Sea and drove it to the coast of Coats Land, where usually coastal polynyas are observed in summer.

  3. Ice Algae-Produced Carbon Is Critical for Overwintering of Antarctic Krill Euphausia superba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doreen Kohlbach

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Antarctic krill Euphausia superba (“krill” constitute a fundamental food source for Antarctic seabirds and mammals, and a globally important fisheries resource. The future resilience of krill to climate change depends critically on the winter survival of young krill. To survive periods of extremely low production by pelagic algae during winter, krill are assumed to rely partly on carbon produced by ice algae. The true dependency on ice algae-produced carbon, however, is so far unquantified. This confounds predictions on the future resilience of krill stocks to sea ice decline. Fatty acid (FA analysis, bulk stable isotope analysis (BSIA, and compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA of diatom- and dinoflagellate-associated marker FAs were applied to quantify the dependency of overwintering larval, juvenile, and adult krill on ice algae-produced carbon (αIce during winter 2013 in the Weddell-Scotia Confluence Zone. Our results demonstrate that the majority of the carbon uptake of the overwintering larval and juvenile krill originated from ice algae (up to 88% of the carbon budget, and that the dependency on ice algal carbon decreased with ontogeny, reaching <56% of the carbon budget in adults. Spatio-temporal variability in the utilization of ice algal carbon was more pronounced in larvae and juvenile krill than in adults. Differences between αIce estimates derived from short- vs. long-term FA-specific isotopic compositions suggested that ice algae-produced carbon gained importance as the winter progressed, and might become critical at the late winter-spring transition, before the phytoplankton bloom commences. Where the sea ice season shortens, reduced availability of ice algae might possibly not be compensated by surplus phytoplankton production during wintertime. Hence, sea ice decline could seriously endanger the winter survival of recruits, and subsequently overall biomass of krill.

  4. Sea-level response to abrupt ocean warming of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica's contribution to global sea-level rise increases steadily. A fundamental question remains whether the ice discharge will lead to marine ice sheet instability (MISI) and collapse of certain sectors of the ice sheet or whether ice loss will increase linearly with the warming trends. Therefore, we employ a newly developed ice sheet model of the Antarctic ice sheet, called f.ETISh (fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet model) to simulate ice sheet response to abrupt perturbations in ocean and atmospheric temperature. The f.ETISh model is a vertically integrated hybrid (SSA/SIA) ice sheet model including ice shelves. Although vertically integrated, thermomechanical coupling is ensured through a simplified representation of ice sheet thermodynamics based on an analytical solution of the vertical temperature profile, including strain heating and horizontal advection. The marine boundary is represented by a flux condition either coherent with power-law basal sliding (Pollard & Deconto (2012) based on Schoof (2007)) or according to Coulomb basal friction (Tsai et al., 2015), both taking into account ice-shelf buttressing. Model initialization is based on optimization of the basal friction field. Besides the traditional MISMIP tests, new tests with respect to MISI in plan-view models have been devised. The model is forced with stepwise ocean and atmosphere temperature perturbations. The former is based on a parametrised sub-shelf melt (limited to ice shelves), while the latter is based on present-day mass balance/surface temperature and corrected for elevation changes. Surface melting is introduced using a PDD model. Results show a general linear response in mass loss to ocean warming. Nonlinear response due to MISI occurs under specific conditions and is highly sensitive to the basal conditions near the grounding line, governed by both the initial conditions and the basal sliding/deformation model. The Coulomb friction model leads to significantly higher

  5. Possible connections of the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lejiang; Zhong, Shiyuan; Winkler, Julie A.; Zhou, Mingyu; Lenschow, Donald H.; Li, Bingrui; Wang, Xianqiao; Yang, Qinghua

    2017-04-01

    Sea ice is an important component of the global climate system and a key indicator of climate change. A decreasing trend in Arctic sea-ice concentration is evident in recent years, whereas Antarctic sea-ice concentration exhibits a generally increasing trend. Various studies have investigated the underlying causes of the observed trends for each region, but possible linkages between the regional trends have not been studied. Here, we hypothesize that the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice concentration may be linked, at least partially, through interdecadal variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Although evaluation of this hypothesis is constrained by the limitations of the sea-ice cover record, preliminary statistical analyses of one short-term and two long-term time series of observed and reanalysis sea-ice concentrations data suggest the possibility of the hypothesized linkages. For all three data sets, the leading mode of variability of global sea-ice concentration is positively correlated with the AMO and negatively correlated with the PDO. Two wave trains related to the PDO and the AMO appear to produce anomalous surface-air temperature and low-level wind fields in the two polar regions that contribute to the opposite changes in sea-ice concentration.

  6. Possible connections of the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lejiang; Zhong, Shiyuan; Winkler, Julie A; Zhou, Mingyu; Lenschow, Donald H; Li, Bingrui; Wang, Xianqiao; Yang, Qinghua

    2017-04-05

    Sea ice is an important component of the global climate system and a key indicator of climate change. A decreasing trend in Arctic sea-ice concentration is evident in recent years, whereas Antarctic sea-ice concentration exhibits a generally increasing trend. Various studies have investigated the underlying causes of the observed trends for each region, but possible linkages between the regional trends have not been studied. Here, we hypothesize that the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice concentration may be linked, at least partially, through interdecadal variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Although evaluation of this hypothesis is constrained by the limitations of the sea-ice cover record, preliminary statistical analyses of one short-term and two long-term time series of observed and reanalysis sea-ice concentrations data suggest the possibility of the hypothesized linkages. For all three data sets, the leading mode of variability of global sea-ice concentration is positively correlated with the AMO and negatively correlated with the PDO. Two wave trains related to the PDO and the AMO appear to produce anomalous surface-air temperature and low-level wind fields in the two polar regions that contribute to the opposite changes in sea-ice concentration.

  7. Challenges for understanding Antarctic surface hydrology and ice-shelf stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingslake, J.; Bell, R. E.; Banwell, A. F.; Boghosian, A.; Spergel, J.; Trusel, L. D.

    2017-12-01

    It is widely hypothesized that surface meltwater can contribute to ice mass loss in Antarctica through its impact on ice-shelf stability. Meltwater potentially expedites ice-shelf calving by flowing into and enlarging existing crevasses, and could even trigger ice-shelf disintegration via stresses generated by melt ponds. When ice shelves collapse, the adjacent grounded ice accelerates and thins, which contributes to sea-level rise. How these mechanisms mediate the interactions between the atmosphere, the ocean and the ice sheet is the subject of long-standing research efforts. The drainage of water across the surface of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and its ice shelves is beginning to be recognized as another important aspect of the system. Recent studies have revealed that surface meltwater drainage is more widespread than previously thought and that surface hydrological systems in Antarctica may expand and proliferate this century. Contrasting hypotheses regarding the impact of the proliferation of drainage systems on ice-shelf stability have emerged. Surface drainage could deliver meltwater to vulnerable area or export meltwater from ice shelves entirely. Which behavior dominates may have a large impact on the future response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to atmospheric warming. We will discuss these recent discoveries and hypotheses, as well as new detailed studies of specific areas where hydrological systems are well developed, such as Amery and Nimrod Ice Shelves. We will highlight analogies that can be drawn with Greenlandic (near-)surface hydrology and, crucially, where hydrological systems on the two ice sheets are very different, leading to potentially important gaps in our understanding. Finally, we will look ahead to the key questions that we argue will need to be if we are to determine the role Antarctic surface hydrology could play in the future of the ice sheet. These include: Where does meltwater pond today and how will this change this century? What

  8. Evidence for link between modelled trends in Antarctic sea ice and underestimated westerly wind changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purich, Ariaan; Cai, Wenju; England, Matthew H; Cowan, Tim

    2016-02-04

    Despite global warming, total Antarctic sea ice coverage increased over 1979-2013. However, the majority of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 models simulate a decline. Mechanisms causing this discrepancy have so far remained elusive. Here we show that weaker trends in the intensification of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind jet simulated by the models may contribute to this disparity. During austral summer, a strengthened jet leads to increased upwelling of cooler subsurface water and strengthened equatorward transport, conducive to increased sea ice. As the majority of models underestimate summer jet trends, this cooling process is underestimated compared with observations and is insufficient to offset warming in the models. Through the sea ice-albedo feedback, models produce a high-latitude surface ocean warming and sea ice decline, contrasting the observed net cooling and sea ice increase. A realistic simulation of observed wind changes may be crucial for reproducing the recent observed sea ice increase.

  9. What's Cooler Than Being Cool? Icefin: Robotic Exploration Beneath Antarctic Ice Shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, J.; Schmidt, B. E.; Meister, M. R.; Glass, J. B.; Bowman, J. S.; Stockton, A. M.; Dichek, D.; Hurwitz, B.; Ramey, C.; Spears, A.; Walker, C. C.

    2017-12-01

    The 2017-18 Antarctic field season marks the first of three under the RISEUP project (Ross Ice Shelf & Europa Underwater Probe, NASA PSTAR program grant NNX16AL07G, PI B. E. Schmidt). RISEUP expands our efforts to understand the physical processes governing ice-ocean interactions from beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) to the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS), utilizing the modular autonomous or remotely operable submersible vehicle (AUV/ROV) Icefin. The remote, aphotic regions below Antarctic shelves present a unique opportunity- they are both poorly understood terrestrial environments and analogs for similar systems hypothesized to be present on other bodies in our solar system, such as Europa and Enceladus. By developing new robotic technologies to access and explore ice shelf cavities we are advancing our understanding of how temperature, pressure, and salinity influence the ice-ocean interface, the limits of habitable environments on Earth, and what biological processes and adaptations enable the life discovered by the RISP and WISSARD programs during initial exploration beneath the RIS. These investigations further our understanding of ocean world habitability and support planned and proposed planetary missions (e.g. Europa Clipper, Europa Lander) via improved constraint of marine ice accretion processes, organic entrainment, and interface habitability. Custom built at Georgia Tech and first deployed during the 2014/15 Antarctic season, Icefin is 3.5 m, 125 kg modular vehicle that now carries a full suite of oceanographic sensors (including conductivity, temperature, depth, dissolved O2, dissolved organic matter, turbidity, pH, eH, and sonar) that can be deployed through boreholes as small as 25 cm in diameter. Here we present continued analysis of basal ice and oceanographic observations in the McMurdo Sound region from 2012-2015 with, pending anticipated field work, comparisons to preliminary data from the 2017/18 field season beneath both the McMurdo and Ross Ice

  10. Death age, seasonality, taphonomy and colonization of seal carcasses from Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nývlt, D.; Nývltová Fišáková, Miriam; Barták, M.; Stachoň, Z.; Pavel, V.; Mlčoch, B.; Láska, K.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 28, č. 1 (2016), s. 3-16 ISSN 0954-1020 Institutional support: RVO:68081758 Keywords : James Ross Island * preservation state * Prince Gustav Channel * sea ice * seal behaviour Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

  11. Signals from the south; humpback whales carry messages of Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtson Nash, Susan M; Castrillon, Juliana; Eisenmann, Pascale; Fry, Brian; Shuker, Jon D; Cropp, Roger A; Dawson, Amanda; Bignert, Anders; Bohlin-Nizzetto, Pernilla; Waugh, Courtney A; Polkinghorne, Bradley J; Dalle Luche, Greta; McLagan, David

    2018-04-01

    Southern hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) rely on summer prey abundance of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) to fuel one of the longest-known mammalian migrations on the planet. It is hypothesized that this species, already adapted to endure metabolic extremes, will be one of the first Antarctic consumers to show measurable physiological change in response to fluctuating prey availability in a changing climate; and as such, a powerful sentinel candidate for the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. Here, we targeted the sentinel parameters of humpback whale adiposity and diet, using novel, as well as established, chemical and biochemical markers, and assembled a time trend spanning 8 years. We show the synchronous, inter-annual oscillation of two measures of humpback whale adiposity with Southern Ocean environmental variables and climate indices. Furthermore, bulk stable isotope signatures provide clear indication of dietary compensation strategies, or a lower trophic level isotopic change, following years indicated as leaner years for the whales. The observed synchronicity of humpback whale adiposity and dietary markers, with climate patterns in the Southern Ocean, lends strength to the role of humpback whales as powerful Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem sentinels. The work carries significant potential to reform current ecosystem surveillance in the Antarctic region. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Edwardsiella andrillae, a New Species of Sea Anemone from Antarctic Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Marymegan; Rack, Frank; Zook, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Exploration of the lower surface of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica by the Submersible Capable of under-Ice Navigation and Imaging (SCINI) remotely operated vehicle discovered a new species of sea anemone living in this previously undocumented ecosystem. This discovery was a significant outcome of the Coulman High Project’s geophysical and environmental fieldwork in 2010-2011 as part of the ANDRILL (ANtarctic geologic DRILLing) program. Edwardsiella andrillae n. sp., lives with most of its column in the ice shelf, with only the tentacle crown extending into the seawater below. In addition to being the only Antarctic representative of the genus, Edwardsiella andrillae is distinguished from all other species of the genus in the number of tentacles and in the size and distribution of cnidae. The anatomy and histology of Edwardsiella andrillae present no features that explain how this animal withstands the challenges of life in such an unusual habitat. PMID:24349517

  13. Final Report. Coupled simulations of Antarctic Ice-sheet/ocean interactions using POP and CISM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar Storm [Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potdam (Germany)

    2015-12-30

    The project performed under this award, referred to from here on as CLARION (CoupLed simulations of Antarctic Ice-sheet/Ocean iNteractions), included important advances in two models of ice sheet and ocean interactions. Despite its short duration (one year), the project made significant progress on its three major foci. First, together with collaborator Daniel Martin at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), I developed the POPSICLES coupled ice sheet-ocean model to the point where it could perform a number of pan-Antarctic simulations under various forcing conditions. The results were presented at a number of major conferences and workshops worldwide, and are currently being incorporated into two manuscripts in preparation.

  14. Edwardsiella andrillae, a new species of sea anemone from Antarctic ice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marymegan Daly

    Full Text Available Exploration of the lower surface of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica by the Submersible Capable of under-Ice Navigation and Imaging (SCINI remotely operated vehicle discovered a new species of sea anemone living in this previously undocumented ecosystem. This discovery was a significant outcome of the Coulman High Project's geophysical and environmental fieldwork in 2010-2011 as part of the ANDRILL (ANtarctic geologic DRILLing program. Edwardsiella andrillae n. sp., lives with most of its column in the ice shelf, with only the tentacle crown extending into the seawater below. In addition to being the only Antarctic representative of the genus, Edwardsiella andrillae is distinguished from all other species of the genus in the number of tentacles and in the size and distribution of cnidae. The anatomy and histology of Edwardsiella andrillae present no features that explain how this animal withstands the challenges of life in such an unusual habitat.

  15. Source-specific diatom lipid biomarkers as proxies for Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belt, Simon

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice plays a key role in controlling global climate due its influence over heat and gas exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere. In addition, sea ice exerts a strong influence over the absorption of incoming radiation at the ocean surface as a result of its high reflectivity or albedo. Driven, in part, by the recent dramatic changes to sea ice cover in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, the development of proxies for sea ice has received growing attention over the last 10 years or so. Amongst these, some so-called highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) lipid biomarkers have attracted considerable interest, not least, because they are derived from certain diatoms that reside and bloom within the sea ice matrix itself, thus providing a more direct indication of sea ice presence compared with some other proxies. The signature HBI sea proxies are a mono-unsaturated HBI (IP25) for the Arctic and a di-unsaturated HBI (C25:2) for the Antarctic, with different source organisms for each. Although the variability in sedimentary abundances of IP25 and C25:2 in Arctic and Antarctic sediments generally reflect the corresponding changes in sea ice conditions, a more complete picture of reconstructing sea ice conditions likely requires a multi-proxy approach involving, for example, other lipid biomarkers that serve as proxy measures of nearby open water conditions or sea surface temperature. By adoption of such an approach, a research strategy aimed at improving estimates of sea ice concentrations or better definitions of sea ice conditions (e.g. marginal ice zone, polynyas, permanent ice cover) represents the next stage in lipid-based sea ice proxy development. This presentation will focus on recent developments and future plans that involve a multi-proxy approach to improving sea ice reconstruction. An understanding of sources, ecology and environmental fate of various HBIs and other diatom lipids will likely be key in shaping the future direction of lipid-based sea ice

  16. Viruses and Protists Induced-mortality of Prokaryotes around the Antarctic Peninsula during the Austral Summer

    KAUST Repository

    Vaque, Dolors

    2017-03-27

    During the Austral summer 2009 we studied three areas surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula: the Bellingshausen Sea, the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. We aimed to investigate, whether viruses or protists were the main agents inducing prokaryotic mortality rates, and the sensitivity to temperature of prokaryotic heterotrophic production and mortality based on the activation energy (Ea) for each process. Seawater samples were taken at seven depths (0.1-100 m) to quantify viruses, prokaryotes and protists abundances, and heterotrophic prokaryotic production (PHP). Viral lytic production, lysogeny, and mortality rates of prokaryotes due to viruses and protists were estimated at surface (0.1-1 m) and at the Deep Fluorescence Maximum (DFM, 12-55 m) at eight representative stations of the three areas. The average viral lytic production ranged from 1.0 +/- 0.3 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bellingshausen Sea to1.3 +/- 0.7 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bransfield Strait, while lysogeny, when detectable, recorded the lowest value in the Bellingshausen Sea (0.05 +/- 0.05 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1)) and the highest in the Weddell Sea (4.3 +/- 3.5 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1)). Average mortality rates due to viruses ranged from 9.7 +/- 6.1 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Weddell Sea to 14.3 +/- 4.0 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bellingshausen Sea, and were higher than averaged grazing rates in the Weddell Sea (5.9 +/- 1.1 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1)) and in the Bellingshausen Sea (6.8 +/- 0.9 x 10(4) cells ml-1 d(-1)). The highest impact on prokaryotes by viruses and main differences between viral and protists activities were observed in surface samples: 17.8 +/- 6.8 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 6.5 +/- 3.9 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Weddell Sea; 22.1 +/- 9.6 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 11.6 +/- 1.4 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bransfield Strait; and 16.1 +/- 5.7 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 7.9 +/- 2.6 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in

  17. Viruses and Protists Induced-mortality of Prokaryotes around the Antarctic Peninsula during the Austral Summer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaqué, Dolors; Boras, Julia A.; Torrent-Llagostera, Francesc; Agustí, Susana; Arrieta, Jesús M.; Lara, Elena; Castillo, Yaiza M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Sala, Maria M.

    2017-01-01

    During the Austral summer 2009 we studied three areas surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula: the Bellingshausen Sea, the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. We aimed to investigate, whether viruses or protists were the main agents inducing prokaryotic mortality rates, and the sensitivity to temperature of prokaryotic heterotrophic production and mortality based on the activation energy (Ea) for each process. Seawater samples were taken at seven depths (0.1–100 m) to quantify viruses, prokaryotes and protists abundances, and heterotrophic prokaryotic production (PHP). Viral lytic production, lysogeny, and mortality rates of prokaryotes due to viruses and protists were estimated at surface (0.1–1 m) and at the Deep Fluorescence Maximum (DFM, 12–55 m) at eight representative stations of the three areas. The average viral lytic production ranged from 1.0 ± 0.3 × 107 viruses ml−1 d−1 in the Bellingshausen Sea to1.3 ± 0.7 × 107 viruses ml−1 d−1 in the Bransfield Strait, while lysogeny, when detectable, recorded the lowest value in the Bellingshausen Sea (0.05 ± 0.05 × 107 viruses ml−1 d−1) and the highest in the Weddell Sea (4.3 ± 3.5 × 107 viruses ml−1 d−1). Average mortality rates due to viruses ranged from 9.7 ± 6.1 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Weddell Sea to 14.3 ± 4.0 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Bellingshausen Sea, and were higher than averaged grazing rates in the Weddell Sea (5.9 ± 1.1 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1) and in the Bellingshausen Sea (6.8 ± 0.9 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1). The highest impact on prokaryotes by viruses and main differences between viral and protists activities were observed in surface samples: 17.8 ± 6.8 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 and 6.5 ± 3.9 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Weddell Sea; 22.1 ± 9.6 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 and 11.6 ± 1.4 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Bransfield Strait; and 16.1 ± 5.7 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 and 7.9 ± 2.6 × 104 cells ml−1 d−1 in the Bellingshausen

  18. Central West Antarctic Glaciochemistry from Ice Cores, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Glaciochemical and accumulation rate records developed from four ice cores in central West Antarctica are used to reconstruct former atmospheric circulation patterns...

  19. Acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rignot, Eric; Velicogna, I.; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Monaghan, A.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163

    2011-01-01

    Here, we present a 20‐year record of monthly ice sheet mass balance for Greenland and Antarctica. We examine and reconcile two independent methods for estimating temporal variations in ice sheet mass balance, the mass budget method (MB) and the gravity method, during the last 8 years. The MBM

  20. Biological and physical controls on O2/Ar, Ar and pCO2 variability at the Western Antarctic Peninsula and in the Drake Passage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eveleth, R.; Cassar, N.; Doney, S. C.; Munro, D. R.; Sweeney, C.

    2017-05-01

    Using simultaneous sub-kilometer resolution underway measurements of surface O2/Ar, total O2 and pCO2 from annual austral summer surveys in 2012, 2013 and 2014, we explore the impacts of biological and physical processes on the O2 and pCO2 system spatial and interannual variability at the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). In the WAP, mean O2/Ar supersaturation was (7.6±9.1)% and mean pCO2 supersaturation was (-28±22)%. We see substantial spatial variability in O2 and pCO2 including sub-mesoscale/mesoscale variability with decorrelation length scales of 4.5 km, consistent with the regional Rossby radius. This variability is embedded within onshore-offshore gradients. O2 in the LTER grid region is driven primarily by biological processes as seen by the median ratio of the magnitude of biological oxygen (O2/Ar) to physical oxygen (Ar) supersaturation anomalies (%) relative to atmospheric equilibrium (2.6), however physical processes have a more pronounced influence in the southern onshore region of the grid where we see active sea-ice melting. Total O2 measurements should be interpreted with caution in regions of significant sea-ice formation and melt and glacial meltwater input. pCO2 undersaturation predominantly reflects biological processes in the LTER grid. In contrast we compare these results to the Drake Passage where gas supersaturations vary by smaller magnitudes and decorrelate at length scales of 12 km, in line with latitudinal changes in the regional Rossby radius. Here biological processes induce smaller O2/Ar supersaturations (mean (0.14±1.3)%) and pCO2 undersaturations (mean (-2.8±3.9)%) than in the WAP, and pressure changes, bubble and gas exchange fluxes drive stable Ar supersaturations.

  1. Precipitation regime influence on oxygen triple-isotope distributions in Antarctic precipitation and ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Martin F.

    2018-01-01

    The relative abundance of 17O in meteoric precipitation is usually reported in terms of the 17O-excess parameter. Variations of 17O-excess in Antarctic precipitation and ice cores have hitherto been attributed to normalised relative humidity changes at the moisture source region, or to the influence of a temperature-dependent supersaturation-controlled kinetic isotope effect during in-cloud ice formation below -20 °C. Neither mechanism, however, satisfactorily explains the large range of 17O-excess values reported from measurements. A different approach, based on the regression characteristics of 103 ln (1 +δ17 O) versus 103 ln (1 +δ18 O), is applied here to previously published isotopic data sets. The analysis indicates that clear-sky precipitation ('diamond dust'), which occurs widely in inland Antarctica, is characterised by an unusual relative abundance of 17O, distinct from that associated with cloud-derived, synoptic snowfall. Furthermore, this distinction appears to be largely preserved in the ice core record. The respective mass contributions to snowfall accumulation - on both temporal and spatial scales - provides the basis of a simple, first-order explanation for the observed oxygen triple-isotope ratio variations in Antarctic precipitation, surface snow and ice cores. Using this approach, it is shown that precipitation during the last major deglaciation, both in western Antarctica at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide and at Vostok on the eastern Antarctic plateau, consisted essentially of diamond dust only, despite a large temperature differential (and thus different water vapour supersaturation conditions) at the two locations. In contrast, synoptic snowfall events dominate the accumulation record throughout the Holocene at both sites.

  2. Deep Radiostratigraphy of the East Antarctic Plateau: Connecting the Dome C and Vostok Ice Core Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavitte, Marie G. P.; Blankenship, Donald D.; Young, Duncan A.; Schroeder, Dustin M.; Parrenin, Frederic; Lemeur, Emmanuel; Macgregor, Joseph A.; Siegert, Martin J.

    2016-01-01

    Several airborne radar-sounding surveys are used to trace internal reflections around the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica Dome C and Vostok ice core sites. Thirteen reflections, spanning the last two glacial cycles, are traced within 200 km of Dome C, a promising region for million-year-old ice, using the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics High-Capacity Radar Sounder. This provides a dated stratigraphy to 2318 m depth at Dome C. Reflection age uncertainties are calculated from the radar range precision and signal-to-noise ratio of the internal reflections. The radar stratigraphy matches well with the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS) radar stratigraphy obtained independently. We show that radar sounding enables the extension of ice core ages through the ice sheet with an additional radar-related age uncertainty of approximately 1/3-1/2 that of the ice cores. Reflections are extended along the Byrd-Totten Glacier divide, using University of Texas/Technical University of Denmark and MCoRDS surveys. However, core-to-core connection is impeded by pervasive aeolian terranes, and Lake Vostok's influence on reflection geometry. Poor radar connection of the two ice cores is attributed to these effects and suboptimal survey design in affected areas. We demonstrate that, while ice sheet internal radar reflections are generally isochronal and can be mapped over large distances, careful survey planning is necessary to extend ice core chronologies to distant regions of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

  3. Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula, Alaska ESI: ICE (Ice Extent Lines)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains locations of ice extent in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Vector lines in the data set represent 50 percent ice coverage. Location-specific type and...

  4. A consistent data set of Antarctic ice sheet topography, cavity geometry, and global bathymetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Timmermann

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates in ocean general circulation models depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry. Existing global or pan-Antarctic topography data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional surveys and maps into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-min bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography (ALBMAP bedrock topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. The position of the merging line is individually chosen in different sectors in order to capture the best of both data sets. High-resolution gridded data for ice shelf topography and cavity geometry of the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves, and for Pine Island Glacier are carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam survey data for bathymetry in the former Larsen B cavity and the southeastern Bellingshausen Sea have been obtained from the data centers of Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI, British Antarctic Survey (BAS and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO, gridded, and blended into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-min Refined Topography data set (RTopo-1 contains self-consistent maps for upper and lower ice surface heights, bedrock topography, and surface type (open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, bare land surface. The data set is available in NetCDF format from the PANGAEA database at doi:10.1594/pangaea.741917.

  5. Characterization of ice Content in Permafrost Soils on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska Using Induced Polarization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, J.; Parsekian, A.; Slater, L.; Plug, L.; Grosse, G.; Walter, K.

    2008-12-01

    Zones of high ice content are imaged using direct current (DC) and induced polarization (IP) electrical measurements in Permafrost soils on the Northern Seward Peninsula. Variable ice content in near surface permafrost as a result of ice wedge development is a major control on thermokarst erosion rates, making the characterization of distribution important to process modeling. A set of IP and DC resistivity measurements were collected at five locations, four in varying generations of thermokarst lake basins and one where there is no evidence of thermokarst lake basin development. GPR data was also collected using 100 and 200 mHz unsheilded antenna at each line, as well as high precision DGPS measurements, vegetation mapping, active layer thickness measurements, and soil characterization using test pits and nearby outcrops. DC resistivity and GPR results correspond well to the active layer probe and test pits dug to the bottom of the active layer. IP imaging shows the location of elevated ice content as strongly nonpolarizable anomolies which correlate to ice wedge ridges measured with GPS and observed from vegetation patterning. Non-polarizable targets found deeper in the permefrost at the site not yet effected by thermokarst erosion indicates that Pleistocene aged ice wedges are below the Holocene ice wedges expressed at the surface as distinct patterning, confirming that ice content distribution may not be easily estimated from surface patterning alone. These observations are confirmed by nearby exposures of ice wedges. The results show that the IP measurements are useful for characterizing ice content distribution in permafrost soils may be used to link ground based observations with larger scale estimates that are needed for process and carbon balance modeling of permafrost soils.

  6. Geomorphic signature of an Antarctic palaeo-ice stream: implications for understanding subglacial processes and grounding line retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingstone, S. J.; Jamieson, S.; Vieli, A.; O'Cofaigh, C.; Stokes, C. R.; Hillenbrand, C.

    2010-12-01

    The ability to capture the complex spatial and temporal variability exhibited by ice streams in Antarctica and Greenland at short (decadal) time-scales, remains one of the key challenges in numerical modelling and underlies current uncertainties with predicting future contributions of ice sheets to sea-level rise. This has made ice streams a major focus for current glaciological research, particularly with regard to the processes occurring at the ice-bed interface. Such studies unfortunately, only provide a ‘snap-shot’ of the life-cycle of an ice stream, limited to the last few decades, and so there is a need for complementary investigations of former zones of fast flow in palaeo-ice sheets. The ability to observe directly the former beds of palaeo-ice streams has allowed important spatial and temporal information to be obtained on the processes that occurred at the ice-bed interface and on ice dynamics associated with the evolution of palaeo-ice streams. We present new glacial geomorphological evidence from a marine palaeo-ice stream in Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula (Ó Cofaigh et al. 2002, 2005). The landform assemblage of this palaeo-ice stream system has been derived from the mapping of over 16,000 glacial landforms from high-resolution multibeam swath-bathymetry and input into a GIS database. Analysis of the spatial distribution and geomorphic relationships between landforms and landform assemblages has revealed a complex basal régime, while the overall geomorphic imprint, constrained by radiocarbon dates, has been used to reconstruct the retreat style and history of the palaeo-ice stream. Mapping of relict subglacial meltwater channels has revealed an intricate hydrological system characterised by multiple network types (cf. Anderson & Oakes-Fretwell, 2008) that are strongly dependent on the underlying substrate and which show progressive organisation seaward. Grounding zone wedges (GZWs), formed by the subglacial transport and then deposition of

  7. Macro-nutrient concentrations in Antarctic pack ice: Overall patterns and overlooked processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Fripiat

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Antarctic pack ice is inhabited by a diverse and active microbial community reliant on nutrients for growth. Seeking patterns and overlooked processes, we performed a large-scale compilation of macro-nutrient data (hereafter termed nutrients in Antarctic pack ice (306 ice-cores collected from 19 research cruises. Dissolved inorganic nitrogen and silicic acid concentrations change with time, as expected from a seasonally productive ecosystem. In winter, salinity-normalized nitrate and silicic acid concentrations (C* in sea ice are close to seawater concentrations (Cw, indicating little or no biological activity. In spring, nitrate and silicic acid concentrations become partially depleted with respect to seawater (C* Cw. The phosphate excess could be explained by a greater allocation to phosphorus-rich biomolecules during ice algal blooms coupled with convective loss of excess dissolved nitrogen, preferential remineralization of phosphorus, and/or phosphate adsorption onto metal-organic complexes. Ammonium also appears to be efficiently adsorbed onto organic matter, with likely consequences to nitrogen mobility and availability. This dataset supports the view that the sea ice microbial community is highly efficient at processing nutrients but with a dynamic quite different from that in oceanic surface waters calling for focused future investigations.

  8. Historical whaling records reveal major regional retreat of Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotté, Cédric; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-02-01

    Several studies have provided evidence of a reduction of the Antarctic sea ice extent. However, these studies were conducted either at a global scale or at a regional scale, and possible inter-regional differences were not analysed. Using the long-term whaling database we investigated circum-Antarctic changes in summer sea ice extent from 1931 to 1987. Accounting for bias inherent in the whaling method, this analysis provides new insight into the historical ice edge reconstruction and inter-regional differences. We highlight a reduction of the sea ice extent occurring in the 1960s, mainly in the Weddell sector where the change ranged from 3° to 7.9° latitude through summer. Although the whaling method may not be appropriate for detecting fine-scale change, these results provide evidence for a heterogeneous circumpolar change of the sea ice extent. The shift is temporally and spatially consistent with other environmental changes detected in the Weddell sector and also with a shift in the Southern Hemisphere annular mode. The large reduction of the sea ice extent has probably influenced the ecosystem of the Weddell Sea, particularly the krill biomass.

  9. Antarctic grounding-line migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, T.; Konrad, H.; Shepherd, A.; Gilbert, L.; Hogg, A.; McMillan, M.; Muir, A. S.

    2017-12-01

    Knowledge of grounding-line position is critical for quantifying ice discharge into the ocean, as a boundary condition for numerical models of ice flow, and as an indicator of ice sheet stability. Although geological investigations have documented extensive grounding-line retreat since the period of the Last Glacial Maximum, observations of grounding line migration during the satellite era are restricted to a handful of locations. We combine satellite altimeter observations of ice-elevation change and airborne measurements of ice geometry to track movement of the Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding line. Based on these data, we estimate that 22%, 3%, and 10% of the West Antarctic, East Antarctic, and Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet grounding lines are retreating at rates faster than the typical pace since the Last Glacial Maximum, and that the continent loses over 200 km2 of grounded-ice area per year. Although by far the fastest rates of retreat occurred in the Amundsen Sea Sector, the Pine Island Glacier grounding line has stabilized - likely as a consequence of abated ocean forcing during the survey period.

  10. Gaussian Process Model for Antarctic Surface Mass Balance and Ice Core Site Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, P. A.; Reese, S.; Christensen, W. F.; Rupper, S.

    2017-12-01

    Surface mass balance (SMB) is an important factor in the estimation of sea level change, and data are collected to estimate models for prediction of SMB on the Antarctic ice sheet. Using Favier et al.'s (2013) quality-controlled aggregate data set of SMB field measurements, a fully Bayesian spatial model is posed to estimate Antarctic SMB and propose new field measurement locations. Utilizing Nearest-Neighbor Gaussian process (NNGP) models, SMB is estimated over the Antarctic ice sheet. An Antarctic SMB map is rendered using this model and is compared with previous estimates. A prediction uncertainty map is created to identify regions of high SMB uncertainty. The model estimates net SMB to be 2173 Gton yr-1 with 95% credible interval (2021,2331) Gton yr-1. On average, these results suggest lower Antarctic SMB and higher uncertainty than previously purported [Vaughan et al. (1999); Van de Berg et al. (2006); Arthern, Winebrenner and Vaughan (2006); Bromwich et al. (2004); Lenaerts et al. (2012)], even though this model utilizes significantly more observations than previous models. Using the Gaussian process' uncertainty and model parameters, we propose 15 new measurement locations for field study utilizing a maximin space-filling, error-minimizing design; these potential measurements are identied to minimize future estimation uncertainty. Using currently accepted Antarctic mass balance estimates and our SMB estimate, we estimate net mass loss [Shepherd et al. (2012); Jacob et al. (2012)]. Furthermore, we discuss modeling details for both space-time data and combining field measurement data with output from mathematical models using the NNGP framework.

  11. Evidence for a dynamic East Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Miocene climate transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Elizabeth L.; van de Flierdt, Tina; Williams, Trevor; Hemming, Sidney R.; Cook, Carys P.; Passchier, Sandra

    2017-11-01

    The East Antarctic ice sheet underwent a major expansion during the Mid-Miocene Climate Transition, around 14 Ma, lowering sea level by ∼60 m. However, direct or indirect evidence of where changes in the ice sheet occurred is limited. Here we present new insights on timing and locations of ice sheet change from two drill sites offshore East Antarctica. IODP Site U1356, Wilkes Land, and ODP Site 1165, Prydz Bay are located adjacent to two major ice drainage areas, the Wilkes Subglacial Basin and the Lambert Graben. Ice-rafted detritus (IRD), including dropstones, was deposited in concentrations far exceeding those known in the rest of the Miocene succession at both sites between 14.1 and 13.8 Ma, indicating that large amounts of IRD-bearing icebergs were calved from independent drainage basins during this relatively short interval. At Site U1356, the IRD was delivered in distinct pulses, suggesting that the overall ice advance was punctuated by short periods of ice retreat in the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Provenance analysis of the mid-Miocene IRD and fine-grained sediments provides additional insights on the movement of the ice margin and subglacial geology. At Site U1356, the dominant 40Ar/39Ar thermochronological age of the ice-rafted hornblende grains is 1400-1550 Ma, differing from the majority of recent IRD in the area, from which we infer an inland source area of this thermochronological age extending along the eastern part of the Adélie Craton, which forms the western side of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Neodymium isotopic compositions from the terrigenous fine fraction at Site U1356 imply that the ice margin periodically expanded from high ground well into the Wilkes Subglacial Basin during periods of MMCT ice growth. At Site 1165, MMCT pebble-sized IRD are sourced from both the local Lambert Graben and the distant Aurora Subglacial Basin drainage area. Together, the occurrence and provenance of the IRD and glacially-eroded sediment at these two marine

  12. Late Miocene-Pliocene Asian monsoon intensification linked to Antarctic ice-sheet growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, H.; Roberts, A. P.; Dekkers, M. J.; Liu, X.; Rohling, E. J.; Shi, Z.; An, Z.; Zhao, X.

    2016-12-01

    Environmental conditions in one of Earth's most densely populated regions, East Asia, are dominated by the monsoon. While Quaternary monsoon variability is reasonably well understood, pre-Quaternary monsoon variability and dynamics remain enigmatic. In particular, little is known about potential relationships between northern hemispheric monsoon response and major Cenozoic changes in Antarctic ice cover. Here we document long-term East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) intensification through the Late Miocene-Pliocene (˜8.2 to 2.6 Ma), and attribute this to progressive Antarctic glaciation. Our new high-resolution magnetic records of long-term EASM intensification come from the Late Miocene-Pliocene Red Clay sequence on the Chinese Loess Plateau; we identify underlying mechanisms using a numerical climate-model simulation of EASM response to an idealized stepwise increase in Antarctic ice volume. We infer that progressive Antarctic glaciation caused intensification of the cross-equatorial pressure gradient between an atmospheric high-pressure cell over Australia and a low-pressure cell over mid-latitude East Asia, as well as intensification of the cross-equatorial sea-surface temperature (SST) gradient. These combined atmospheric and oceanic adjustments led to EASM intensification. Our findings offer a new and more global perspective on the controls behind long-term Asian monsoon evolution.

  13. Evaluation of soil bioremediation techniques in an aged diesel spill at the Antarctic Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jesus, Hugo E.; Peixoto, Raquel S.; Cury, Juliano C.; van Elsas, Jan D.; Rosado, Alexandre S.

    2015-01-01

    Many areas on the Antarctic continent already suffer from the direct and indirect influences of human activities. The main cause of contamination is petroleum hydrocarbons because this compound is used as a source of energy at the many research stations around the continent. Thus, the current study

  14. Bacteria Biomass and Chlorophyll-a depth profiles from bottle casts off the western Antarctic Peninsula from the R/V LAURENCE M. GOULD from 23 April 2001 to 01 September 2001 (NODC Accession 0000820)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Bacteria and Chlorophyll data were collected from bottle cast of the western Antarctic peninsula from the R/V Laurence M. Gould. Data were collected by the...

  15. Past and present stability of the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehouse, P. L.; Vieli, A.; Jamieson, S.; Bentley, M.; Hein, A.; Sugden, D.

    2016-12-01

    The contribution of the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to sea-level rise since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), along with the processes controlling the past and ongoing dynamics of this sector, are poorly known. Of particular concern is the fact that significant portions of the present-day grounding line are unstably located on bathymetry that deepens towards the interior of the continent. We present new modelling results, constrained by field evidence relating to past ice extent and thickness along the Foundation Ice Stream and Thiel Trough, which suggest that the post-LGM sea-level contribution from this sector was modest, and that the grounding line is unlikely to have been located at the continental shelf break for a prolonged period during the last glacial cycle. Poorly-constrained ice shelf and ocean processes are found to play a crucial role in controlling the past configuration and stability of this sector of the ice sheet. In particular, we find that we cannot rule out a scenario in which the grounding line of the Foundation Ice Stream retreated behind present during deglaciation, and has since re-advanced. This work complements a number of recent studies, based on independent data sets, that explore the possibility that grounding line re-advance occurred within the Weddell Sea sector during the mid-to-late Holocene. If this hypothesis is correct, then current glacial isostatic adjustment models, and hence contemporary estimates of ice mass balance derived from GRACE data, will be significantly biased. Piecing together, and understanding, the reason for recent changes in ice dynamics is crucial for determining the contemporary stability of the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  16. Air-sea interaction regimes in the sub-Antarctic Southern Ocean and Antarctic marginal ice zone revealed by icebreaker measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lisan; Jin, Xiangze; Schulz, Eric W.; Josey, Simon A.

    2017-08-01

    This study analyzed shipboard air-sea measurements acquired by the icebreaker Aurora Australis during its off-winter operation in December 2010 to May 2012. Mean conditions over 7 months (October-April) were compiled from a total of 22 ship tracks. The icebreaker traversed the water between Hobart, Tasmania, and the Antarctic continent, providing valuable in situ insight into two dynamically important, yet poorly sampled, regimes: the sub-Antarctic Southern Ocean and the Antarctic marginal ice zone (MIZ) in the Indian Ocean sector. The transition from the open water to the ice-covered surface creates sharp changes in albedo, surface roughness, and air temperature, leading to consequential effects on air-sea variables and fluxes. Major effort was made to estimate the air-sea fluxes in the MIZ using the bulk flux algorithms that are tuned specifically for the sea-ice effects, while computing the fluxes over the sub-Antarctic section using the COARE3.0 algorithm. The study evidenced strong sea-ice modulations on winds, with the southerly airflow showing deceleration (convergence) in the MIZ and acceleration (divergence) when moving away from the MIZ. Marked seasonal variations in heat exchanges between the atmosphere and the ice margin were noted. The monotonic increase in turbulent latent and sensible heat fluxes after summer turned the MIZ quickly into a heat loss regime, while at the same time the sub-Antarctic surface water continued to receive heat from the atmosphere. The drastic increase in turbulent heat loss in the MIZ contrasted sharply to the nonsignificant and seasonally invariant turbulent heat loss over the sub-Antarctic open water.Plain Language SummaryThe icebreaker Aurora Australis is a research and supply vessel that is regularly chartered by the Australian Antarctic Division during the southern summer to operate in waters between Hobart, Tasmania, and Antarctica. The vessel serves as the main lifeline to three permanent research stations on the

  17. A model study of the effect of climate and sea-level change on the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from the Last Glacial Maximum to 2100

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maris, M. N. A.; Van Wessem, J. M.; Van De Berg, W. J.; De Boer, B.; Oerlemans, J.

    2014-01-01

    Due to a scarcity of observations and its long memory of uncertain past climate, the Antarctic Ice Sheet remains a largely unknown factor in the prediction of global sea level change. As the history of the ice sheet plays a key role in its future evolution, in this study we model the Antarctic Ice

  18. Spatial and Developmental Effects on the Accumulation of Mercury in Antarctic Krill (E. superba) Along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sontag, P.; Steinberg, D. K.; Reinfelder, J. R.

    2016-02-01

    Philip T. Sontag1, Deborah K. Steinberg2, and John R. Reinfelder11Rutgers University, Department of Environmental Sciences, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA 2College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia, USAThe Antarctic krill Euphausia superba is a critical component of the WAP food web and is therefore a potentially important link in the transfer of mercury (Hg) to higher trophic levels including penguins, seals, and whales. In order to examine ontogenetic (juvenile, adult), spatial (north-south, onshore-offshore) and annual differences in Hg accumulation by E. superba, we measured concentrations of total Hg (THg) and monomethylmercury (MMHg) in krill collected at northern ( 64.5°S) and southern (67.4-69°S) stations during the summers of 2013-2015 along the WAP. Total mercury in krill (4.6 ± 1.1 to 20 ± 13 ng g-1), which includes both inorganic Hg and organic MMHg (0.3 ± 0.2 to 3.2 ± 0.8 ng g-1) was higher in offshore than nearshore adults in 2014, but north-south differences in krill THg were not observed. THg concentrations were positively correlated with trophic level (derived from δ15N) for both juvenile (R2=0.86) and adult (R2=0.45) krill at northern and southern stations. However, higher concentrations of MMHg, the form of Hg that biomagnifies in marine food webs, were observed in juvenile than adult E. superba collected at the same latitude and longitude (pfactors were most important.

  19. Small scale variability of snow density on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wever, N.; Leonard, K. C.; Paul, S.; Jacobi, H. W.; Proksch, M.; Lehning, M.

    2016-12-01

    Snow on sea ice plays an important role in air-ice-sea interactions. For example, snow may smooth the ice surface when snow drift is occurring, while at the same time it may also generate roughness elements by interactions with the wind. Snow density is a key property in many processes, for example by influencing the thermal conductivity of the snow layer, radiative transfer inside the snow as well as the effects of aerodynamic forcing on the snowpack. We present data from an in-situ measurement campaign in the Weddell Sea during two subsequent cruises of RV Polarstern. By comparing snow density from snow pits and snow micro penetrometer (SMP) measurements, augmented by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on an area of 50x50 m2, highly resolved density profiles and surface topology were acquired at a horizontal resolution of approximately 30 cm. Average snow densities are about 280 kg/m3, but the analysis also reveals a high spatial variability in snow density on sea ice in both horizontal and vertical direction, ranging from roughly 170 to 360 kg/m3. This variability is expressed by coherent snow structures over several meters, which disappear over larger distances. A comparison with TLS data indicates that the spatial variability is related to deviations in surface topology. This suggests a strong influence from surface processes, for example wind, on the temporal development of density profiles. The fundamental relationship between density variations, surface roughness and changes therein as investigated in this study are interpreted with respect to larger-scale ice-movement and the ice mass balance.

  20. Initiation and long-term instability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulick, Sean P. S.; Shevenell, Amelia E.; Montelli, Aleksandr; Fernandez, Rodrigo; Smith, Catherine; Warny, Sophie; Bohaty, Steven M.; Sjunneskog, Charlotte; Leventer, Amy; Frederick, Bruce; Blankenship, Donald D.

    2017-12-01

    Antarctica’s continental-scale ice sheets have evolved over the past 50 million years. However, the dearth of ice-proximal geological records limits our understanding of past East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) behaviour and thus our ability to evaluate its response to ongoing environmental change. The EAIS is marine-terminating and grounded below sea level within the Aurora subglacial basin, indicating that this catchment, which drains ice to the Sabrina Coast, may be sensitive to climate perturbations. Here we show, using marine geological and geophysical data from the continental shelf seaward of the Aurora subglacial basin, that marine-terminating glaciers existed at the Sabrina Coast by the early to middle Eocene epoch. This finding implies the existence of substantial ice volume in the Aurora subglacial basin before continental-scale ice sheets were established about 34 million years ago. Subsequently, ice advanced across and retreated from the Sabrina Coast continental shelf at least 11 times during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs. Tunnel valleys associated with half of these glaciations indicate that a surface-meltwater-rich sub-polar glacial system existed under climate conditions similar to those anticipated with continued anthropogenic warming. Cooling since the late Miocene resulted in an expanded polar EAIS and a limited glacial response to Pliocene warmth in the Aurora subglacial basin catchment. Geological records from the Sabrina Coast shelf indicate that, in addition to ocean temperature, atmospheric temperature and surface-derived meltwater influenced East Antarctic ice mass balance under warmer-than-present climate conditions. Our results imply a dynamic EAIS response with continued anthropogenic warming and suggest that the EAIS contribution to future global sea-level projections may be under-estimated.

  1. Consistent biases in Antarctic sea ice concentration simulated by climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roach, Lettie A.; Dean, Samuel M.; Renwick, James A.

    2018-01-01

    The simulation of Antarctic sea ice in global climate models often does not agree with observations. In this study, we examine the compactness of sea ice, as well as the regional distribution of sea ice concentration, in climate models from the latest Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and in satellite observations. We find substantial differences in concentration values between different sets of satellite observations, particularly at high concentrations, requiring careful treatment when comparing to models. As a fraction of total sea ice extent, models simulate too much loose, low-concentration sea ice cover throughout the year, and too little compact, high-concentration cover in the summer. In spite of the differences in physics between models, these tendencies are broadly consistent across the population of 40 CMIP5 simulations, a result not previously highlighted. Separating models with and without an explicit lateral melt term, we find that inclusion of lateral melt may account for overestimation of low-concentration cover. Targeted model experiments with a coupled ocean-sea ice model show that choice of constant floe diameter in the lateral melt scheme can also impact representation of loose ice. This suggests that current sea ice thermodynamics contribute to the inadequate simulation of the low-concentration regime in many models.

  2. Rapid bottom melting widespread near Antarctic ice sheet grounding lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, E.; Jacobs, S.

    2002-01-01

    As continental ice from Antartica reaches the grounding line and begins to float, its underside melts into the ocean. Results obtained with satellite radar interferometry reveal that bottom melt rates experienced by large outlet glaciers near their grounding lines are far higher than generally assumed.

  3. Aerosols in King George Island (Antarctic peninsula) using PIXE and alpha spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dias da Cunha, K.; Medeiros, G.; Leal, M.A.; Lima, C.; Dalia, K.C.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the airborne particles and particles deposited in the recent snow samples collected at King George Island (Admiralty Bay) in order to evaluate the possible local sources of airborne particles and the aerosol transport from South America to Antarctic at sea level. Airborne particles samples were collected using a cascade impactor and cyclones at several sampling points at Admiralty Bay. Airborne particles were also collected during the ship travel from Rio de Janeiro to Antarctica. The recent snow samples and aerosols collected at several sampling points at Admiralty Bay were analyzed by PIXE for the determination of the elemental mass concentration. Snow samples were analyzed by alpha spectrometry to determine the 232Th, 228Th, 238U and 234U concentrations in snow. The Mass Median Aerodynamic Diameter of airborne particles was determined. The results suggest that there is a correlation between the aerosol samples and the particles deposited in the snow, but the elemental mass distributions are not equal. The snow elemental concentration can be used as an indicator of the elements present in the aerosols. The local aerosol sources (natural and anthropogenic) have been considered to characterize the aerosol transport to Antarctic, mainly King George Island. The main aerosol sources are the marine spray, weathering of local rocks and anthropogenic sources, as the diesel burning in the island. Besides the local aerosol sources the transport of airborne particles from south Atlantic to Antarctic is an important source of airborne particles at King George Island. (author)

  4. Small scale variability of snow properties on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wever, Nander; Leonard, Katherine; Paul, Stephan; Jacobi, Hans-Werner; Proksch, Martin; Lehning, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Snow on sea ice plays an important role in air-ice-sea interactions, as snow accumulation may for example increase the albedo. Snow is also able to smooth the ice surface, thereby reducing the surface roughness, while at the same time it may generate new roughness elements by interactions with the wind. Snow density is a key property in many processes, for example by influencing the thermal conductivity of the snow layer, radiative transfer inside the snow as well as the effects of aerodynamic forcing on the snowpack. By comparing snow density and grain size from snow pits and snow micro penetrometer (SMP) measurements, highly resolved density and grain size profiles were acquired during two subsequent cruises of the RV Polarstern in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, between June and October 2013. During the first cruise, SMP measurements were done along two approximately 40 m transects with a horizontal resolution of approximately 30 cm. During the second cruise, one transect was made with approximately 7.5 m resolution over a distance of 500 m. Average snow densities are about 300 kg/m3, but the analysis also reveals a high spatial variability in snow density on sea ice in both horizontal and vertical direction, ranging from roughly 180 to 360 kg/m3. This variability is expressed by coherent snow structures over several meters. On the first cruise, the measurements were accompanied by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on an area of 50x50 m2. The comparison with the TLS data indicates that the spatial variability is exhibiting similar spatial patterns as deviations in surface topology. This suggests a strong influence from surface processes, for example wind, on the temporal development of density or grain size profiles. The fundamental relationship between variations in snow properties, surface roughness and changes therein as investigated in this study is interpreted with respect to large-scale ice movement and the mass balance.

  5. Separate origins of ice-binding proteins in antarctic chlamydomonas species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, James A; Morgan-Kiss, Rachael

    2013-01-01

    The green alga Chlamydomonas raudensis is an important primary producer in a number of ice-covered lakes and ponds in Antarctica. A C. raudensis isolate (UWO241) from Lake Bonney in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, like many other Antarctic algae, was found to secrete ice-binding proteins (IBPs), which appear to be essential for survival in icy environments. The IBPs of several Antarctic algae (diatoms, a prymesiophyte, and a prasinophyte) are similar to each other (here designated as type I IBPs) and have been proposed to have bacterial origins. Other IBPs (type II IBPs) that bear no resemblance to type I IBPs, have been found in the Antarctic Chlamydomonas sp. CCMP681, a putative snow alga, raising the possibility that chlamydomonad IBPs developed separately from the IBPs of other algae. To test this idea, we obtained the IBP sequences of C. raudensis UWO241 by sequencing the transcriptome. A large number of transcripts revealed no sequences resembling type II IBPs. Instead, many isoforms resembling type I IBPs were found, and these most closely matched a hypothetical protein from the bacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca. The sequences were confirmed to encode IBPs by the activity of a recombinant protein and by the matching of predicted and observed isoelectric points and molecular weights. Furthermore, a mesophilic sister species, C. raudensis SAG49.72, showed no ice-binding activity or PCR products from UWO241 IBP primers. These results confirm that algal IBPs are required for survival in icy habitats and demonstrate that they have diverse origins that are unrelated to the taxonomic positions of the algae. Last, we show that the C. raudensis UWO241 IBPs can change the structure of ice in a way that could increase the survivability of cells trapped in the ice.

  6. Horizontal niche partitioning of humpback and fin whales around the West Antarctic Peninsula: evidence from a concurrent whale and krill survey

    OpenAIRE

    Herr, Helena; Viquerat, Sacha; Siegel, Volker; Kock, Karl-Hermann; Dorschel, Boris; Huneke, Wilma; Bracher, Astrid; Schröder, Michael; Gutt, Julian

    2016-01-01

    A dedicated aerial cetacean survey was con- ducted concurrently to a standardised net trawl survey for krill in order to investigate distribution patterns of large whales and different krill species and to investigate relationships of these. Distance sampling data were used to produce density surface models for humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) around the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Abundance for both species was estimated over two strata in the B...

  7. Boundary layer new particle formation over East Antarctic sea ice – possible Hg-driven nucleation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Aerosol observations above the Southern Ocean and Antarctic sea ice are scarce. Measurements of aerosols and atmospheric composition were made in East Antarctic pack ice on board the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis during the spring of 2012. One particle formation event was observed during the 32 days of observations. This event occurred on the only day to exhibit extended periods of global irradiance in excess of 600 W m−2. Within the single air mass influencing the measurements, number concentrations of particles larger than 3 nm (CN3 reached almost 7700 cm−3 within a few hours of clouds clearing, and grew at rates of 5.6 nm h−1. Formation rates of 3 nm particles were in the range of those measured at other Antarctic locations at 0.2–1.1 ± 0.1 cm−3 s−1. Our investigations into the nucleation chemistry found that there were insufficient precursor concentrations for known halogen or organic chemistry to explain the nucleation event. Modelling studies utilising known sulfuric acid nucleation schemes could not simultaneously reproduce both particle formation or growth rates. Surprising correlations with total gaseous mercury (TGM were found that, together with other data, suggest a mercury-driven photochemical nucleation mechanism may be responsible for aerosol nucleation. Given the very low vapour pressures of the mercury species involved, this nucleation chemistry is likely only possible where pre-existing aerosol concentrations are low and both TGM concentrations and solar radiation levels are relatively high (∼ 1.5 ng m−3 and ≥ 600 W m−2, respectively, such as those observed in the Antarctic sea ice boundary layer in this study or in the global free troposphere, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere.

  8. New Visualizations Highlight New Information on the Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends Since the Late 1970s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2016-01-01

    Month-by-month ranking of 37 years (1979-2015) of satellite-derived sea-ice extents in the Arctic and Antarctic reveals interesting new details in the overall trends toward decreasing sea-ice coverage in the Arctic and increasing sea-ice coverage in the Antarctic. The Arctic decreases are so definitive that there has not been a monthly record high in Arctic sea-ice extents in any month since 1986, a time period during which there have been 75 monthly record lows. The Antarctic, with the opposite but weaker trend toward increased ice extents, experienced monthly record lows in 5 months of 1986, then 6 later monthly record lows scattered through the dataset, with the last two occurring in 2006, versus 45 record highs since 1986. However, in the last three years of the 1979-2015 dataset, the downward trends in Arctic sea-ice extents eased up, with no new record lows in any month of 2013 or 2014 and only one record low in 2015,while the upward trends in Antarctic ice extents notably strengthened, with new record high ice extents in 4 months (August-November) of 2013, in 6 months (April- September) of 2014, and in 3 months (January, April, and May) of 2015. Globally, there have been only 3 monthly record highs since 1986 (only one since 1988), whereas there have been 43 record lows, although the last record lows (in the 1979-2015 dataset) occurred in 2012.

  9. Effect of elevated CO2 concentration on microalgal communities in Antarctic pack ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coad, Thomas; McMinn, Andrew; Nomura, Daiki; Martin, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    Increased anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing changes to oceanic pH and CO2 concentrations that will impact many marine organisms, including microalgae. Phytoplankton taxa have shown mixed responses to these changes with some doing well while others have been adversely affected. Here, the photosynthetic response of sea-ice algal communities from Antarctic pack ice (brine and infiltration microbial communities) to a range of CO2 concentrations (400 ppm to 11,000 ppm in brine algae experiments, 400 ppm to 20,000 ppm in the infiltration ice algae experiment) was investigated. Incubations were conducted as part of the Sea-Ice Physics and Ecosystem Experiment II (SIPEX-2) voyage, in the austral spring (September-November), 2012. In the brine incubations, maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) and relative electron transfer rate (rETRmax) were highest at ambient and 0.049% (experiment 1) and 0.19% (experiment 2) CO2 concentrations, although, Fv/Fm was consistently between 0.53±0.10-0.68±0.01 across all treatments in both experiments. Highest rETRmax was exhibited by brine cultures exposed to ambient CO2 concentrations (60.15). In a third experiment infiltration ice algal communities were allowed to melt into seawater modified to simulate the changed pH and CO2 concentrations of future springtime ice-edge conditions. Ambient and 0.1% CO2 treatments had the highest growth rates and Fv/Fm values but only the highest CO2 concentration produced a significantly lower rETRmax. These experiments, conducted on natural Antarctic sea-ice algal communities, indicate a strong level of tolerance to elevated CO2 concentrations and suggest that these communities might not be adversely affected by predicted changes in CO2 concentration over the next century.

  10. A subzero microbial habitat in the basal ice of an Antarctic glacier (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christner, B. C.; Doyle, S. M.; Montross, S. N.; Skidmore, M. L.; Samyn, D.; Lorrain, R.; Tison, J.; Fitzsimons, S.

    2010-12-01

    Expanding perspectives on the tenacity of microbial life have motivated research to determine if microbial ecosystems exist at the base of the Antarctic ice sheets that are uniquely adapted to the conditions. To date, these efforts have focused primarily on subglacial locations where there is abundant liquid water (e.g., subglacial lakes and water-saturated sediments). Recent studies of cold-adapted microorganisms indicate that metabolism remains functional under frozen conditions, supporting the notion that active biogeochemical processes occur within the frozen matrix of ice. Our investigations of debris-rich basal ice from the Taylor Glacier, Antarctic revealed trends in the entrapped gas and microbiological data that are consistent with this hypothesis. When compared to the low-debris englacial facies, debris-rich stratified facies of the Taylor Glacier basal ice exhibited elevated CO2 and depleted O2 concentrations. Cell and total dissolved solute concentrations were low in the englacial facies, increasing by an order of magnitude or greater in the debris-rich laminated sub-facies. Cells in the thawed basal ice samples respired 14C-acetate to 14CO2 at 2oC, with maximum respiration rates observed in samples with sediment contents > 1% (wt/vol). Molecular analysis of small subunit ribosomal (SSU) RNA gene diversity within the basal ice revealed a low diversity bacterial assemblage dominated by members of the phylum Firmicutes (87% of the cloned sequences), and the most abundant phylotype (38%) was affiliated with species in the genus Sporosarcina. Enrichment culturing of the basal ice on various defined and complex heterotrophic media at 4 to 15oC resulted in the growth and isolation of bacteria, nearly all of which (92% of the isolates) were closely related to the Sporosarcina-related SSU RNA gene sequences identified in the culture-independent analysis. All of the isolates characterized are cold-tolerant and experiments on selected strains have demonstrated

  11. Measurement of 26Al in Antarctic ice with the MALT-AMS system at the University of Tokyo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horiuchi, Kazuho; Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki; Ohta, Aoi; Shibata, Yasuyuki; Motoyama, Hideaki

    2007-06-01

    We have attempted to determine the 26Al concentration of Antarctic ice sampled from the vicinity of the Dome Fuji Research Station using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at MALT (MicroAnalysis Laboratory, Tandem accelerator) of the University of Tokyo. Because the expected concentration of 26Al in ice is very low, our standard procedure for the AMS measurement was re-examined and refined. The observed 26Al concentration ranged between 160 and 210 atoms g-1. The averaged value of the 26Al/10Be ratio from two samples was 1.75 ± 0.19 × 10-3, which agrees well with recently reported values for the meteoric 26Al/10Be ratio from Antarctic ice and air filter residues. This result implies the possibility of future 26Al/10Be dating of old Antarctic ice.

  12. Seasonal Study of Mercury Species in the Antarctic Sea Ice Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerentorp Mastromonaco, Michelle G; Gårdfeldt, Katarina; Langer, Sarka; Dommergue, Aurélien

    2016-12-06

    Limited studies have been conducted on mercury concentrations in the polar cryosphere and the factors affecting the distribution of mercury within sea ice and snow are poorly understood. Here we present the first comprehensive seasonal study of elemental and total mercury concentrations in the Antarctic sea ice environment covering data from measurements in air, sea ice, seawater, snow, frost flowers, and brine. The average concentration of total mercury in sea ice decreased from winter (9.7 ng L -1 ) to spring (4.7 ng L -1 ) while the average elemental mercury concentration increased from winter (0.07 ng L -1 ) to summer (0.105 ng L -1 ). The opposite trends suggest potential photo- or dark oxidation/reduction processes within the ice and an eventual loss of mercury via brine drainage or gas evasion of elemental mercury. Our results indicate a seasonal variation of mercury species in the polar sea ice environment probably due to varying factors such as solar radiation, temperature, brine volume, and atmospheric deposition. This study shows that the sea ice environment is a significant interphase between the polar ocean and the atmosphere and should be accounted for when studying how climate change may affect the mercury cycle in polar regions.

  13. Ocean Circulation and Dynamics on the West Antarctic Peninsula Continental Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    d the shladig the stand( ardl error. 169 60 06S 720o\\ 68 OW 64 0W 60 OW 56 OW Longitude [m/yr]I 1 2 3 4 5 Figure 5-13: Modeled p)recipjitation ininus...for Climate and Ocean Research , both at WHOI. The atmospheric modelling presented in Chapter 5 was performed at the British Antarctic Survey with...Components ...... .................... 50 3.3.2 Diurnal Components ...... ....................... 52 3.3.3 Comparison with the AntPen04.01 Tidal Model

  14. Recent aerogeophysical exploration under the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Wilkes Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozzo, E.; Ferraccioli, F.; Armadillo, E.; Jordan, T. A.; Corr, H.; Hill, D. J.

    2009-12-01

    An extensive aerogeophysical survey was flown in Wilkes Land (East Antarctica) during the 2005/06 Antarctic field-campaign as part of a joint Italian-UK exploration project, WISE (Wilkes WIlkes Basin/Transantarctic Mountains System Exploration)/ ISODYN (Icehouse Earth: Stability Or DYNamism?). The Italian Antarctic programme provided major logistic support at Mario Zucchelli Station, at two remote field camps, Talos Dome and Sitry, and at Mid-Point. 68 survey flights led to the collection of over 60,000 line-km of new aerogeophysical data over a frontier region that had not been explored since the 70’s. Airborne radar, aeromagnetic and airborne gravity data were simultaneously collected on a British Antarctic Survey Twin Otter with the overarching aim of providing new basal boundary conditions for the dynamics and stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, and characterizing geological structures in the Wilkes Subglacial Basin (WSB) and adjacent Transantarctic Mountains (TAM). During the International Polar Year our efforts focused on data analysis and subsequent development of new interpretations. Here we review some of the results. Our new bedrock topography map derived from airborne radar reveals major subglacial basins with depths up to 2.1 km below sea-level within the WSB region. These sub-basins are in places up to 1.5 km deeper than imaged by BEDMAP, have different orientations, and are flanked by major bedrock plateaus that differ from alpine-type landscapes exposed over the adjacent TAM in northern Victoria Land. The new subglacial topography for the region is a critical boundary condition to develop next generation coupled ice sheet and climate models over East Antarctica. These models are targeting the contentious stability of this marine-based part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet during warm periods in the geological past and may provide a tool for assessing its longer term future behaviour in a warmer climate. The airborne radar dataset

  15. Products and processes in Pliocene-Recent, subaqueous to emergent volcanism in the Antarctic Peninsula: examples of englacial Surtseyan volcano construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smellie, J. L.; Hole, M. J.

    Pliocene-Recent volcanic outcrops at Seal Nunataks and Beethoven Peninsula (Antarctic Peninsula) are remnants of several monogenetic volcanoes formed by eruption of vesiculating basaltic magma into shallow water, in an englacial environment. The diversity of sedimentary and volcanic lithofacies present in the Antarctic Peninsula outcrops provides a clear illustration of the wide range of eruptive, transportational and depositional processes which are associated with englacial Surtseyan volcanism. Early-formed pillow lava and glassy breccia, representing a pillow volcano stage of construction, are draped by tephra erupted explosively during a tuff cone stage. The tephra was resedimented around the volcano flanks, mainly by coarse-grained sediment gravity flows. Fine-grained lithofacies are rare, and fine material probably bypassed the main volcanic edifice, accumulating in the surrounding englacial basin. The pattern of sedimentation records variations in eruption dynamics. Products of continuous-uprush eruptions are thought to be represented by stacks of poorly bedded gravelly sandstone, whereas better bedded, lithologically more diverse sequences accumulated during periods of quiescence or effusive activity. Evidence for volcano flank failure is common. In Seal Nunataks, subaerial lithofacies (mainly lavas and cinder cone deposits) are volumetrically minor and occur at a similar stratigraphical position to pillow lava, suggesting that glacial lake drainage may have occurred prior to or during deposition of the subaerial lithofacies. By contrast, voluminous subaerial effusion in Beethoven Peninsula led to the development of laterally extensive stratified glassy breccias representing progradation of hyaloclastite deltas.

  16. Regional genetic diversity patterns in Antarctic hairgrass (Deschampsia antartica Desv.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Wouw, M.J.; Van Dijk, P.J.; Huiskes, A.H.L.

    2008-01-01

    Aim To determine patterns in diversity of a major Antarctic plant species, including relationships of Antarctic populations with those outside the Antarctic zone. Location Antarctic Peninsula, Maritime Antarctica, sub-Antarctic islands, Falkland Islands and South America. Methods Amplified fragment

  17. Antarctic Ice Sheet variability across the Eocene-Oligocene boundary climate transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeotti, Simone; DeConto, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Stocchi, Paolo; Florindo, Fabio; Pagani, Mark; Barrett, Peter; Bohaty, Steven M; Lanci, Luca; Pollard, David; Sandroni, Sonia; Talarico, Franco M; Zachos, James C

    2016-04-01

    About 34 million years ago, Earth's climate cooled and an ice sheet formed on Antarctica as atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) fell below ~750 parts per million (ppm). Sedimentary cycles from a drill core in the western Ross Sea provide direct evidence of orbitally controlled glacial cycles between 34 million and 31 million years ago. Initially, under atmospheric CO2 levels of ≥600 ppm, a smaller Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS), restricted to the terrestrial continent, was highly responsive to local insolation forcing. A more stable, continental-scale ice sheet calving at the coastline did not form until ~32.8 million years ago, coincident with the earliest time that atmospheric CO2 levels fell below ~600 ppm. Our results provide insight into the potential of the AIS for threshold behavior and have implications for its sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentrations above present-day levels. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. Dynamics of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets using the borehole, radio sounding and space observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. N. Markov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on data of measurements in deep ice boreholes, as well as of radar and space geodetic observations in Antarctica and Greenland, a number of new features of the ice mass transport had been revealed. Note that these features do not correspond to the traditional but still hypothetical notions (ideas of the monotonous and uniform spatial changes in the ice sheet dynamics. Using results of the long-term monitoring of the borehole coordinate axes at the Vostok station (down to 1920 m, east profile Vostok – Vostok 1 – Pionerskaya – Mirny (1409 km, down to the depth of 450 m, and analysis of radar sections, Russian specialists revealed the following: a the Antarctic ice sheet has stratified changes in speed and a fan-like change in the flow direction along the depth; b plastic firn layer has individual parameters of dynamics and actually flows down from more monolithic body of the ice sheet (the flow directions differ by 30–80°; c in some places inside the sheet, the underlying ice masses flow faster than the upper ones. Researchers from the United States and Denmark registered on the radar sections of the lowest third of the ice domes in the central regions of the Antarctica (AGAP and Greenland (NEEM some folded structures, which were not typical of ice sheets (vertical amplitude of the folds is about 400 m, inclination of the wings is about 45 degrees or more. The tectonic analysis we have performed allows making a conclusion that a genesis of these ice structures is identical to the diapir folds and to diapirs which are formed at a displacement of lower plastic ice masses by the upper monolithic ones, or to echelon folds of crumpling of lower ice layers at their faster flow along original bed as compared with the overlying ice mass. This makes possible to suggest that a turbulent ice flow can occur in the spacious near-bottom and the most plastic area, and a model of the ice sheet dynamics is considered as extruding of

  19. Response of Antarctic sea surface temperature and sea ice to ozone depletion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, D.; Gnanadesikan, A.; Kostov, Y.; Marshall, J.; Seviour, W.; Waugh, D.

    2017-12-01

    The influence of the Antarctic ozone hole extends all the way from the stratosphere through the troposphere down to the surface, with clear signatures on surface winds, and SST during summer. In this talk we discuss the impact of these changes on the ocean circulation and sea ice state. We are notably motivated by the observed cooling of the surface Southern Ocean and associated increase in Antarctic sea ice extent since the 1970s. These trends are not reproduced by CMIP5 climate models, and the underlying mechanism at work in nature and the models remain unexplained. Did the ozone hole contribute to the observed trends?Here, we review recent advances toward answering these issues using "abrupt ozone depletion" experiments. The ocean and sea ice response is rather complex, comprising two timescales: a fast ( 1-2y) cooling of the surface ocean and sea ice cover increase, followed by a slower warming trend, which, depending on models, flip the sign of the SST and sea ice responses on decadal timescale. Although the basic mechanism seems robust, comparison across climate models reveal large uncertainties in the timescales and amplitude of the response to the extent that even the sign of the ocean and sea ice response to ozone hole and recovery remains unconstrained. After briefly describing the dynamics and thermodynamics behind the two-timescale response, we will discuss the main sources of uncertainties in the modeled response, namely cloud effects and air-sea heat exchanges, surface wind stress response and ocean eddy transports. Finally, we will consider the implications of our results on the ability of coupled climate models to reproduce observed Southern Ocean changes.

  20. Mesozoic to Cenozoic U-Pb zircon ages from Graham Land, West Antarctica: the magmatic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula batholith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastias, Joaquin; Spikings, Richard; Ulianov, Alex; Schaltegger, Urs; Grunow, Anne; Hervé, Francisco

    2017-04-01

    The plutonic rocks of the Antarctic Peninsula form one of the major intrusive bodies located along the circum-Pacific rim. Spanning ages of ˜240 to 9 Ma and emplaced over 1300 km long and 200 km wide along Graham and Palmer Land, these rocks represents a key unit to understand the magmatic and tectonic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula. In the north, the plutons intrude Paleozoic- Mesozoic low-grade meta-sedimentary rocks, and intrudes schists and ortho- and paragneisses with Triassic to Carboniferous metamorphic ages, further south. The origin of the arc of Antarctic Peninsula has been in dispute since the interpretation of Vaughan and Storey (2000) who suggested that these plutonic rocks are part of an allochthonous arc, contradicting the traditional interpretation that these rocks are autochthonous and are part of the continental arc which formed along the southern margin of Gondwana (Suarez, 1976). We will address the magmatic and tectonic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula by providing crystallization ages (zircon U-Pb and hornblende 40Ar/39Ar) of the main plutonic units, together with the characterization of the tectonic environment within which magmatism was occurring (geochemical studies and isotopic tracing). We present 45 LA-ICP-MS U-Pb (zircon) and 4 40Ar/39Ar (hornblende) dates of plutons and dikes from the west coast of the northern Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. Their geochemical composition shows affinities with calc-alkaline, supra-subduction zone rocks (Pearce et al., 1984). The U-Pb zircon ages range between ˜160 Ma (Stonington Island) to ˜9 Ma (Cornwallis Island), with a peak in the Early Cretaceous (Albian and Aptian). Upper Jurassic to Eocene intrusions were emplaced in a constant, approximately stationary position. Magmatism displaced ˜50km westwards during the Miocene, which is currently exposed on Watkin Island (˜22 Ma), Snodgrass Island (˜19 Ma), Litchfield Island (˜19 Ma) and Cornwallis Island (˜26 Ma

  1. Large-scale dynamical influence of a gravity wave generated over the Antarctic Peninsula – regional modelling and budget analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOEL Arnault

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The case study of a mountain wave triggered by the Antarctic Peninsula on 6 October 2005, which has already been documented in the literature, is chosen here to quantify the associated gravity wave forcing on the large-scale flow, with a budget analysis of the horizontal wind components and horizontal kinetic energy. In particular, a numerical simulation using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF model is compared to a control simulation with flat orography to separate the contribution of the mountain wave from that of other synoptic processes of non-orographic origin. The so-called differential budgets of horizontal wind components and horizontal kinetic energy (after subtracting the results from the simulation without orography are then averaged horizontally and vertically in the inner domain of the simulation to quantify the mountain wave dynamical influence at this scale. This allows for a quantitative analysis of the simulated mountain wave's dynamical influence, including the orographically induced pressure drag, the counterbalancing wave-induced vertical transport of momentum from the flow aloft, the momentum and energy exchanges with the outer flow at the lateral and upper boundaries, the effect of turbulent mixing, the dynamics associated with geostrophic re-adjustment of the inner flow, the deceleration of the inner flow, the secondary generation of an inertia–gravity wave and the so-called baroclinic conversion of energy between potential energy and kinetic energy.

  2. Impact of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet interactions on climate sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goelzer, H.; Huybrechts, P. [Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Earth System Sciences and Departement Geografie, Brussels (Belgium); Loutre, M.F.; Goosse, H.; Fichefet, T. [Universite Catholique de Louvain, Georges Lemaitre Centre for Earth and Climate Research (TECLIM), Earth and Life Institute, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Mouchet, A. [Universite de Liege, Laboratoire de Physique Atmospherique et Planetaire, Liege (Belgium)

    2011-09-15

    We use the Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM to show the effect of coupling interactive ice sheets on the climate sensitivity of the model on a millennial time scale. We compare the response to a 2 x CO{sub 2} warming scenario between fully coupled model versions including interactive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet models and model versions with fixed ice sheets. For this purpose an ensemble of different parameter sets have been defined for LOVECLIM, covering a wide range of the model's sensitivity to greenhouse warming, while still simulating the present-day climate and the climate evolution over the last millennium within observational uncertainties. Additional freshwater fluxes from the melting ice sheets have a mitigating effect on the model's temperature response, leading to generally lower climate sensitivities of the fully coupled model versions. The mitigation is effectuated by changes in heat exchange within the ocean and at the sea-air interface, driven by freshening of the surface ocean and amplified by sea-ice-related feedbacks. The strength of the effect depends on the response of the ice sheets to the warming and on the model's climate sensitivity itself. The effect is relatively strong in model versions with higher climate sensitivity due to the relatively large polar amplification of LOVECLIM. With the ensemble approach in this study we cover a wide range of possible model responses. (orig.)

  3. Anatomy of a meltwater drainage system beneath the ancestral East Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simkins, Lauren M.; Anderson, John B.; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Gonnermann, Helge M.; Prothro, Lindsay O.; Halberstadt, Anna Ruth W.; Stearns, Leigh A.; Pollard, David; Deconto, Robert M.

    2017-09-01

    Subglacial hydrology is critical to understand the behaviour of ice sheets, yet active meltwater drainage beneath contemporary ice sheets is rarely accessible to direct observation. Using geophysical and sedimentological data from the deglaciated western Ross Sea, we identify a palaeo-subglacial hydrological system active beneath an area formerly covered by the East Antarctic ice sheet. A long channel network repeatedly delivered meltwater to an ice stream grounding line and was a persistent pathway for episodic meltwater drainage events. Embayments within grounding-line landforms coincide with the location of subglacial channels, marking reduced sedimentation and restricted landform growth. Consequently, channelized drainage at the grounding line influenced the degree to which these landforms could provide stability feedbacks to the ice stream. The channel network was connected to upstream subglacial lakes in an area of geologically recent rifting and volcanism, where elevated heat flux would have produced sufficient basal melting to fill the lakes over decades to several centuries; this timescale is consistent with our estimates of the frequency of drainage events at the retreating grounding line. Based on these data, we hypothesize that ice stream dynamics in this region were sensitive to the underlying hydrological system.

  4. Depositional Architecture and Seafloor Mapping of the Vega Drift, Erebus and Terror Gulf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backman, E.; Domack, E.

    2003-12-01

    High resolution sediment archives on the Antarctic continental shelf are providing detailed paleoenvironmental records with unprecedented resolution (for example the Palmer Deep). Yet we are only beginning to discover the true extent and nature of these sediment deposits. Geophysical data collected in 2000, on the Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP) in the northern Prince Gustav Channel, discovered the presence of the Vega Drift. The drift was originally believed to be restricted to the northern Prince Gustav Channel, however additional swath bathymetric data gathered on the NBP 01-07 cruise in the Erebus and Terror Gulf revealed that the Vega Drift extends much farther that once believed, with an estimated area of approximately 6,140 km2, making the Vega Drift is the largest sediment drift on the Antarctic continental shelf. Drifts are areas where thick sequences of sediment have been deposited by deep-water bottom currents, which result from thermohaline and tidal circulation. High resolution acoustic Chirp profiles allowed us to develop a detailed isopach of the deposit that revealed four distinct centers of drift accretion and surfaces of active sediment erosion. This shows that the Vega Drift is a channel-related drift with the depositional centers located just outside the channels on basement highs while a more broad sediment apron tapers off into the Erebus and Terror Gulf. It is the confinement and then deceleration of currents in both the Prince Gustav Channel and the Antarctic Sound (as they enter the Erebus and Terror Gulf) that provides the focus for deposition across a relict glacially sculpted surface. Complementing the subsurface view of the drift are bottom video surveys that reveal distinct contrasts in sediment transport and erosion across the drift surface, consistent with the deposit's complex architecture. Drift accretion began in the early Holocene, perhaps Late Pleistocene as revealed by jumbo piston cores in excess of 23 m in length. Sedimentation was

  5. Distribution, density and abundance of Antarctic ice seals off Queen Maud Land and the eastern Weddell Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Gurarie, Eliezer; Bengtson, John L.; Bester, Marthán N.; Blix, Arnoldus Schytte; Cameron, Michael; Bornemann, Horst; Nordøy, Erling S.; Plötz, Joachim; Steinhage, Daniel; Boveng, Peter

    2017-01-01

    The Antarctic Pack Ice Seal (APIS) Program was initiated in 1994 to estimate the abundance of four species of Antarctic phocids: the crabeater seal Lobodon carcinophaga , Weddell seal Leptonychotes weddellii , Ross seal Ommatophoca rossii and leopard seal Hydrurga leptonyx and to identify ecological relationships and habitat use patterns. The Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean (the eastern sector of the Weddell Sea) was surveyed by research teams from Germany, Norway and South Africa usi...

  6. Monitoring of active layer thermal regime and depth on CALM-S site, James Ross Island, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrbáček, Filip; Kňažková, Michaela; Nývlt, Daniel; Láska, Kamil; Mueller, Carsten W.; Ondruch, Jakub

    2017-04-01

    Active layer thickness and its dynamic are considered one of the key parameters of permafrost-affected ground. They variability are very sensitive to specific local conditions, especially climate, vegetation, snow cover or soil texture and moisture. To better understand the local variability of active layer thickness in Antarctica, the original Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring protocol (CALM) was adapted as its southern form (CALM-S) with respect to specific conditions of Antarctica. To date, almost 40 CALM-S sites were registered across the Antarctic continent with the highest density on western Antarctic Peninsula (South Shetlands) and Victoria Land in East Antarctica (McMurdo region). On James Ross Island, CALM-S site was established in February 2014 as the first CALM-S in the eastern Antarctic Peninsula region. The CALM-S site is located near the Johann Gregor Mendel Station on the northern coast of James Ross Island. The area delimited to 80 × 70 m is elevated at 8 to 11 m asl. Geologically it consists of a Holocene marine terrace ( 80% of CALM-S area) with typical sandy material and passes to lithified to poorly disintegrated sedimentary rocks of Cretaceous Whisky Bay Formation ( 20% of CALM-S area) with a more muddy material and a typical bimodal composition. For both geologically different parts of CALM-S site, ground temperature was measured at two profiles at several levels up to 200 cm depth using resistance thermometers Pt100/8 (accuracy ± 0.15 °C). The air temperature at 2 m above surface was monitored at the automatic weather station near Johann Gregor Mendel Station using resistance thermometer Pt100/A (accuracy ± 0.15 °C). Data used in this study were obtained during the period from 1 March 2013 to 6 February 2016. Mechanical probing of active layer depth was performed in 72 grid points at the end of January, or beginning of February in 2014 to 2016. During the whole study period, mean annual air temperature varied between -7.0 °C (2013

  7. Preconditioning of Antarctic maximum sea ice extent by upper ocean stratification on a seasonal timescale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Zhan

    2017-06-01

    This study uses an observationally constrained and dynamically consistent ocean and sea ice state estimate. The author presents a remarkable agreement between the location of the edge of Antarctic maximum sea ice extent, reached in September, and the narrow transition band for the upper ocean (0-100 m depths) stratification, as early as April to June. To the south of this edge, the upper ocean has high stratification, which forbids convective fluxes to cross through; consequently, the ocean heat loss to the atmosphere is an efficient way to cool the surface ocean to the freezing point during April to September. To the north, the upper ocean has low stratification such that the ocean heat loss to the atmosphere is not efficient to cool the upper ocean. The upper ocean is instead cooled mainly through mixing with the colder inflow carried by northward Ekman transport but cannot reach the freezing point due to the nature of mixing. Therefore, upper ocean stratification, dominated by salinity here, provides an important constraint on the northward expansion of Antarctic sea ice to its maximum.

  8. Postglacial relative sea level change at Fildes Peninsula, King George Island (West Antarctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. V. Polishchuk

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Analysis and integration of data obtained in our field and laboratory investigations of 2008–2012 together with results of previous paleogeographic studies were conducted to reveal parameters and factors of the post-glacial changes in the relative sea-level on the Fildes Peninsula and the King George Island. Results of dating of organic material taken from cross-sections of Quaternary deposits, data on morphology of marine landforms as well as on bottom sediments in lakes were used to construct a curve of changes in the relative sea-level.Our research has shown that the rapid rise of relative sea level in the area (since the beginning of the Holocene decelerated about 8000 years BP, achieving its maximum about 7000 years BP. This was followed by the fall of relative sea-level (the land elevation by 18–20  m in total, and it was characterized by relatively high rate of fall during periods of 6000– 5000 years BP, 4000–2500 years BP, and during the last 1500 years; the rate decreased in 5000–4000 years BP and 2500– 1600 years BP. The changes in relative sea level in this region were determined by the following factors: the eustatic component of the global changes in sea-level and, possibly, oscillations in the global sea level of another nature; local parameters of the Last glacial maximum; a course of the Peninsula deglaciation; regional physical characteristics of the Earth's crust and the mantle substances; local tectonic processes, including the isostatic rebound. Since the beginning of the Holocene up to about 7000 years BP, the main contribution to changes of the relative sea-level in this area was made by the global eustatic factor. The subsequent fall of the relative sea-level (elevation of the Peninsula surface proceeded under condition of reduced role of the eustatic factor and predominance of other factors.

  9. Atmospheric occurrence and deposition of hexachlorobenzene and hexachlorocyclohexanes in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbán-Malagón, Cristóbal; Cabrerizo, Ana; Caballero, Gemma; Dachs, Jordi

    2013-12-01

    Despite the distance of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean to primary source regions of organochlorine pesticides, such as hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), these organic pollutants are found in this remote region due to long range atmospheric transport and deposition. This study reports the gas- and aerosol-phase concentrations of α-HCH, γ-HCH, and HCB in the atmosphere from the Weddell, South Scotia and Bellingshausen Seas. The atmospheric samples were obtained in two sampling cruises in 2008 and 2009, and in a third sampling campaign at Livingston Island (2009) in order to quantify the potential secondary sources of HCHs and HCB due to volatilization from Antarctic soils and snow. The gas phase concentrations of HCHs and HCB are low, and in the order of very few pg m-3 α-HCH and γ-HCH concentrations were higher when the air mass back trajectory was coming from the Antarctic continent, consistent with net volatilization fluxes of γ-HCH measured at Livingston Island being a significant secondary source to the regional atmosphere. In addition, the Southern ocean is an important net sink of HCHs, and to minor extent of HCB, due to high diffusive air-to-water fluxes. These net absorption fluxes for HCHs are presumably due to the role of bacterial degradation, depleting the water column concentrations of HCHs in surface waters and driving an air-water disequilibrium. This is the first field study that has investigated the coupling between the atmospheric occurrence of HCHs and HCB, the simultaneous air-water exchange, soil/snow-air exchange, and long range transport of organic pollutants in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

  10. Channelized melting drives thinning under Dotson ice shelf, Western Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gourmelen, N.; Goldberg, D.; Snow, K.; Henley, S. F.; Bingham, R. G.; Kimura, S.; Hogg, A.; Shepherd, A.; Mouginot, J.; Lenaerts, J.; Ligtenberg, S.; Van De Berg, W. J.

    2017-12-01

    The majority of meteoric ice that forms in West Antarctica leaves the ice sheet through floating ice shelves, many of which have been thinning substantially over the last 25 years. A significant proportion of ice-shelf thinning has been driven by submarine melting facilitated by increased access of relatively warm (>0.6oC) modified Circumpolar Deep Water to sub-shelf cavities. Ice shelves play a significant role in stabilising the ice sheet from runaway retreat and regulating its contribution to sea level change. Ice-shelf melting has also been implicated in sustaining high primary productivity in Antarctica's coastal seas. However, these processes vary regionally and are not fully understood. Under some ice shelves, concentrated melting leads to the formation of inverted channels. These channels guide buoyant melt-laden outflow, which can lead to localised melting of the sea ice cover. The channels may also potentially lead to heightened crevassing, which in turn affects ice-shelf stability. Meanwhile, numerical studies suggest that buttressing loss is sensitive to the location of ice removal within an ice-shelf. Thus it is important that we observe spatial patterns, as well as magnitudes, of ice-shelf thinning, in order to improve understanding of the ocean drivers of thinning and of their impacts on ice-shelf stability. Here we show from high-resolution altimetry measurements acquired between 2010 to 2016 that Dotson Ice Shelf, West Antarctica, thins in response to basal melting focussed along a single 5 km-wide and 60 km-long channel extending from the ice shelf's grounding zone to its calving front. The coupled effect of geostrophic circulation and ice-shelf topography leads to the observed concentration of basal melting. Analysis of previous datasets suggests that this process has been ongoing for at least the last 25 years. If focused thinning continues at present rates, the channel would melt through within 40-50 years, almost two centuries before it is

  11. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritz, Catherine; Edwards, Tamsin L; Durand, Gaël; Payne, Antony J; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard C A

    2015-12-03

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers.

  12. Modelling snowdrift sublimation on an Antarctic ice shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. T. M. Lenaerts

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we estimate the contribution of snowdrift sublimation (SUds to the surface mass balance at Neumayer, located on the Ekström ice shelf in Eastern Antarctica. A single column version of the RACMO2-ANT model is used as a physical interpolation tool of high-quality radiosonde and surface measurements for a 15-yr period (1993–2007, and combined with a routine to calculate snowdrift sublimation and horizontal snow transport. The site is characterised by a relatively mild, wet and windy climate, so snowdrift is a common phenomenon. The modelled timing and frequency of snowdrift events compares well with observations. This is further illustrated by an additional simulation for Kohnen base, where the timing of snowdrift is realistic, although the modelled horizontal transport is overestimated. Snowdrift sublimation is mainly dependent on wind speed, but also on relative humidity and temperature. During high wind speeds, SUds saturates and cools the air, limiting its own strength. We estimate that SUds removes around 16%±8% of the accumulated snow from the surface. The total sublimation more than triples when snowdrift is considered, although snowdrift sublimation limits sublimation at the surface. SUds shows a strong seasonal cycle, as well as large inter-annual variability. This variability can be related to the variability of the atmospheric conditions in the surface layer.

  13. Ice-sheet mass balance and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Edward; Navarro, Francisco J; Pattyn, Frank; Domingues, Catia M; Fettweis, Xavier; Ivins, Erik R; Nicholls, Robert J; Ritz, Catherine; Smith, Ben; Tulaczyk, Slawek; Whitehouse, Pippa L; Zwally, H Jay

    2013-06-06

    Since the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, new observations of ice-sheet mass balance and improved computer simulations of ice-sheet response to continuing climate change have been published. Whereas Greenland is losing ice mass at an increasing pace, current Antarctic ice loss is likely to be less than some recently published estimates. It remains unclear whether East Antarctica has been gaining or losing ice mass over the past 20 years, and uncertainties in ice-mass change for West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula remain large. We discuss the past six years of progress and examine the key problems that remain.

  14. The impact of dynamic topography on the bedrock elevation and volume of the Pliocene Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austermann, Jacqueline; Pollard, David; Mitrovica, Jerry X.; Moucha, Robert; Forte, Alessandro M.; DeConto, Robert M.

    2015-04-01

    Reconstructions of the Antarctic ice sheet over long timescales (i.e. Myrs) require estimates of bedrock elevation through time. Ice sheet models have accounted, with varying levels of sophistication, for changes in the bedrock elevation due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), but they have neglected other processes that may perturb topography. One notable example is dynamic topography, the deflection of the solid surface of the Earth due to convective flow within the mantle. Numerically predicted changes in dynamic topography have been used to correct paleo shorelines for this departure from eustasy, but the effect of such changes on ice sheet stability is unknown. In this study we use numerical predictions of time-varying dynamic topography to reconstruct bedrock elevation below the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid Pliocene warm period (~3 Ma). Moreover, we couple this reconstruction to a three-dimensional ice sheet model to explore the impact of dynamic topography on the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet since the Pliocene. Our modeling indicates significant uplift in the area of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) and the adjacent Wilkes basin. This predicted uplift, which is at the lower end of geological inferences of uplift of the TAM, implies a lower elevation of the basin in the Pliocene. Relative to simulations that do not include dynamic topography, the lower elevation leads to a smaller Antarctic Ice Sheet volume and a more significant retreat of the grounding line in the Wilkes basin, both of which are consistent with offshore sediment core data. We conclude that reconstructions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the mid-Pliocene warm period should be based on bedrock elevation models that include the impact of both GIA and dynamic topography.

  15. Marine and terrestrial factors affecting Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae chick growth and recruitment off the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Erik W.; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Patterson, Donna L.; Ribic, Christine A.; Fraser, William R.

    2011-01-01

    An individual-based bioenergetics model that simulates the growth of an Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliaechick from hatching to fledging was used to assess marine and terrestrial factors that affect chick growth and fledging mass off the western Antarctic Peninsula. Simulations considered the effects on Adélie penguin fledging mass of (1) modification of chick diet through the addition of Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum to an all-Antarctic krillEuphausia superba diet, (2) reduction of provisioning rate which may occur as a result of an environmental stress such as reduced prey availability, and (3) increased thermoregulatory costs due to wetting of chicks which may result from increased precipitation or snow-melt in colonies. Addition of 17% Antarctic silverfish of Age-Class 3 yr (AC3) to a penguin chick diet composed of Antarctic krill increased chick fledging mass by 5%. Environmental stress that results in >4% reduction in provisioning rate or wetting of just 10% of the chick’s surface area decreased fledging mass enough to reduce the chick’s probability of successful recruitment. The negative effects of reduced provisioning and wetting on chick growth can be compensated for by inclusion of Antarctic silverfish of AC3 and older in the chick diet. Results provide insight into climate-driven processes that influence chick growth and highlight a need for field research designed to investigate factors that determine the availability of AC3 and older Antarctic silverfish to foraging Adélie penguins and the influence of snowfall on chick wetting, thermoregulation and adult provisioning rate.

  16. Modelling acoustic propagation beneath Antarctic sea ice using measured environmental parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Polly; Duncan, Alec; Bose, Neil; Williams, Guy

    2016-09-01

    Autonomous underwater vehicles are improving and expanding in situ observations of sea ice for the validation of satellite remote sensing and climate models. Missions under sea ice, particularly over large distances (up to 100 km) away from the immediate vicinity of a ship or base, require accurate acoustic communication for monitoring, emergency response and some navigation systems. We investigate the propagation of acoustic signals in the Antarctic seasonal ice zone using the BELLHOP model, examining the influence of ocean and sea ice properties. We processed available observations from around Antarctica to generate input variables such as sound speed, surface reflection coefficient (R) and roughness parameters. The results show that changes in the sound speed profile make the most significant difference to the propagation of the direct path signal. The inclusion of the surface reflected signals from a flat ice surface was found to greatly decrease the transmission loss with range. When ice roughness was added, the transmission loss increased with roughness, in a manner similar to the direct path transmission loss results. The conclusions of this work are that: (1) the accuracy of acoustic modelling in this environment is greatly increased by using realistic sound speed data; (2) a risk averse ranging model would use only the direct path signal transmission; and (3) in a flat ice scenario, much greater ranges can be achieved if the surface reflected transmission paths are included. As autonomous missions under sea ice increase in scale and complexity, it will be increasingly important for operational procedures to include effective modelling of acoustic propagation with representative environmental data.

  17. Ice matters. Under-ice fauna surveys in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans

    OpenAIRE

    Flores, Hauke; David, Carmen; Lange, Benjamin; van Franeker, J.-A.; Siegel, Volker; Pakhomov, E. A.; Hunt, B. P. V.; Van de Putte, A. P.; Tonkes, Henrieke; Nicolaus, Marcel; Fernandez Mendez, Mar; Niehoff, Barbara; Peeken, Ilka

    2013-01-01

    In the Polar Regions, sea ice habitats are undergoing rapid environmental change. Because sea ice constitutes an important substrate for numerous species, as well as an important carbon source during critical periods of the year, these changes have a significant impact on ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, species distribution, and population sizes of both commercially exploited species, and species valuable from a conservation perspective. Species dwelling at the ice-water interface (e.g. ...

  18. The paradox of a long grounding during West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat in Ross Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Philip J; Krogmeier, Benjamin J; Bart, Manon P; Tulaczyk, Slawek

    2017-04-28

    Marine geological data show that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) advanced to the eastern Ross Sea shelf edge during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and eventually retreated ~1000 km to the current grounding-line position on the inner shelf. During the early deglacial, the WAIS deposited a voluminous stack of overlapping grounding zone wedges (GZWs) on the outer shelf of the Whales Deep Basin. The large sediment volume of the GZW cluster suggests that the grounding-line position of the paleo-Bindschadler Ice Stream was relatively stationary for a significant time interval. We used an upper bound estimate of paleo-sediment flux to investigate the lower bound duration over which the ice stream would have deposited sediment to account for the GZW volume. Our calculations show that the cluster represents more than three millennia of ice-stream sedimentation. This long duration grounding was probably facilitated by rapid GZW growth. The subsequent punctuated large-distance (~200 km) grounding-line retreat may have been a highly non-linear ice sheet response to relatively continuous external forcing such as gradual climate warming or sea-level rise. These findings indicate that reliable predictions of future WAIS retreat may require incorporation of realistic calculations of sediment erosion, transport and deposition.

  19. Multi-frequency observations of seawater carbonate chemistry on the central coast of the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie B. Schram

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Assessments of benthic coastal seawater carbonate chemistry in Antarctica are sparse. The studies have generally been short in duration, during the austral spring/summer, under sea ice, or offshore in ice-free water. Herein we present multi-frequency measurements for seawater collected from the shallow coastal benthos on a weekly schedule over one year (May 2012–May 2013, daily schedule over three months (March–May 2013 and semidiurnal schedule over five weeks (March–April 2013. A notable pH increase (max pH = 8.62 occurred in the late austral spring/summer (November–December 2012, coinciding with sea-ice break-out and subsequent increase in primary productivity. We detected semidiurnal variation in seawater pH with a maximum variation of 0.13 pH units during the day and 0.11 pH units during the night. Daily variation in pH is likely related to biological activity, consistent with previous research. We calculated the variation in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC over each seawater measurement frequency, focusing on the primary DIC drivers in the Palmer Station region. From this, we estimated net biological activity and found it accounts for the greatest variations in DIC. Our seasonal data suggest that this coastal region tends to act as a carbon dioxide source during austral winter months and as a strong sink during the summer. These data characterize present-day seawater carbonate chemistry and the extent to which these measures vary over multiple time scales. This information will inform future experiments designed to evaluate the vulnerability of coastal benthic Antarctic marine organisms to ocean acidification.

  20. Cosmogenic 10Be Depth Profile in top 560 m of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welten, K. C.; Woodruff, T. E.; Caffee, M. W.; Edwards, R.; McConnell, J. R.; Bisiaux, M. M.; Nishiizumi, K.

    2009-12-01

    Concentrations of cosmogenic 10Be in polar ice samples are a function of variations in solar activity, geomagnetic field strength, atmospheric mixing and annual snow accumulation rates. The 10Be depth profile in ice cores also provides independent chronological markers to tie Antarctic to Greenland ice cores and to tie Holocene ice cores to the 14C dendrochronology record. We measured 10Be concentrations in 187 samples from depths of 0-560 m of the main WAIS Divide core, WDC06A. The ice samples are typically 1-2 kg and represent 2-4 m of ice, equivalent to an average temporal resolution of ~12 years, based on the preliminary age-depth scale proposed for the WDC core, (McConnell et al., in prep). Be, Al and Cl were separated using ion exchange chromatography techniques and the 10Be concentrations were measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at PRIME lab. The 10Be concentrations range from 8.1 to 19.1 x 10^3 at/g, yielding an average of (13.1±2.1) x 10^3 at/g. Adopting an average snow accumulation rate of 20.9 cm weq/yr, as derived from the age-depth scale, this value corresponds to an average 10Be flux of (2.7±0.5) x 10^5 atoms/yr/cm2. This flux is similar to that of the Holocene part of the Siple Dome (Nishiizumi and Finkel, 2007) and Dome Fuji (Horiuchi et al. 2008) ice cores, but ~30% lower than the value of 4.0 x 10^5 atoms/yr/cm2 for GISP2 (Finkel and Nishiizumi, 1997). The periods of low solar activity, known as Oort, Wolf, Spörer, Maunder and Dalton minima, show ~20% higher 10Be concentrations/fluxes than the periods of average solar activity in the last millennium. The maximum 10Be fluxes during some of these periods of low solar activity are up to ~50% higher than average 10Be fluxes, as seen in other polar ice cores, which makes these peaks suitable as chronologic markers. We will compare the 10Be record in the WAIS Divide ice core with that in other Antarctic as well as Greenland ice cores and with the 14C treering record. Acknowledgment. This

  1. Regionally Optimized GRACE Processing and Inter-comparison on the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohajerani, Y.; Velicogna, I.; Sutterley, T. C.; Rignot, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate, with a sea level contribution that changed from 0.08mm/yr from 1992 to 2001 to 0.4mm/yr from 2002 to 2011. While most of this contribution comes from West Antarctica, Totten Glacier has the largest discharge of ice in East Antarctica, with a sea level rise potential of 3.9 m. Furthermore, the drainage basin of Totten Glacier, along the neighboring Moscow University Glacier are below sea level, extending hundreds of kilometers inland. Therefore, obtaining regional estimates of both western and eastern Antarctic basins are of critical importance. The GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite has been providing mass balance time-series from geoid changes since 2002. Several mascon and harmonic GRACE solutions are available from different processing centers. Here, we evaluate the various solutions across the ice sheet and a new set of regionally optimized mascons to study the mass balance of Totten and Moscow University glaciers. We obtain a trend of -16.5±4.1Gt/yr with an acceleration of -2.0±1.8Gt/yr2 for the two glaciers for the period April 2002 to December 2016 using the Ivins et al (2013) GIA model (errors include leakage, GIA, and regression errors). We compare the results with the Mass Budget Method that combines ice discharge (D) and surface mass balance (SMB) from two models: 1) RACMO2.3, and 2) MAR3.6.4. MBM/RACMO2.3 shows the best agreement with the GRACE estimates. Within the common period from April 2002 to December 2015, the MBM/RACMO2.3 and MAR3.6.4 results are -15.6±1.8Gt/yr and -6.7±1.5Gt/yr respectively, while the GRACE time-series has a trend of -14.8±2.7 Gt/yr. We extend the study to the Getz Ice Shelf, the third largest ice shelf in West Antarctica after Ronne and Ross West ice shelves. We compare our gravity-derived mass estimates, the mass budget estimates, and the volume changes from altimetry data to compare the estimates and obtain a multi-sensor assessment

  2. State of knowledge of the Corallinales (Rhodophyta of Tierra del Fuego and the Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Laura Mendoza

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Corallinales (Rhodophyta in Tierra del Fuego are abundant, with 9 genera, 17 species and 1 subspecies. Pseudolithophyllum with 1 species (P. fueguianum, which represents 35.8% of the coralline algae, is dominant. The genera Parahydrolithon with 4 species (P. consociatum, P. discoideum, P. falklandicum, P. subantarcticum and 20%, Lithothamnion with 3 species (Lt. heterocladum, Lt. rugosum, Lt. granuliferum and 17.5%, and Synarthrophyton with 3 species (S. neglectum, S. patena, S. schmitzii and 12% share are abundant. Clathromorphum with 4 species (Cl. annulatum, Cl. lemoineanum, Cl. obtectulum, Cl. Variabile and a share of 5.8%, and Mesophyllum with 1 species (M. fueguianum and a share of 4.9% are frequent. The remaining three genera, Bossiella with 1 subspecies (B. orbigniana ssp. orbigniana, Corallina with 2 species (C. elongata, C. officinalis (1.1%, and Titanoderna with 1 species (T. conspectum (1% are scarce. C. officinalis is a cosmopolitan, and the other geniculate corallines are found in both hemispheres, whereas the crustose coralline occur only in the southern hemisphere. The characteristic vertical distribution of the species in the intertidal and subtidal zone of Tierra del Fuego is given. The Corallinales in the Antarctic Region are poorly known and need further investigation.

  3. Lipophilic pigments from the benthos of a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmisano, A. C.; Wharton, R. A. Jr; Cronin, S. E.; Des Marais, D. J.; Wharton RA, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1989-01-01

    The benthos of a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake, Lake Hoare, contained three distinct 'signatures' of lipophilic pigments. Cyanobacterial mats found in the moat at the periphery of the lake were dominated by the carotenoid myxoxanthophyll; carotenoids: chlorophyll a ratios in this high light environment ranged from 3 to 6.8. Chlorophyll c and fucoxanthin, pigments typical of golden-brown algae, were found at 10 to 20 m depths where the benthos is aerobic. Anaerobic benthic sediments at 20 to 30 m depths were characterized by a third pigment signature dominated by a carotenoid, tentatively identified as alloxanthin from planktonic cryptomonads, and by phaeophytin b from senescent green algae. Pigments were not found associated with alternating organic and sediment layers. As microzooplankton grazers are absent from this closed system and transformation rates are reduced at low temperatures, the benthos beneath the lake ice appears to contain a record of past phytoplankton blooms undergoing decay.

  4. Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet mass balance products from satellite gravimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas; Horvath, Alexander; Forsberg, René; Meister, Rakia; Barletta, Valentina R.; Shepherd, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    Because of their important role in the Earth's climate system, ESA's Climate Change Initiative (CCI) has identified both the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) as Essential Climate Variables (ECV). Since respondents of a user survey indicated that the ice sheet mass balance is one of the most important ECV data products needed to better understand climate change, the AIS_cci and the GIS_cci project provide Gravimetric Mass Balance (GMB) products based on satellite gravimetry data. The GMB products are derived from GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) monthly solutions of release ITSG-Grace2016 produced at TU Graz. GMB basin products (i.e. time series of monthly mass changes for the entire ice sheets and selected drainage basins) and GMB gridded products (e.g. mass balance estimates with a formal resolution of about 50km, covering the entire ice sheets) are generated for the period from 2002 until present. The first GMB product was released in mid 2016. Here we present an extended and updated version of the ESA CCI GMB products, which are freely available through data portals hosted by the projects (https://data1.geo.tu-dresden.de/ais_gmb, http://products.esa-icesheets-cci.org/products/downloadlist/GMB). Since the initial product release, the applied processing strategies have been improved in order to further reduce GRACE errors and to enhance the separation of signals super-imposed to the ice mass changes. While a regional integration approach is used by the AIS_cci project, the GMB products of the GIS_cci project are derived using a point mass inversion. The differences between both approaches are investigated through the example of the GIS, where an alternative GMB product was generated using the regional integration approach implemented by the AIS_cci. Finally, we present the latest mass balance estimates for both ice sheets as well as their corresponding contributions to global sea level rise.

  5. New Cysteine-Rich Ice-Binding Protein Secreted from Antarctic Microalga, Chloromonas sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Woongsic; Campbell, Robert L; Gwak, Yunho; Kim, Jong Im; Davies, Peter L; Jin, EonSeon

    2016-01-01

    Many microorganisms in Antarctica survive in the cold environment there by producing ice-binding proteins (IBPs) to control the growth of ice around them. An IBP from the Antarctic freshwater microalga, Chloromonas sp., was identified and characterized. The length of the Chloromonas sp. IBP (ChloroIBP) gene was 3.2 kb with 12 exons, and the molecular weight of the protein deduced from the ChloroIBP cDNA was 34.0 kDa. Expression of the ChloroIBP gene was up- and down-regulated by freezing and warming conditions, respectively. Western blot analysis revealed that native ChloroIBP was secreted into the culture medium. This protein has fifteen cysteines and is extensively disulfide bonded as shown by in-gel mobility shifts between oxidizing and reducing conditions. The open-reading frame of ChloroIBP was cloned and over-expressed in Escherichia coli to investigate the IBP's biochemical characteristics. Recombinant ChloroIBP produced as a fusion protein with thioredoxin was purified by affinity chromatography and formed single ice crystals of a dendritic shape with a thermal hysteresis activity of 0.4±0.02°C at a concentration of 5 mg/ml. In silico structural modeling indicated that the three-dimensional structure of ChloroIBP was that of a right-handed β-helix. Site-directed mutagenesis of ChloroIBP showed that a conserved region of six parallel T-X-T motifs on the β-2 face was the ice-binding region, as predicted from the model. In addition to disulfide bonding, hydrophobic interactions between inward-pointing residues on the β-1 and β-2 faces, in the region of ice-binding motifs, were crucial to maintaining the structural conformation of ice-binding site and the ice-binding activity of ChloroIBP.

  6. Geostatistical Methods For Determination of Roughness, Topography, And Changes of Antarctic Ice Streams From SAR And Radar Altimeter Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzfeld, Ute C.

    2002-01-01

    The central objective of this project has been the development of geostatistical methods fro mapping elevation and ice surface characteristics from satellite radar altimeter (RA) and Syntheitc Aperture Radar (SAR) data. The main results are an Atlas of elevation maps of Antarctica, from GEOSAT RA data and an Atlas from ERS-1 RA data, including a total of about 200 maps with 3 km grid resolution. Maps and digital terrain models are applied to monitor and study changes in Antarctic ice streams and glaciers, including Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf, Mertz and Ninnis Glaciers, Jutulstraumen Glacier, Fimbul Ice Shelf, Slessor Glacier, Williamson Glacier and others.

  7. Spatial variability and trends of seasonal snowmelt processes over Antarctic sea ice observed by satellite scatterometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, S.; Haas, C.

    2017-12-01

    Snow is one of the key drivers determining the seasonal energy and mass budgets of sea ice in the Southern Ocean. Here, we analyze radar backscatter time series from the European Remote Sensing Satellites (ERS)-1 and-2 scatterometers, from the Quick Scatterometer (QSCAT), and from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) in order to observe the regional and inter-annual variability of Antarctic snowmelt processes from 1992 to 2014. On perennial ice, seasonal backscatter changes show two different snowmelt stages: A weak backscatter rise indicating the initial warming and metamorphosis of the snowpack (pre-melt), followed by a rapid rise indicating the onset of internal snowmelt and thaw-freeze cycles (snowmelt). In contrast, similar seasonal backscatter cycles are absent on seasonal ice, preventing the periodic retrieval of spring/summer transitions. This may be due to the dominance of ice bottom melt over snowmelt, leading to flooding and ice disintegration before strong snowmelt sets in. Resulting snowmelt onset dates on perennial sea ice show the expected latitudinal gradient from early melt onsets (mid-November) in the northern Weddell Sea towards late (end-December) or even absent snowmelt conditions further south. This result is likely related to seasonal variations in solar shortwave radiation (absorption). In addition, observations with different microwave frequencies allow to detect changing snow properties at different depths. We show that short wavelengths of passive microwave observations indicate earlier pre-melt and snowmelt onset dates than longer wavelength scatterometer observations, in response to earlier warming of upper snow layers compared to lower snow layers. Similarly, pre-melt and snowmelt onset dates retrieved from Ku-Band radars were earlier by an average of 11 and 23 days, respectively, than those retrieved from C-Band. This time difference was used to correct melt onset dates retrieved from Ku-Band to compile a consistent time series from

  8. Seasonal Shifts in Bacterial Community Responses to Phytoplankton-Derived Dissolved Organic Matter in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine M. Luria

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial consumption of dissolved organic matter (DOM drives much of the movement of carbon through the oceanic food web and the global carbon cycle. Understanding complex interactions between bacteria and marine DOM remains an important challenge. We tested the hypothesis that bacterial growth and community succession would respond differently to DOM additions due to seasonal changes in phytoplankton abundance in the environment. Four mesocosm experiments were conducted that spanned the spring transitional period (August–December 2013 in surface waters of the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP. Each mesocosm consisted of nearshore surface seawater (50 L incubated in the laboratory for 10 days. The addition of DOM, in the form of cell-free exudates extracted from Thalassiosira weissflogii diatom cultures led to changes in bacterial abundance, production, and community composition. The timing of each mesocosm experiment (i.e., late winter vs. late spring influenced the magnitude and direction of bacterial changes. For example, the same DOM treatment applied at different times during the season resulted in different levels of bacterial production and different bacterial community composition. There was a mid-season shift from Collwelliaceae to Polaribacter having the greatest relative abundance after incubation. This shift corresponded to a modest but significant increase in the initial relative abundance of Polaribacter in the nearshore seawater used to set up experiments. This finding supports a new hypothesis that starting community composition, through priority effects, influenced the trajectory of community succession in response to DOM addition. As strong inter-annual variability and long-term climate change may shift the timing of WAP phytoplankton blooms, and the corresponding production of DOM exudates, this study suggests a mechanism by which different seasonal successional patterns in bacterial communities could occur.

  9. Asynchronous behavior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and local glaciers during and since Termination 1, Salmon Valley, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Margaret S.; Hall, Brenda L.; Denton, George H.

    2018-01-01

    The stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet under future warming remains an open question with broad implications for sea-level prediction and adaptation. In particular, knowledge of whether the ice sheet has the capacity for rapid drawdown or collapse, or whether it can remain stable during periods of warming, is essential for predicting its future behavior. Here we use 55 radiocarbon dates, coupled with geomorphologic mapping, to reconstruct the timing of changes in ice extent and elevation during the last ice-age termination in Salmon Valley, adjacent to McMurdo Sound in the western Ross Sea Embayment. Results indicate that a grounded ice sheet in the Ross Sea Embayment achieved its maximum elevation and extent along the headlands of Salmon Valley at ∼18,000 yr BP, during a period of increasing temperatures and accumulation over the Antarctic continent. This ice remained at or near its maximum on the headlands near the valley mouth until after ∼14,000 yr BP. Removal of grounded Ross Sea ice from Salmon Valley was complete shortly after ∼7900 yr BP, indicating that the grounding line had retreated through southern McMurdo Sound by that time. We suggest the primary driver of Ross Sea ice removal from McMurdo Sound was marine-based, either through basal melting or calving due to sea-level rise. When combined with regional data, the Salmon Valley record suggests that this sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet did not contribute in a significant way to deglacial meltwater pulses, such as meltwater pulse 1a. In contrast to the Ross Sea ice, our work also shows that local, independent alpine glaciers in Salmon Valley have advanced through the Holocene. Land-terminating glaciers such as these elsewhere in the region show a similar pattern, and may reflect the continued influence of increased accumulation following the termination of the last ice age.

  10. Modelling present-day basal melt rates for Antarctic ice shelves using a parametrization of buoyant meltwater plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazeroms, Werner M. J.; Jenkins, Adrian; Hilmar Gudmundsson, G.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.

    2018-01-01

    Basal melting below ice shelves is a major factor in mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which can contribute significantly to possible future sea-level rise. Therefore, it is important to have an adequate description of the basal melt rates for use in ice-dynamical models. Most current ice models use rather simple parametrizations based on the local balance of heat between ice and ocean. In this work, however, we use a recently derived parametrization of the melt rates based on a buoyant meltwater plume travelling upward beneath an ice shelf. This plume parametrization combines a non-linear ocean temperature sensitivity with an inherent geometry dependence, which is mainly described by the grounding-line depth and the local slope of the ice-shelf base. For the first time, this type of parametrization is evaluated on a two-dimensional grid covering the entire Antarctic continent. In order to apply the essentially one-dimensional parametrization to realistic ice-shelf geometries, we present an algorithm that determines effective values for the grounding-line depth and basal slope in any point beneath an ice shelf. Furthermore, since detailed knowledge of temperatures and circulation patterns in the ice-shelf cavities is sparse or absent, we construct an effective ocean temperature field from observational data with the purpose of matching (area-averaged) melt rates from the model with observed present-day melt rates. Our results qualitatively replicate large-scale observed features in basal melt rates around Antarctica, not only in terms of average values, but also in terms of the spatial pattern, with high melt rates typically occurring near the grounding line. The plume parametrization and the effective temperature field presented here are therefore promising tools for future simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet requiring a more realistic oceanic forcing.

  11. Microbial oxidation as a methane sink beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaud, Alexander B.; Dore, John E.; Achberger, Amanda M.; Christner, Brent C.; Mitchell, Andrew C.; Skidmore, Mark L.; Vick-Majors, Trista J.; Priscu, John C.

    2017-08-01

    Aquatic habitats beneath ice masses contain active microbial ecosystems capable of cycling important greenhouse gases, such as methane (CH4). A large methane reservoir is thought to exist beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but its quantity, source and ultimate fate are poorly understood. For instance, O2 supplied by basal melting should result in conditions favourable for aerobic methane oxidation. Here we use measurements of methane concentrations and stable isotope compositions along with genomic analyses to assess the sources and cycling of methane in Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW) in West Antarctica. We show that sub-ice-sheet methane is produced through the biological reduction of CO2 using H2. This methane pool is subsequently consumed by aerobic, bacterial methane oxidation at the SLW sediment-water interface. Bacterial oxidation consumes >99% of the methane and represents a significant methane sink, and source of biomass carbon and metabolic energy to the surficial SLW sediments. We conclude that aerobic methanotrophy may mitigate the release of methane to the atmosphere upon subglacial water drainage to ice sheet margins and during periods of deglaciation.

  12. Progress on Antarctic Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and GRACE constraints on ice loss (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivins, E. R.; James, T. S.; Wahr, J. M.; Schrama, E. J.; Simon, K. M.; Landerer, F. W.; Watkins, M. M.; Wiese, D. N.

    2013-12-01

    Preparations for the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change: Assessment Report 5 (IPCC AR5) has placed pressure on various research groups to accelerate the pace of their work in order to meet the Report deadlines. While this stimulates both positive and negative bi-products, it helped to focus attention to irreconcilable mass balance determinations for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) using space and airborne data. A glaring ';sore-thumb' for determining AIS trends from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data is the large signal of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) that is poorly constrained and possibly of the same magnitude as the present-day mass change. The report published in Science (vol. 338, pp. 1183-89) by S13 [Shepherd et al. 2013] met this challenge head-on by investing heavily in improving the GIA models with new GPS data, and new chronological constraints on ice sheet evolution across the Antarctic continent. This new data has emerged only within the last five years, and it came at a fortuitous time for advancing the IPCC AR5 goals. In this presentation we speak to the improvements developed in a recent JGR Solid Earth publication (14 June 2013). We extend the analysis using all of the official 05 releases of the analysis centers, including the JPL-mascon fields. The total error budgets of GIA correction are poorly determined, in spite of the great model improvements witnessed in the past 5 years. S12 reported the uncertainty for space-based sea level sourcing during 1992-2011 to Antarctica at roughly 0.23 mm/yr. Although GRACE 2002-2013 estimates vary, the uncertainly is about half this value. Here we examine how much of that uncertainty is still caused by GIA models and discuss how new classes of GIA models, and the collection of yet new GPS and ice constraint data for Antarctica, will enhance the value of a GRACE Follow-On mission. However, there will be a limit to constraining GIA, and a limit, therefore, to GIA error due to

  13. Preconditioning of Antarctic maximum sea-ice extent by upper-ocean stratification on a seasonal timescale

    OpenAIRE

    Su, Zhan

    2017-01-01

    This study uses an observationally constrained and dynamically consistent ocean and sea ice state estimate. The author presents a remarkable agreement between the location of the edge of Antarctic maximum sea ice extent, reached in September, and the narrow transition band for the upper ocean (0–100 m depths) stratification, as early as April to June. To the south of this edge, the upper ocean has high stratification, which forbids convective fluxes to cross through; consequently, the ocean h...

  14. Impacts of freshwater changes on Antarctic sea ice in an eddy-permitting sea-ice–ocean model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Haid

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In a warming climate, satellite data indicate that the sea ice extent around Antarctica has increased over the last decades. One of the suggested explanations is the stabilizing effect of increased mass loss of the Antarctic ice sheet. Here, we investigate the sea ice response to changes in both the amount and the spatial distribution of freshwater input to the ocean by comparing a set of numerical sensitivity simulations with additional supply of water at the Antarctic ocean surface. We analyze the short-term response of the sea ice cover and the on-shelf water column to variations in the amount and distribution of the prescribed surface freshwater flux.Our results confirm that enhancing the freshwater input can increase the sea ice extent. Our experiments show a negative development of the sea ice extent only for extreme freshwater additions. We find that the spatial distribution of freshwater is of great influence on sea ice concentration and thickness as it affects sea ice dynamics and thermodynamics. For strong regional contrasts in the freshwater addition the dynamic response dominates the local change in sea ice, which generally opposes the thermodynamic response. Furthermore, we find that additional coastal runoff generally leads to fresher and warmer dense shelf waters.

  15. Changes in snow distribution and surface topography following a snowstorm on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Ernesto; Leonard, Katherine; Maksym, Ted; Lehning, Michael

    2016-11-01

    Snow distribution over sea ice is an important control on sea ice physical and biological processes. We combine measurements of the atmospheric boundary layer and blowing snow on an Antarctic sea ice floe with terrestrial laser scanning to characterize a typical storm and its influence on the spatial patterns of snow distribution at resolutions of 1-10 cm over an area of 100 m × 100 m. The pre-storm surface exhibits multidirectional elongated snow dunes formed behind aerodynamic obstacles. Newly deposited dunes are elongated parallel to the predominant wind direction during the storm. Snow erosion and deposition occur over 62% and 38% of the area, respectively. Snow deposition volume is more than twice that of erosion (351 m3 versus 158 m3), resulting in a modest increase of 2 ± 1 cm in mean snow depth, indicating a small net mass gain despite large mass relocation. Despite significant local snow depth changes due to deposition and erosion, the statistical distributions of elevation and the two-dimensional correlation functions remain similar to those of the pre-storm surface. Pre-storm and post-storm surfaces also exhibit spectral power law relationships with little change in spectral exponents. These observations suggest that for sea ice floes with mature snow cover features under conditions similar to those observed in this study, spatial statistics and scaling properties of snow surface morphology may be relatively invariant. Such an observation, if confirmed for other ice types and conditions, may be a useful tool for model parameterizations of the subgrid variability of sea ice surfaces.

  16. ‘New’ Antarctic volcanos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two previously unknown volcanos that show evidence o f recent eruptions were discovered in March on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, according to the National Science Foundation. The discovery brings to five the number of known active volcanos on the continent.Volcanic debris still covers a large swath of the adjacent Larsen Ice Shelf, pointing to very recent activity. In addition, one of the volcanos was steaming when the discovery was made, reports Oscar Gonzalez-Ferran of the University of Chile at Santiago. He made the discovery while doing a geophysical survey by helicopter of the Antarctic Peninsula. The two volcanos constitute the southernmost extension of the eastern side of the ‘ring of fire,’ a ring of volcanos that is believed to mark the active subduction zone on the periphery of the Pacific Ocean.

  17. Antarctic Mirabilite Mounds as Mars Analogs: The Lewis Cliffs Ice Tongue Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socki, Richard A.; Sun, Tao; Niles, Paul B.; Harvey, Ralph P.; Bish, David L.; Tonui, Eric

    2012-01-01

    It has been proposed, based on geomorphic and geochemical arguments, that subsurface water has played an important role in the history of water on the planet Mars [1]. Subsurface water, if present, could provide a protected and long lived environment for potential life. Discovery of gullies [2] and recurring slopes [3] on Mars suggest the potential for subsurface liquid water or brines. Recent attention has also focused on small (the mid to high latitudes on the surface of Mars which may be caused by eruptions of subsurface fluids [4, 5]. We have identified massive but highly localized Na-sulfate deposits (mirabilite mounds, Na2SO4 .10H2O) that may be derived from subsurface fluids and may provide insight into the processes associated with subsurface fluids on Mars. The mounds are found on the end moraine of the Lewis Cliffs Ice Tongue (LCIT) [6] in the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica, and are potential terrestrial analogs for mounds observed on the martian surface. The following characteristics distinguish LCIT evaporite mounds from other evaporite mounds found in Antarctic coastal environments and/or the McMurdo Dry Valleys: (1) much greater distance from the open ocean (approx.500 km); (2) higher elevation (approx.2200 meters); and (3) colder average annual temperature (average annual temperature = -30 C for LCIT [7] vs. 20 C at sea level in the McMurdo region [8]. Furthermore, the recent detection of subsurface water ice (inferred as debris-covered glacial ice) by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter [9] supports the use of an Antarctic glacial environment, particularly with respect to the mirabilite deposits described in this work, as an ideal terrestrial analog for understanding the geochemistry associated with near-surface martian processes. S and O isotopic compositions.

  18. Design and implementation of a Cube satellite mission for Antarctic glacier and sea ice observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shufan; Zhao, Tiancheng; Gao, Yuan; Cheng, Xiao

    2017-10-01

    The research for global climate changes calls for high quality satellite data and imageries regarding the Polar Regions. In recent years, the emerging Earth-Observation micro/nano satellite technology provides new data sources for polar region observations. The STU-2A, also named TW-1A, is such a nano satellite designed for polar region observation activities. It is a 3U CubeSat of 2.9 kg with a size of 30 × 10 × 10 cm carrying an Earth observation camera, launched into a Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) at 481 km with an inclination of 97.3°, on September 25, 2015. During the Antarctic summer of 2015/16, it has acquired visible-light true color images with a resolution of 94 m, covering different sea and coastal regions including Amundsen Sea, Ross Sea and Vincennes Bay. These images were used to analyze the change of glacier and sea ice, compared and calibrated with reference to the publically available MODIS images with a resolution of 250 m. As the camera was specially designed for the Polar regions which have an environment of low solar elevation angle and high surface reflectance, it eliminates the oversaturation problem of the MODIS sensors and can provide high quality images. Based on data analysis and assessment, it is confirmed that this satellite data can meet the demand of glacier and sea ice observation. This paper presents the Cubesat system design and configuration, the payload camera design, and its application in Antarctic glacier and sea ice observation.

  19. In-situ radiocarbon production by neutrons and muons in an antarctic blue ice field at Scharffenbergbotnen: a status report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borg, K. van der; Kemp, W.J.M. van der; Alderliesten, C.; Jong, A.F.M. de; Lamers, R.A.N.; Oerlemans, J.; Thomassen, M.; Wal, R.S.W. van de

    2001-01-01

    In the radiocarbon accelerator mass pectrometry (14C AMS) analysis of gases btained in a dry extraction from a 52-m Antarctic ice core, we observed 14CO2 and 14CO concentrations decreasing with depth. The concentrations are explained in terms of in-situ production by neutrons and captured muons in

  20. Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Robert E.; DeConto, Robert M.; Bader, Daniel A.; Hay, Carling C.; Horton, Radley M.; Kulp, Scott; Oppenheimer, Michael; Pollard, David; Strauss, Benjamin H.

    2017-12-01

    Mechanisms such as ice-shelf hydrofracturing and ice-cliff collapse may rapidly increase discharge from marine-based ice sheets. Here, we link a probabilistic framework for sea-level projections to a small ensemble of Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) simulations incorporating these physical processes to explore their influence on global-mean sea-level (GMSL) and relative sea-level (RSL). We compare the new projections to past results using expert assessment and structured expert elicitation about AIS changes. Under high greenhouse gas emissions (Representative Concentration Pathway [RCP] 8.5), median projected 21st century GMSL rise increases from 79 to 146 cm. Without protective measures, revised median RSL projections would by 2100 submerge land currently home to 153 million people, an increase of 44 million. The use of a physical model, rather than simple parameterizations assuming constant acceleration of ice loss, increases forcing sensitivity: overlap between the central 90% of simulations for 2100 for RCP 8.5 (93-243 cm) and RCP 2.6 (26-98 cm) is minimal. By 2300, the gap between median GMSL estimates for RCP 8.5 and RCP 2.6 reaches >10 m, with median RSL projections for RCP 8.5 jeopardizing land now occupied by 950 million people (versus 167 million for RCP 2.6). The minimal correlation between the contribution of AIS to GMSL by 2050 and that in 2100 and beyond implies current sea-level observations cannot exclude future extreme outcomes. The sensitivity of post-2050 projections to deeply uncertain physics highlights the need for robust decision and adaptive management frameworks.

  1. Mass Balance of the West Antarctic Ice-Sheet from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for 2003-2008 are derived from ICESat laser altimetry and compared with estimates for 1992-2002 derived from ERS radar altimetry. The net mass balance of 3 drainage systems (Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd) for 2003-2008 is a loss of 100 Gt/yr, which increased from a loss of 70 Gt/yr for the earlier period. The DS including the Bindschadler and MacAyeal ice streams draining into the Ross Ice Shelf has a mass gain of 11 Gt/yr for 2003-2008, compared to an earlier loss of 70 Gt/yr. The DS including the Whillans and Kamb ice streams has a mass gain of 12 Gt/yr, including a significant thickening on the upper part of the Kamb DS, compared to a earlier gain of 6 Gt/yr (includes interpolation for a large portion of the DS). The other two DS discharging into the Ronne Ice Shelf and the northern Ellsworth Coast have a mass gain of 39 Gt/yr, compared to a gain of 4 Gt/yr for the earlier period. Overall, the increased losses of 30 Gt/yr in the Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd DSs are exceeded by increased gains of 59 Gt/yr in the other 4 DS. Overall, the mass loss from the West Antarctic ice sheet has decreased to 38 Gt/yr from the earlier loss of 67 Gt/yr, reducing the contribution to sea level rise to 0.11 mm/yr from 0.19 mm/yr

  2. Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Robert E.; DeConto, Robert M.; Bader, Daniel A.; Hay, Carling C.; Horton, Radley M.; Kulp, Scott; Oppenheimer, Michael; Pollard, David; Strauss, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Mechanisms such as ice-shelf hydrofracturing and ice-cliff collapse may rapidly increase discharge from marine-based ice sheets. Here, we link a probabilistic framework for sea-level projections to a small ensemble of Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) simulations incorporating these physical processes to explore their influence on global-mean sea-level (GMSL) and relative sea-level (RSL). We compare the new projections to past results using expert assessment and structured expert elicitation about AIS changes. Under high greenhouse gas emissions (Representative Concentration Pathway [RCP] 8.5), median projected 21st century GMSL rise increases from 79 to 146 cm. Without protective measures, revised median RSL projections would by 2100 submerge land currently home to 153 million people, an increase of 44 million. The use of a physical model, rather than simple parameterizations assuming constant acceleration of ice loss, increases forcing sensitivity: overlap between the central 90% of simulations for 2100 for RCP 8.5 (93-243 cm) and RCP 2.6 (26-98 cm) is minimal. By 2300, the gap between median GMSL estimates for RCP 8.5 and RCP 2.6 reaches >10 m, with median RSL projections for RCP 8.5 jeopardizing land now occupied by 950 million people (versus 167 million for RCP 2.6). The minimal correlation between the contribution of AIS to GMSL by 2050 and that in 2100 and beyond implies current sea-level observations cannot exclude future extreme outcomes. The sensitivity of post-2050 projections to deeply uncertain physics highlights the need for robust decision and adaptive management frameworks.

  3. Response of Pacific-sector Antarctic ice shelves to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolo, F. S.; Padman, L.; Fricker, H. A.; Adusumilli, S.; Howard, S.; Siegfried, M. R.

    2018-02-01

    Satellite observations over the past two decades have revealed increasing loss of grounded ice in West Antarctica, associated with floating ice shelves that have been thinning. Thinning reduces an ice shelf's ability to restrain grounded-ice discharge, yet our understanding of the climate processes that drive mass changes is limited. Here, we use ice-shelf height data from four satellite altimeter missions (1994-2017) to show a direct link between ice-shelf height variability in the Antarctic Pacific sector and changes in regional atmospheric circulation driven by the El Niño/Southern Oscillation. This link is strongest from the Dotson to Ross ice shelves and weaker elsewhere. During intense El Niño years, height increase by accumulation exceeds the height decrease by basal melting, but net ice-shelf mass declines as basal ice loss exceeds ice gain by lower-density snow. Our results demonstrate a substantial response of Amundsen Sea ice shelves to global and regional climate variability, with rates of change in height and mass on interannual timescales that can be comparable to the longer-term trend, and with mass changes from surface accumulation offsetting a significant fraction of the changes in basal melting. This implies that ice-shelf height and mass variability will increase as interannual atmospheric variability increases in a warming climate.

  4. Forecasting Antarctic Sea Ice Concentrations Using Results of Temporal Mixture Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Junhwa; Kim, Hyun-Cheol

    2016-06-01

    Sea ice concentration (SIC) data acquired by passive microwave sensors at daily temporal frequencies over extended areas provide seasonal characteristics of sea ice dynamics and play a key role as an indicator of global climate trends; however, it is typically challenging to study long-term time series. Of the various advanced remote sensing techniques that address this issue, temporal mixture analysis (TMA) methods are often used to investigate the temporal characteristics of environmental factors, including SICs in the case of the present study. This study aims to forecast daily SICs for one year using a combination of TMA and time series modeling in two stages. First, we identify temporally meaningful sea ice signatures, referred to as temporal endmembers, using machine learning algorithms, and then we decompose each pixel into a linear combination of temporal endmembers. Using these corresponding fractional abundances of endmembers, we apply a autoregressive model that generally fits all Antarctic SIC data for 1979 to 2013 to forecast SIC values for 2014. We compare our results using the proposed approach based on daily SIC data reconstructed from real fractional abundances derived from a pixel unmixing method and temporal endmember signatures. The proposed method successfully forecasts new fractional abundance values, and the resulting images are qualitatively and quantitatively similar to the reference data.

  5. Antarctic sea ice control on ocean circulation in present and glacial climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Raffaele; Jansen, Malte F; Adkins, Jess F; Burke, Andrea; Stewart, Andrew L; Thompson, Andrew F

    2014-06-17

    In the modern climate, the ocean below 2 km is mainly filled by waters sinking into the abyss around Antarctica and in the North Atlantic. Paleoproxies indicate that waters of North Atlantic origin were instead absent below 2 km at the Last Glacial Maximum, resulting in an expansion of the volume occupied by Antarctic origin waters. In this study we show that this rearrangement of deep water masses is dynamically linked to the expansion of summer sea ice around Antarctica. A simple theory further suggests that these deep waters only came to the surface under sea ice, which insulated them from atmospheric forcing, and were weakly mixed with overlying waters, thus being able to store carbon for long times. This unappreciated link between the expansion of sea ice and the appearance of a voluminous and insulated water mass may help quantify the ocean's role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide on glacial-interglacial timescales. Previous studies pointed to many independent changes in ocean physics to account for the observed swings in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Here it is shown that many of these changes are dynamically linked and therefore must co-occur.

  6. Cenozoic marine sedimentation and ice-volume variation on the East Antarctic craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, P. N.; Harwood, D. M.; McKelvey, B. C.; Mercer, J. H.; Stott, L. D.

    1984-05-01

    Recycled Cretaceous and Cenozoic marine microfossils have been recovered from samples of the Pliocene Sinus Formation. Samples were collected from outcrops in the Reedy, Beardmore, and Ferrar glacier areas of the Transantarctic Mountains between lat 77° and 86°S. The glaciogene sediments contained diatoms, foraminifera, calcareous nannoplankton, silicoflagellates, radiolarians, sponge spicules, palynomorphs, and ostracodes of Late Cretaceous, Paleocene, Eocene, late Oligocene, late Miocene, and Pliocene age. This suggests the presence of open marine basins on the East Antarctic craton during late Mesozoic and Cenozoic time. The apparent absence of early Oligocene and early through middle and earliest late Miocene assemblages suggests either that marine regression exposed the basin floors or that ice filled the basins during these times. The high-elevation setting of Sirius Formation outcrops suggests one of two hypotheses for their origin: (1) They are in situ Pliocene glaciomarine deposits that were uplifted 1,750 2,500 m with the Transantarctic Mountains to their present elevation; (2) the Sirius Formation deposits are a mixture of derived sediments stripped from sub-ice intracratonic basins and subsequently redeposited by ice flowing up the inland slope of the Transantarctic Mountains. We favor the second hypothesis, with transport to sites sometime within the past 3 m.y.

  7. Temporal variability of the Antarctic Ice sheet observed from space-based geodesy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memin, A.; King, M. A.; Boy, J. P.; Remy, F.

    2017-12-01

    Quantifying the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) mass balance still remains challenging as several processes compete to differing degrees at the basin scale with regional variations, leading to multiple mass redistribution patterns. For instance, analysis of linear trends in surface-height variations from 1992-2003 and 2002-2006 shows that the AIS is subject to decimetric scale variability over periods of a few years. Every year, snowfalls in Antarctica represent the equivalent of 6 mm of the mean sea level. Therefore, any fluctuation in precipitation can lead to changes in sea level. Besides, over the last decade, several major glaciers have been thinning at an accelerating rate. Understanding the processes that interact on the ice sheet is therefore important to precisely determine the response of the ice sheet to a rapid changing climate and estimate its contribution to sea level changes. We estimate seasonal and interannual changes of the AIS between January 2003 and October 2010 and to the end of 2016 from a combined analysis of surface-elevation and surface-mass changes derived from Envisat data and GRACE solutions, and from GRACE solutions only, respectively. While we obtain a good correlation for the interannual signal between the two techniques, important differences (in amplitude, phase, and spatial pattern) are obtained for the seasonal signal. We investigate these discrepancies by comparing the crustal motion observed by GPS and those predicted using monthly surface mass balance derived from the regional atmospheric climate model RACMO.

  8. The influence of continental shelf bathymetry on Antarctic Ice Sheet response to climate forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Phil; Mullally, Dan; Golledge, Nick

    2017-04-01

    We investigated whether shelf-depth changes would have influenced Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) response to climate forcing using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM). The simulations confirm that this would have indeed been the case. For the last-glacial-cycle (LGC) type forcing we prescribed, a modern-like polar AIS surrounded by shallow and intermediate bathymetries experiences rapid grounding-line advance early during the transition from interglacial to glacial forcing. This is in contrast to our baseline simulation of AIS response on the currently overdeepened bathymetry, which showed the expected gradual advance of grounding lines to the same climatic forcing. In the simulation, the more-positive mass balance for the shallower bathymetry is primarily a result of significantly lower calving fluxes from smaller-area ice shelves. On the basis of these results, we suggest that shelf bathymetry is an important boundary condition that should be considered when reconstructing AIS behavior since at least the middle Miocene. We note that caution should be used when applying these concepts because the particular way in which AIS mass balance is altered by shelf depth depends on how the changes in accumulation and ablation at the marine terminations combine with accumulation and ablation on land.

  9. Re-assessing the influence of glacial-isostatic adjustment on Antarctic ice-mass balance estimated from GRACE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, H.; Sasgen, I.; Klemann, V.; Ivins, E. R.; Martinec, Z.

    2012-04-01

    Satellite gravimetry observations of the contemporary ice-mass balance in Antarctica are strongly influenced by mass movements in the Earth interior induced by ice-load variations during the last glacial cycle, i.e. the glacial-isostatic adjustment (GIA). Newly available GPS observations collected within the POLENET project (www.polenet.org) represent a valuable constraint on GIA models predicting surface deformation and gravity-field change in Antarctica. Here, we re-assess the influence of GIA on Antarctic ice-mass balance estimated from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). For this, we apply a viscoelastic Earth model, accounting for the rheological differences between East and West Antarctica, to three independent glacial histories ICE-5G (Peltier, 2004), IJ05 (Ivins & James, 2005) and HUY (Huybrechts, 2002). We predict the associated Antarctic GIA signal. With a stochastic approach, the glacial histories are regionally modified to satisfy GPS, GRACE as well as the combination of both observation types. We assess the influence of constraining GIA with GPS/GRACE on the reduction of the error budget of Antarctic ice-mass balances from GRACE.

  10. Active layer monitoring at CALM-S site near J.G.Mendel Station, James Ross Island, eastern Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrbáček, Filip; Kňažková, Michaela; Nývlt, Daniel; Láska, Kamil; Mueller, Carsten W; Ondruch, Jakub

    2017-12-01

    The Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring - South (CALM-S) site was established in February 2014 on James Ross Island as the first CALM-S site in the eastern Antarctic Peninsula region. The site, located near Johann Gregor Mendel Station, is labelled CALM-S JGM. The grid area is gently sloped (<3°) and has an elevation of between 8 and 11ma.s.l. The lithology of the site consists of the muddy sediments of Holocene marine terrace and clayey-sandy Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, which significantly affect the texture, moisture content, and physical parameters of the ground within the grid. Our objective was to study seasonal and interannual variability of the active layer depth and thermal regime at the CALM-S site, and at two ground temperature measurement profiles, AWS-JGM and AWS-CALM, located in the grid. The mean air temperature in the period March 2013 to February 2016 reached -7.2°C. The mean ground temperature decreased with depth from -5.3°C to -5.4°C at 5cm, to -5.5°C to -5.9°C at 200cm. Active layer thickness was significantly higher at AWS-CALM and ranged between 86cm (2014/15) and 87cm (2015/16), while at AWS-JGM it reached only 51cm (2013/14) to 65cm (2015/16). The mean probed active layer depth increased from 66.4cm in 2013/14 to 78.0cm in 2014/15. Large differences were observed when comparing the minimum (51cm to 59cm) and maximum (100cm to 113cm) probed depths. The distribution of the active layer depth and differences in the thermal regime of the uppermost layer of permafrost at CALM-S JGM clearly show the effect of different lithological properties on the two lithologically distinct parts of the grid. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Seasonal dynamics of megafauna on the deep West Antarctic Peninsula shelf in response to variable phytodetrital influx.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumida, P Y G; Smith, C R; Bernardino, A F; Polito, P S; Vieira, D R

    2014-11-01

    The deep West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) shelf is characterized by intense deposition of phytodetritus during spring/summer months, while very little food material reaches the seafloor during winter. The response of the shelf benthic megafauna to this highly variable food supply is still poorly understood. In order to characterize the deposition of phytodetritus and the megabenthic community response, we deployed a seafloor time-lapse camera at approximately 590 m depth on the mid WAP shelf west of Anvers Island for 15 months. Seafloor photographs were taken at intervals of 12 or 24 h nearly continuously from 9 December 1999 (austral winter) to 20 March 2001 (summer) and analysed for phytodetritus deposition and megafaunal dynamics. Seafloor images indicated a marked seasonal arrival of greenish phytodetritus, with large interannual and seasonal variability in the coverage of depositing phytodetrital particles. The surface-deposit-feeding elasipod holothurians Protelpidia murrayi and Peniagone vignoni dominated the epibenthic megafauna throughout the year, frequently constituting more than 80% of the megafaunal abundance, attaining total densities of up to 2.4 individuals m(-2). Elasipod abundances were significantly higher in summer than winter. During summer periods of high phytodetrital flux, Pr. murrayi produced faecal casts at higher rates, indicating intensified population-level feeding activity. In March-June 2000, faecal casts lasted longest, suggesting lower horizontal bioturbation activity during autumn-winter. Our data indicate that the Pr. murrayi population increases its feeding rates in response to increasing amounts and/or lability of organic matter on the sediment surface. Assuming that this species feeds on the top millimetre of the sediment, we estimate that, during periods of high phytodetrital flux, the Pr. murrayi population reworks one square metre of sediment surface in approximately 287 days. We suggest that Pr. murrayi is an

  12. Body and blubber relationships in antarctic pack ice seals: implications for blubber depth patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellini, M A; Trumble, S J; Mau, T L; Yochem, P K; Stewart, B S; Koski, M A

    2009-01-01

    Morphometrics and blubber depths from all four high Antarctic seals (Weddell, Ross, crabeater, and leopard) were obtained during a midsummer research cruise in the Ross Sea as the physiological ecology component of the U.S. Antarctic Pack Ice Seals project. These data are the only in vivo measurements of all four species from the same location and time of year and focused on variances in morphometrics and blubber depth related to species, sex, and age. By controlling for location and season, this cross-species design provided the means to differentiate how blubber mass might be influenced in these groups. We measured both absolute blubber depth and ratio of blubber depth to body core diameter. We found that adult and younger animals showed differences in blubber depth, but male versus female seals did not show differences within any given species. However, when compared across species, the ratio of blubber ring depth to body core diameter suggests that adult Weddell seals differ in their use of blubber compared with the other three species. We propose that this difference in blubber pattern is most likely related to Weddell nutritional requirements during the breeding season having a greater influence on blubber depth than thermal requirements when compared with the other three species.

  13. Antarctic sea ice increase consistent with intrinsic variability of the Amundsen Sea Low

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, John; Hosking, J. Scott; Marshall, Gareth J.; Phillips, Tony; Bracegirdle, Thomas J.

    2016-04-01

    We investigate the relationship between atmospheric circulation variability and the recent trends in Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) atmospheric data, ECMWF Interim reanalysis fields and passive microwave satellite data processed with the Bootstrap version 2 algorithm. Over 1979-2013 the annual mean total Antarctic SIE increased at a rate of 195 × 103 km2 dec-1 (1.6 % dec-1), p 4.0 % dec-1) has been in the Ross Sea sector. Off West Antarctica there is a high correlation between trends in SIE and trends in the near-surface winds. The Ross Sea SIE seasonal trends are positive throughout the year, but largest in spring. The stronger meridional flow over the Ross Sea has been driven by a deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL). Pre-industrial control and historical simulations from CMIP5 indicate that the observed deepening of the ASL and stronger southerly flow over the Ross Sea are within the bounds of modeled intrinsic variability. The spring trend would need to continue for another 11 years for it to fall outside the 2 standard deviation range seen in 90 % of the simulations.

  14. The response of a simple Antarctic ice-flow model to temperature and sea-level fluctuations over the Cenozoic era

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Tuyll, C.I.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831875; van de Wal, R.S.W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/101899556; Oerlemans, J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/06833656X

    2007-01-01

    An ice-flow model is used to simulate the Antarctic ice-sheet volume and deep-sea temperature record during Cenozoic times. We used a vertically integrated axisymmetric ice-sheet model, including bedrock adjustment. In order to overcome strong numerical hysteresis effects during climate change, the

  15. High turnover rates indicated by changes in the fixed N forms and their stable isotopes in Antarctic landfast sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fripiat, François; Sigman, Daniel M.; Massé, Guillaume; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2015-04-01

    We report concentration and nitrogen and oxygen isotopic measurements of nitrate, total dissolved nitrogen, and particulate nitrogen from Antarctic landfast sea ice, covering almost the complete seasonal cycle of sea ice growth and decay (from April to November). When sea ice forms in autumn, ice algae growth depletes nitrate and accumulates organic N within the ice. Subsequent low biological activity in winter imposes minor variations in the partitioning of fixed N. In early spring, the coupling between nitrate assimilation and brine convection at the sea ice bottom traps a large amount of fixed N within sea ice, up to 20 times higher than in the underlying seawater. At this time, remineralization and nitrification also accelerate, yielding nitrate concentrations up to 5 times higher than in seawater. Nitrate δ15N and δ18O are both elevated, indicating a near-balance between nitrification and nitrate assimilation. These findings require high microbially mediated turnover rates for the large fixed N pools, including nitrate. When sea ice warms in the spring, ice algae grow through the full thickness of the ice. The warming stratifies the brine network, which limits the exchange with seawater, causing the once-elevated nitrate pool to be nearly completely depleted. The nitrate isotope data point to light limitation at the base of landfast ice as a central characteristic of the environment, affecting its N cycling (e.g., allowing for nitrification) and impacting algal physiology (e.g., as reflected in the N and O isotope effects of nitrate assimilation).

  16. Role of the Tropical Pacific in recent Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, F.; Bardet, D.; Allouache, C.; Gastineau, G.; Friedman, A. R.; Douville, H.; Voldoire, A.

    2017-12-01

    The recent (up to 2016) trends in Antarctic sea-ice cover - a global increase masking a dipole between the Ross and Bellingshausen-Weddel seas - are still not well understood, and not reproduced by CMIP5 coupled climate models. We here explore the potential role of atmospheric circulation changes around the Amundsen Sea, themselves possibly forced by tropical SSTs, an explanation that has been recently advanced. As a first check on this hypothesis, we compare the atmospheric circulation trends simulated by atmospheric GCMs coupled with an ocean or with imposed SSTs (AMIP experiment from CMIP5); the latter being in theory able to reproduce changes caused by natural SST variability. While coupled models simulate in aggregate trends that project on the SAM structure, strongest in summer, the AMIP simulations add in the winter season a pronounced Amundsen Sea Low signature (and a PNA signature in the northern hemisphere) both consistent with a Niña-like trend in the tropical Pacific. We then use a specific coupled GCM setup, in which surface wind anomalies over the tropical Pacific are strongly nudged towards the observed ones, including their interannual variability, but the model is free to evolve elsewhere. The two GCMs used then simulate a deepening trend in the Amundsen-Sea Low in winter, and are able to reproduce a dipole in sea-ice cover. Further analysis shows that the sea-ice dipole is partially forced by surface heat flux anomalies in early winter - the extent varying with the region and GCM used. The turbulent heat fluxes then act to damp the anomalies in late winter, which may however be maintained by ice-albedo feedbacks.

  17. The impact of dynamic topography change on Antarctic Ice Sheet stability during the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austermann, J.; Pollard, D.; Mitrovica, J. X.; Moucha, R.; Forte, A. M.; Deconto, R. M.; Rowley, D. B.; Raymo, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    The mid-Pliocene warm period (MPWP; ~ 3Ma), characterized by globally elevated temperatures (2-3º C) and carbon dioxide levels of ~400ppm, is commonly used as a testing ground for investigating ice sheet stability in a slightly warmer world. The central, unanswered question in this regard is the extent of East Antarctic melting during the MPWP. Here we assess the potential role of dynamic topography on this issue. Model reconstructions of the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet during the ice age require an estimate of bedrock elevation through time. Ice sheet models account for changes in bedrock elevation due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), often using simplified models of the GIA process, but they generally do not consider other processes that may perturb subglacial topography. One such notable process is dynamic topography, i.e. the deflection of the solid surface of the Earth due to convective flow and buoyancy variations within the mantle and lithosphere. Paleo-shorelines of Pliocene age reflect the influence of dynamic topography, but the impact of these bedrock elevation changes on ice sheet stability in the Antarctic region is unknown. In this study we use viscous flow simulations of mantle dynamics to predict changes in dynamic topography and reconstruct bedrock elevations below the Antarctic Ice Sheet since the MPWP. We furthermore couple this reconstruction to a three-dimensional ice sheet model in order to explore the impact of dynamic topography on the extent of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Pliocene. Our modeling indicates that uplift occurred in the area of the Transantarctic Mountains and the adjacent Wilkes Basin. This predicted uplift, which is consistent with geological inferences of uplift in the Transantarctic Mountains, implies a significantly (~100-200 m) lower elevation of the Wilkes Basin in the Pliocene. This lower elevation leads to ~400 km of additional retreat of the grounding line in this region relative to simulations

  18. Rapid bedrock uplift in the Antarctic Peninsula explained by viscoelastic response to recent ice unloading

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nield, Grace A.; Barletta, Valentina Roberta; Bordoni, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    of the Palmer cGPS station since 2002 cannot be explained by elastic deformation alone. We apply a viscoelastic model with linear Maxwell rheology to predict uplift since 1995 and test the fit to the Palmer cGPS time series, finding a well constrained upper mantle viscosity but less sensitivity to lithospheric...

  19. A new source of Southern Ocean and Antarctic aerosol from tropospheric polar cell chemistry of sea ice emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, R. S.; Klekociuk, A. R.; Schofield, R.; Robinson, A. D.; Harris, N. R. P.; Keywood, M.; Ward, J.; Galbally, I.; Molloy, S.; Thomas, A.; Wilson, S. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Antarctic region is a pristine environment with minimal anthropogenic influence. Aerosol measurements in this environment allow the study of natural aerosols and polar atmospheric dynamics. Measurements in this region have been limited primarily to continental and coastal locations where permanent stations exist, with a handful of measurements in the sea ice region. The MAPS campaign (Measurements of Aerosols and Precursors during SIPEXII) occurred as part of SIPEX II (Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems eXperiment II) voyage in Spring, 2012, and produced the first Antarctic pack-ice focused aerosol dataset aimed at characterizing new particle formation processes off the coast of East Antarctica (~65°S, 120°E). Numerous atmospheric parameters and species were measured, including the number of aerosol particles in the 3-10 nm size range, the range associated with nucleating particle formation. A latitudinal transect through the sea ice identified the Polar Front from sudden changes in nucleating particle concentrations, averaging 51cm-3 north of the front in the Ferrel cell, and 766 cm-3 south of the front, in the Polar cell region. The Polar Front location was also confirmed by meteorological and back-trajectory data. Background aerosol populations in the Polar cell fluctuated significantly but displayed no growth indicators, suggesting transport. Back-trajectories revealed that air parcels often descended from the free-troposphere within the previous 24-48 hrs. It is proposed that particle formation occurs in the free troposphere from precursors uplifted at the polar front region which, being a sea-ice/ocean region, is a significant precursor source. After tropospheric formation, populations descending at the poles are transported northward and reach the sea ice surface, missing continental stations. Current measurements of Antarctic aerosol suggest very low loading which may be explained by these circulation patterns and may underestimate total regional loading

  20. Drivers of Antarctic sea-ice expansion and Southern Ocean surface cooling over the past four decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purich, Ariaan; England, Matthew

    2017-04-01

    Despite global warming, total Antarctic sea-ice coverage has increased overall during the past four decades. In contrast, the majority of CMIP5 models simulate a decline. In addition, Southern Ocean surface waters have largely cooled, in stark contrast to almost all historical CMIP5 simulations. Subantarctic Surface Waters have cooled and freshened while waters to the north of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current have warmed and increased in salinity. It remains unclear as to what extent the cooling and Antarctic sea-ice expansion is due to natural variability versus anthropogenic forcing; due for example to changes in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). It is also unclear what the respective role of surface buoyancy fluxes is compared to internal ocean circulation changes, and what the implications are for longer-term climate change in the region. In this presentation we will outline three distinct drivers of recent Southern Ocean surface trends that have each made a significant contribution to regional cooling: (1) wind-driven surface cooling and sea-ice expansion due to shifted westerly winds, (2) teleconnections of decadal variability from the tropical Pacific, and (3) surface cooling and ice expansion due to large-scale Southern Ocean freshening, most likely driven by SAM-related precipitation trends over the open ocean. We will also outline the main reasons why climate models for the most part miss these Southern Ocean cooling trends, despite capturing overall trends in the SAM.

  1. Proxies and measurement techniques for mineral dust in Antarctic ice cores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Urs; Barbante, Carlo; Bigler, Matthias; Delmonte, Barbara; Fischer, Hubertus; Gabrielli, Paolo; Gaspari, Vania; Kaufmann, Patrik; Lambert, Fabrice; Maggi, Valter; Marino, Federica; Petit, Jean-Robert; Udisti, Roberto; Wagenbach, Dietmar; Wegner, Anna; Wolff, Eric W

    2008-08-01

    To improve quantitative interpretation of ice core aeolian dust records, a systematic methodological comparison was made. This involved methods for water-insoluble particle counting (Coulter counter and laser-sensing particle detector), soluble ion analysis (ion chromatography and continuous flow analysis), elemental analysis (inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy at pH 1 and after full acid digestion), and water-insoluble elemental analysis (proton induced X-ray emission). Antarctic ice core samples covering the last deglaciation from the EPICA Dome C (EDC) and the EPICA Dronning Maud Land (EDML) cores were used. All methods correlate very well among each other, but the ratios of glacial age to Holocene concentrations, which are typically a factor approximately 100, differ between the methods by up to a factor of 2 with insoluble particles showing the largest variability. The recovery of ICP-MS measurements depends on the digestion method and is differentfor different elements and during different climatic periods. EDC and EDML samples have similar dust composition, which suggests a common dust source or a common mixture of sources for the two sites. The analyzed samples further reveal a change of dust composition during the last deglaciation.

  2. Organic iodine in Antarctic sea ice: A comparison between winter in the Weddell Sea and summer in the Amundsen Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granfors, Anna; Ahnoff, Martin; Mills, Matthew M.; Abrahamsson, Katarina

    2014-12-01

    Recent studies have recognized sea ice as a source of reactive iodine to the Antarctic boundary layer. Volatile iodinated compounds (iodocarbons) are released from sea ice, and they have been suggested to contribute to the formation of iodine oxide (IO), which takes part in tropospheric ozone destruction in the polar spring. We measured iodocarbons (CH3I, CH2ClI, CH2BrI, and CH2I2) in sea ice, snow, brine, and air during two expeditions to Antarctica, OSO 10/11 to the Amundsen Sea during austral summer and ANT XXIX/6 to the Weddell Sea in austral winter. These are the first reported measurements of iodocarbons from the Antarctic winter. Iodocarbons were enriched in sea ice in relation to seawater in both summer and winter. During summer, the positive relationship to chlorophyll a biomass indicated a biological origin. We suggest that CH3I is formed biotically in sea ice during both summer and winter. For CH2ClI, CH2BrI, and CH2I2, an additional abiotic source at the snow/ice interface in winter is suggested. Elevated air concentrations of CH3I and CH2ClI during winter indicate that they are enriched in lower troposphere and may take part in the formation of IO at polar sunrise.

  3. Effects of Increased UV and Sea Ice Retreat on Antarctic Marine Larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isely, N. M.; Lamare, M.; Marshall, C.

    2008-12-01

    Increased UV radiation caused by a decrease in the levels of stratospheric ozone has the potential to harm marine organisms. The sharpest decrease in ozone can be found over the Antarctic continent during the austral spring. Invertebrates may be particularly susceptible to the effects of increased UV-R because most have a planktonic stage in which their embryos and larvae live in surface waters. Marine invertebrates in the Antarctic are likely to be affected to a greater extent than those in tropical and temperate biomes as there is not only a greater amount of UV-R coming through the atmosphere in these latitudes, but the larval stages are in the water column for a greater period, have slower metabolism, and a stenothermal physiology. These factors have the potential to affect recruitment of new individuals into marine populations. One of the major forms of damage is the creation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) in DNA. Previous work has shown that photolyase, a protein that repairs UV-R induced CPDs on DNA, is present in echinoderm larvae, and increases the repair rates of UV-R damaged DNA. During the austral spring of 2007 laboratory and field experiments were carried out on Sterechinus. neumayeri at Cape Evans on Ross Island, Antarctica, and at the ice edge north of Cape Royds. The effects of depth, and consequently dose of UV-R on expression of photolyase was determined. We established that photolyase can be induced by increased UV-R in S. neumayeri, and consequently is dependent on depth of the water column. There also appears to be an upper limit, where increases in UV-R do not induce further photolyase expression. With predictions that the annual ozone hole will be present for at least another 50 years and the possible retreat of sea ice, ambient levels of UV-R in the marine environment of Antarctica will increase. The results of this research suggest that S. neumayeri can compensate for increased DNA damage to UV-R at relatively low levels. But if

  4. Pliocene Antarctic sea-ice reconstruction based on the diatom record the ANDRILL 1B core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, R. P.; Sjunneskog, C. M.; Winter, D.; Riesselman, C.

    2010-12-01

    The ANtarctic DRILLing Program’s AND-1B core, comprising 13 interglacial diatomaceous sections spanning the early Pliocene to the early Pleistocene, provides a largely complete record of Pliocene climate and sea-ice conditions in the Ross Sea. As primary producers, diatoms are directly influenced by surface water conditions, thus fossil assemblages provide a high quality proxy for past surface waters. The modern diatom flora of the Southern Ocean reflects the strong zonal system characterized by a seasonal sea-ice zone (SSIZ), a permanent open ocean zone (POOZ), and a subantarctic zone (SAZ), each with a distinct water column and sedimentary diatom assemblage. The stratigraphic distribution of these assemblages in the AND-1B core provides a history of changing sea surface temperature (SST) and sea-ice conditions through the Pliocene and early Pleistocene. In the early to mid-Pliocene section (4.6-3.3 Ma) the SSIZ is only represented by a few percent, including during glacial stages. This contrasts with the >80% present in the modern western Ross Sea. The SAZ is well represented during this interval in the core, along with the POOZ assemblage, despite the high latitude and proximity to the coastline. This assemblage indicates minimal sea-ice during the summer photoperiod at this latitude. The SSIZ assemblage is present but remains minor during the latter part of the mid-Pliocene (3.3-3.0 Ma). The diatom assemblage suggests surface water stratification, possibly indicating persistent polynya conditions. This period is followed by an interval characterized by both a slight increase in sea-ice and in subantarctic species, which we interpret as reflecting stronger seasonal SST variability compared to prior periods. The sea-ice assemblage and specific sea-ice indicator species increase slightly through the late Pliocene (2.0 Ma) and early Pleistocene (1.07 Ma) but never approach the abundance observed in the modern Ross Sea. These results show that the seasonal sea-ice

  5. Potential of the solid-Earth response for limiting long-term West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Hannes; Sasgen, Ingo; Pollard, David; Klemann, Volker

    2016-04-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is assumed to be inherently unstable because it is grounded below sea level in a large part, where the bedrock deepens from today's grounding line towards the interior of the ice sheet. Idealized simulations have shown that bedrock uplift due to isostatic adjustment of the solid Earth and the associated sea-level fall may stop the retreat of such a marine-based ice sheet (Gomez et al., 2012). Here, we employ a coupled model for ice-sheet dynamics and solid-Earth dynamics, including a gravitationally consistent description of sea level, to investigate the influence of the viscoelastic Earth structure on the WAIS' future stability (Konrad et al. 2015). For this, we start from a steady-state condition for the Antarctic Ice Sheet close to present-day observations and apply atmospheric and oceanic forcing of different strength to initiate the retreat of the WAIS and investigate the effect of the viscoelastic deformation on the ice evolution for a range of solid-Earth rheologies. We find that the climate forcing is the primary control on the occurrence of the WAIS collapse. However, for moderate climate forcing and a weak solid-Earth rheology associated with the West Antarctic rift system (asthenosphere viscosities of 3x10^19 Pa s or less), we find that the combined effect of bedrock uplift and gravitational sea-level fall limits the retreat to the Amundsen Sea embayment on millennial time scales. In contrast, a stiffer Earth rheology yields a collapse under these conditions. Under a stronger climate forcing, weak Earth structures do not prevent the WAIS collapse; however, they produce a delay of up to 5000 years in comparison to a stiffer solid-Earth rheology. In an additional experiment, we test the impact of sea-level rise from an assumed fast deglaciation of the Greenland Ice Sheet. In cases when the climatic forcing is too weak to force WAIS collapse by itself, the additional rise in sea-level leads to disintegration of the WAIS

  6. Variations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in a Coupled Ice Sheet-Earth-Sea Level Model: Sensitivity to Viscoelastic Earth Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; Gomez, Natalya; Deconto, Robert M.

    2017-11-01

    A coupled ice sheet-solid Earth-sea level model is applied to long-term variations of the Antarctic ice sheet. A set of radially varying viscoelastic profiles in the global Earth model is used to explore feedbacks on ice sheet variability, including one with a very weak upper mantle zone and thin lithosphere representative of West Antarctic regions. Simulations are performed for (1) the deglacial retreat over the last 20,000 years, (2) the future 5,000 years with greenhouse-gas scenario Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5), and (3) the warm Pliocene 3 Ma. For the deglacial period a large ensemble of 625 simulations is analyzed, with a score computed for each run based on comparisons to geologic and modern data. For each of the five Earth profiles, the top-scoring combinations of the other model parameters in the ensemble are used to perform future and Pliocene simulations. For the last deglacial retreat, the viscoelastic Earth profiles produce relatively small differences in overall ice volume and equivalent sea level. In contrast, profiles with weak upper mantle and thin lithosphere produce strong negative feedback and less ice retreat in the future and Pliocene runs. This is due to the faster pace of ice sheet retreat in these runs, leading to greater lags in the viscous bedrock rebound behind the unloading, which allows for greater influence of the viscosity profiles. However, the differences in grounding-line retreat are located primarily in East Antarctic basins, where a weak upper mantle and thin lithosphere may not be realistic, emphasizing the need for lateral heterogeneity in the Earth model.

  7. An unusual early Holocene diatom event north of the Getz Ice Shelf (Amundsen Sea): Implications for West Antarctic Ice Sheet development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esper, O.; Gersonde, R.; Hillenbrand, C.; Kuhn, G.; Smith, J.

    2011-12-01

    Modern global change affects not only the polar north but also, and to increasing extent, the southern high latitudes, especially the Antarctic regions covered by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Consequently, knowledge of the mechanisms controlling past WAIS dynamics and WAIS behaviour at the last deglaciation is critical to predict its development in a future warming world. Geological and palaeobiological information from major drainage areas of the WAIS, like the Amundsen Sea Embayment, shed light on the history of the WAIS glaciers. Sediment records obtained from a deep inner shelf basin north of Getz Ice Shelf document a deglacial warming in three phases. Above a glacial diamicton and a sediment package barren of microfossils that document sediment deposition by grounded ice and below an ice shelf or perennial sea ice cover (possibly fast ice), respectively, a sediment section with diatom assemblages dominated by sea ice taxa indicates ice shelf retreat and seasonal ice-free conditions. This conclusion is supported by diatom-based summer temperature reconstructions. The early retreat was followed by a phase, when exceptional diatom ooze was deposited around 12,500 cal. years B.P. [1]. Microscopical inspection of this ooze revealed excellent preservation of diatom frustules of the species Corethron pennatum together with vegetative Chaetoceros, thus an assemblage usually not preserved in the sedimentary record. Sediments succeeding this section contain diatom assemblages indicating rather constant Holocene cold water conditions with seasonal sea ice. The deposition of the diatom ooze can be related to changes in hydrographic conditions including strong advection of nutrients. However, sediment focussing in the partly steep inner shelf basins cannot be excluded as a factor enhancing the thickness of the ooze deposits. It is not only the presence of the diatom ooze but also the exceptional preservation and the species composition of the diatom assemblage

  8. Observation of hydro-acoustic signal from the Balleny Islands, Ross Sea, Antarctic: Seasonal ice activities and earthquakes from Pacific-Antarctic ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, J. K.; Kang, S. G.; Dziak, R. P.; Park, Y.; Lau, T. K. A.; Haxel, J.; Matsumoto, H.

    2017-12-01

    From January 2015 to March 2016, five hydrophone moorings were deployed near the Balleny Islands to obtain the long-term hydroacoustic record as a collaborative effort between the NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and the Korea Polar Research Institute. The goal of this hydro-acoustic project is to understand seasonal sea-ice activities and identify potential underwater volcanic sources within the Balleny seamounts. All five of the hydrophone moorings were recovered in March 2016, however only three of them recorded 14 months of continuous, broadband (1 kHz sample rate) hydro-acoustic data successfully. In spite of coordinating problem by partial recovery, recorded data contain valuable information for seasonal sea-ice activities and earthquakes from Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. We analyzed events from ice-quakes and earthquakes statistically. The number of ice-quakes is maximum in the austral summer while minimum in the austral winter which shows a clear seasonal pattern consistent with freeze-thaw cycles. Comparing with global earthquakes catalogue, number of earthquake events are correlated well with the catalogue. Because the austral winter is more calm by ice-quakes, however, we can detect more earthquakes in this season.

  9. Emperors in hiding: when ice-breakers and satellites complement each other in Antarctic exploration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Ancel

    Full Text Available Evaluating the demographic trends of marine top predators is critical to understanding the processes involved in the ongoing rapid changes in Antarctic ecosystems. However, the remoteness and logistical complexity of operating in Antarctica, especially during winter, make such an assessment difficult. Satellite imaging is increasingly recognised as a valuable method for remote animal population monitoring, yet its accuracy and reliability are still to be fully evaluated. We report here the first ground visit of an emperor penguin colony first discovered by satellite, but also the discovery of a second one not indicated by satellite survey at that time. Several successive remote surveys in this coastal region of East Antarctica, both before and after sudden local changes, had indeed only identified one colony. These two colonies (with a total of ca. 7,400 breeding pairs are located near the Mertz Glacier in an area that underwent tremendous habitat change after the glacier tongue broke off in February 2010. Our findings therefore suggest that a satellite survey, although offering a major advance since it allows a global imaging of emperor penguin colonies, may miss certain colony locations when challenged by certain features of polar ecosystems, such as snow cover, evolving ice topology, and rapidly changing habitat. Moreover our survey shows that this large seabird has considerable potential for rapid adaptation to sudden habitat loss, as the colony detected in 2009 may have moved and settled on new breeding grounds. Overall, the ability of emperor penguin colonies to relocate following habitat modification underlines the continued need for a mix of remote sensing and field surveys (aerial photography and ground counts, especially in the less-frequented parts of Antarctica, to gain reliable knowledge about the population demography and dynamics of this flagship species of the Antarctic ecosystem.

  10. Emperors in hiding: when ice-breakers and satellites complement each other in Antarctic exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ancel, André; Cristofari, Robin; Fretwell, Peter T; Trathan, Phil N; Wienecke, Barbara; Boureau, Matthieu; Morinay, Jennifer; Blanc, Stéphane; Le Maho, Yvon; Le Bohec, Céline

    2014-01-01

    Evaluating the demographic trends of marine top predators is critical to understanding the processes involved in the ongoing rapid changes in Antarctic ecosystems. However, the remoteness and logistical complexity of operating in Antarctica, especially during winter, make such an assessment difficult. Satellite imaging is increasingly recognised as a valuable method for remote animal population monitoring, yet its accuracy and reliability are still to be fully evaluated. We report here the first ground visit of an emperor penguin colony first discovered by satellite, but also the discovery of a second one not indicated by satellite survey at that time. Several successive remote surveys in this coastal region of East Antarctica, both before and after sudden local changes, had indeed only identified one colony. These two colonies (with a total of ca. 7,400 breeding pairs) are located near the Mertz Glacier in an area that underwent tremendous habitat change after the glacier tongue broke off in February 2010. Our findings therefore suggest that a satellite survey, although offering a major advance since it allows a global imaging of emperor penguin colonies, may miss certain colony locations when challenged by certain features of polar ecosystems, such as snow cover, evolving ice topology, and rapidly changing habitat. Moreover our survey shows that this large seabird has considerable potential for rapid adaptation to sudden habitat loss, as the colony detected in 2009 may have moved and settled on new breeding grounds. Overall, the ability of emperor penguin colonies to relocate following habitat modification underlines the continued need for a mix of remote sensing and field surveys (aerial photography and ground counts), especially in the less-frequented parts of Antarctica, to gain reliable knowledge about the population demography and dynamics of this flagship species of the Antarctic ecosystem.

  11. Antarctic ice sheet thickness estimation using the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio method with single-station seismic ambient noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Peng; Li, Zhiwei; Li, Fei; Yang, Yuande; Hao, Weifeng; Bao, Feng

    2018-03-01

    We report on a successful application of the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (H / V) method, generally used to investigate the subsurface velocity structures of the shallow crust, to estimate the Antarctic ice sheet thickness for the first time. Using three-component, five-day long, seismic ambient noise records gathered from more than 60 temporary seismic stations located on the Antarctic ice sheet, the ice thickness measured at each station has comparable accuracy to the Bedmap2 database. Preliminary analysis revealed that 60 out of 65 seismic stations on the ice sheet obtained clear peak frequencies (f0) related to the ice sheet thickness in the H / V spectrum. Thus, assuming that the isotropic ice layer lies atop a high velocity half-space bedrock, the ice sheet thickness can be calculated by a simple approximation formula. About half of the calculated ice sheet thicknesses were consistent with the Bedmap2 ice thickness values. To further improve the reliability of ice thickness measurements, two-type models were built to fit the observed H / V spectrum through non-linear inversion. The two-type models represent the isotropic structures of single- and two-layer ice sheets, and the latter depicts the non-uniform, layered characteristics of the ice sheet widely distributed in Antarctica. The inversion results suggest that the ice thicknesses derived from the two-layer ice models were in good concurrence with the Bedmap2 ice thickness database, and that ice thickness differences between the two were within 300 m at almost all stations. Our results support previous finding that the Antarctic ice sheet is stratified. Extensive data processing indicates that the time length of seismic ambient noise records can be shortened to two hours for reliable ice sheet thickness estimation using the H / V method. This study extends the application fields of the H / V method and provides an effective and independent way to measure ice sheet thickness in Antarctica.

  12. CEDEX research activities in Antarctica. Aquatic ecosystems in Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, maritime Antarctica)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toro, M.; Quesada, A.; Camacho, A.; Oliva, M.; Alcami, A.; Antoniades, D.; Banon, M.; Fassnacht, S.; Fernandez-Valiente, E.; Galan, L.; Giralt, S.; Granados, I.; Justel, A.; Liu, E. J.; Lopez-Bravo, A.; Martinez-Cortizas, A.; Pla-Rabes, S.; Rastrojo, A.; Rico, E.; Rochera, C.; Van de Vijver, B.; Velazquez, D.; Villaescusa, J. A.; Vicent, W. F.

    2015-01-01

    Since 2001 CEDEX has taken part in many Antarctic joint research projects with different institutions from Spain and other countries, developing scientific activities in the International Camp of Byers Peninsular (Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). This place was designed as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (No.126) because the importance and value of its terrestrial and aquatic habitats. It is one of the largest ice-free areas of maritime Antarctica, with the highest diversity of environments and geological, hydrological and biological processes in the whole region, all of them in a pristine state. Byers Peninsula is considered the most significant limnological area in the Antarctic Peninsula region because it hosts a high number of lakes, ponds and streams, with an exceptional fauna and flora diversity, including the most singular, representative or endemic Antarctic species. Furthermore, the lakes sedimentary record is one of the widest and complete archives in Antarctic Peninsula region for the palaeocological and climatic study of the Holocene. Because Byers Peninsula is an Antarctic biodiversity hotspot, and it is located in one of the areas in the Earth where global warming is being more significant, it must be considered as a suitable international reference site for limnetic, terrestrial and coastal studies, and long term monitoring programmes. (Author)

  13. Oceanic an climatic consequences of a sudden large-scale West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarff, Katie; Green, Mattias; Schmittner, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Atmospheric warming is progressing to the point where the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) will experience an elevated rate of discharge. The current discharge rate of WAIS is around 0.005Sv, but this rate will most likely accelerate over this century. The input of freshwater, in the form of ice, may have a profound effect on oceanic circulation systems, including potentially reducing the formation of deep water in the Southern Ocean and thus triggering or enhancing the bipolar seesaw. Using UVic - an intermediate complexity ocean-climate model - we investigate how various hosing rates from the WAIS will impact of the present and future ocean circulation and climate. These scenarios range from observed hosing rates (~0.005Sv) being applied for 100 years, to a total collapse of the WAIS over the next 100 years (the equivalent to a0.7Sv hosing). We show that even the present day observed rates can have a significant impact on the ocean and atmospheric temperatures, and that the bipolar seesaw may indeed be enhanced by the Southern Ocean hosing. Consequently, there is a speed-up of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) early on during the hosing, which leads to a warming over the North Atlantic, and a subsequent reduction in the MOC on centennial scales. The larger hosing cases show more dramatic effects with near-complete shutdowns of the MOC during the hosing. Furthermore, global warming scenarios based on the IPCC "business as usual" scenario show that the atmospheric warming will change the response of the ocean to Southern Ocean hosing and that the warming will dominate the perturbation. The potential feedback between changes in the ocean stratification in the scenarios and tidally driven abyssal mixing via tidal conversion is also explored.

  14. Spatio-temporal variability in the winter diet of larval and juvenile Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, in ice-covered waters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaafsma, F.L.; Kohlbach, D.; David, C.; Lange, B.A.; Graeve, M.; Flores, H.; Franeker, van J.A.

    2017-01-01

    Antarctic krill Euphausia superba is an ecological key species in the Southern Ocean and a major fisheries resource. The winter survival of age class 0 (AC0) krill is susceptible to changes in the sea-ice environment due to their association with sea ice and their need to feed during their first

  15. Aves, Charadriiformes, Scolopacidae, Limosa haemastica, (Linnaeus, 1758: First record from South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juares, M. A.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available We report herein the southernmost record of the Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica, at two localities inthe Antarctic: Esperanza/Hope Bay (January 2005 and 25 de Mayo/King George Island (October 2008. On both occasionsa pair of specimens with winter plumage was observed.

  16. Exploring changes in vertical ice extent along the margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in western Dronning Maud Land - initial results of the MAGIC-DML collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lifton, N. A.; Newall, J. C.; Fredin, O.; Glasser, N. F.; Fabel, D.; Rogozhina, I.; Bernales, J.; Prange, M.; Sams, S.; Eisen, O.; Hättestrand, C.; Harbor, J.; Stroeven, A. P.

    2017-12-01

    Numerical ice sheet models constrained by theory and refined by comparisons with observational data are a central component of work to address the interactions between the cryosphere and changing climate, at a wide range of scales. Such models are tested and refined by comparing model predictions of past ice geometries with field-based reconstructions from geological, geomorphological, and ice core data. However, on the East Antarctic Ice sheet, there are few empirical data with which to reconstruct changes in ice sheet geometry in the Dronning Maud Land (DML) region. In addition, there is poor control on the regional climate history of the ice sheet margin, because ice core locations, where detailed reconstructions of climate history exist, are located on high inland domes. This leaves numerical models of regional glaciation history in this near-coastal area largely unconstrained. MAGIC-DML is an ongoing Swedish-US-Norwegian-German-UK collaboration with a focus on improving ice sheet models by combining advances in numerical modeling with filling critical data gaps that exist in our knowledge of the timing and pattern of ice surface changes on the western Dronning Maud Land margin. A combination of geomorphological mapping using remote sensing data, field investigations, cosmogenic nuclide surface exposure dating, and numerical ice-sheet modeling are being used in an iterative manner to produce a comprehensive reconstruction of the glacial history of western Dronning Maud Land. We will present an overview of the project, as well as field observations and preliminary in situ cosmogenic nuclide measurements from the 2016/17 expedition.

  17. Isotopic composition of ice core air reveals abrupt Antarctic warming during and after Heinrich Event 1a

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, J. D.; Bereiter, B.; Baggenstos, D.; Kawamura, K.; Shackleton, S. A.; Severinghaus, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Antarctic temperature variations during Heinrich events, as recorded by δ18O­ice­, generally show more gradual changes than the abrupt warmings seen in Greenland ice. However, quantitative temperature interpretation of the water isotope temperature proxy is difficult as the relationship between δ18Oice and temperature is not constant through time. Fortunately, ice cores offer a second temperature proxy based on trapped gases. During times of surface warming, thermal fractionation of gases in the column of unconsolidated snow (firn) on top of the ice sheet results in isotopically heavier nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar) being trapped in the ice core bubbles. During times of surface cooling, isotopically lighter gases are trapped. Measurements of δ15N and δ40Ar can therefore be used, in combination with a model for the height of the column of firn, to quantitatively reconstruct surface temperatures. In the WAIS Divide Ice Core, the two temperature proxies show a brief disagreement during Heinrich Stadial 1. Despite δ18Oice recording relatively constant temperature, the nitrogen and argon isotopes imply an abrupt warming between 16 and 15.8 kyr BP, manifest as an abrupt 1.25oC increase in the firn temperature gradient. To our knowledge, this would be the first evidence that such abrupt climate change has been recorded in an Antarctic climate proxy. If confirmed by more detailed studies, this event may represent warming due to an extreme southward shift of the Earth's thermal equator (and the southern hemisphere westerly wind belt), caused by the 16.1 ka Heinrich Event.

  18. Remote sensing evidence of lava-ground ice interactions associated with the Lost Jim Lava Flow, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcucci, Emma C.; Hamilton, Christopher W.; Herrick, Robert R.

    2017-12-01

    Thermokarst terrains develop when ice-bearing permafrost melts and causes the overlying surface to subside or collapse. This process occurs widely throughout Arctic regions due to environmental and climatological factors, but can also be induced by localized melting of ground ice by active lava flows. The Lost Jim Lava Flow (LJLF) on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska provides evidence of former lava-ground ice interactions. Associated geomorphic features, on the scale of meters to tens of meters, were identified using satellite orthoimages and stereo-derived digital terrain models. The flow exhibits positive- and mixed-relief features, including tumuli ( N = 26) and shatter rings ( N = 4), as well as negative-relief features, such as lava tube skylights ( N = 100) and irregularly shaped topographic depressions ( N = 1188) that are interpreted to include lava-rise pits and lava-induced thermokarst terrain. Along the margins of the flow, there are also clusters of small peripheral pits that may be the products of meltwater or steam escape. On Mars, we observed morphologically similar pits near lava flow margins in northeastern Elysium Planitia, which suggests a common formation mechanism. Investigating the LJLF may therefore help to elucidate processes of lava-ground ice interaction on both Earth and Mars.

  19. Spatial Patterns of Variability in Antarctic Surface Temperature: Connections to the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode and the Southern Oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Ron; Comiso, Josefino C.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The 17-year (1982-1998) trend in surface temperature shows a general cooling over the Antarctic continent, warming of the sea ice zone, with moderate changes over the oceans. Warming of the peripheral seas is associated with negative trends in the regional sea ice extent. Effects of the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM) and the extrapolar Southern Oscillation (SO) on surface temperature are quantified through regression analysis. Positive polarities of the SAM are associated with cold anomalies over most of Antarctica, with the most notable exception of the Antarctic Peninsula. Positive temperature anomalies and ice edge retreat in the Pacific sector are associated with El Nino episodes. Over the past two decades, the drift towards high polarity in the SAM and negative polarity in the SO indices couple to produce a spatial pattern with warmer temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula and peripheral seas, and cooler temperatures over much of East Antarctica.

  20. The response of a simple Antarctic ice-flow model to temperature and sea-level fluctuations over the Cenozoic era

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tuyll, C. I.; van de Wal, R. S. W.; Oerlemans, J.

    2007-10-01

    An ice-flow model is used to simulate the Antarctic ice-sheet volume and deep-sea temperature record during Cenozoic times. We used a vertically integrated axisymmetric ice-sheet model, including bedrock adjustment. In order to overcome strong numerical hysteresis effects during climate change, the model is solved on a stretching grid. The Cenozoic reconstruction of the Antarctic ice sheet is accomplished by splitting the global oxygen isotope record derived from benthic foraminifera into an ice-volume and a deep-sea temperature component. The model is tuned to reconstruct the initiation of a large ice sheet of continental size at 34 Ma. The resulting ice volume curve shows that small ice caps (Paleocene and Eocene times. Fluctuations during the Miocene are large, indicating a retreat back from the coast and a vanishing ice flux across the grounding line, but with ice volumes still up to 60% of the present-day volume. The resulting deep-sea temperature curve shows similarities with the paleotemperature curve derived from Mg/Ca in benthic calcite from 25 Ma till the present, which supports the idea that the ice volume is well reproduced for this period. Before 34 Ma, the reproduced deep-sea temperature is slightly higher than is generally assumed. Global sea-level change turns out to be of minor importance when considering the Cenozoic evolution of the ice sheet until 5 Ma.

  1. Feeding rates and under-ice foraging strategies of the smallest lunge filter feeder, the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlaender, A S; Goldbogen, J A; Nowacek, D P; Read, A J; Johnston, D; Gales, N

    2014-08-15

    Body size and feeding mode are two fundamental characteristics that determine foraging performance and ecological niche. As the smallest obligate lunge filter feeders, minke whales represent an ideal system for studying the physical and energetic limits of filter feeding in endotherms. We used multi-sensor suction cup tags to quantify the feeding performance of Antarctic minke whales. Foraging dives around and beneath sea ice contained up to 24 lunges per dive, the highest feeding rates for any lunge-feeding whale. Their small size allows minke whales access to krill in sea-ice environments not easily accessible to larger baleen whales. Furthermore, their ability to filter feed provides an advantage over other smaller sympatric krill predators such as penguins and seals that feed on individual prey. The unique combination of body size, feeding mechanism and sea-ice habitat of Antarctic minke whales defines a previously undocumented energetic niche that is unique among aquatic vertebrates. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  2. Repeated advance and retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet on the continental shelf during the early Pliocene warm period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinardy, B.; Escutia, C.

    2016-12-01

    IODP Site U1358, located on the Antarctic continental shelf off the Adélie Coast, receives drainage from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) through the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Diatom analysis of a sediment core recovered at site U1358 indicated that the lower section of the core contained an assemblage dating back to the Thalassiosira innura Zone of the lower Pliocene that ranges from 4.2 to 5.12 Ma. Based on lithological descriptions at both a macro- and micro-scale, four facies were interpreted from the diamictons representing the progressive advance and retreat of the grounding line over the site. Subglacial and grounding line proximal facies contain a distinct directional signal from the orientation of the a-axis of clasts with several phases of fabric development along with both brittle and ductile deformation features that are common in sediments that have been subglacially deformed. Grounding line distal to open marine facies are finely laminated. The four facies within the depositional model provide for the first time direct evidence for ice advancing across the shelf adjacent to the Wilkes Subglacial Basin on at least four occasions separated by three periods of open marine conditions indicating retreat of grounded ice inland of the site during a warmer than present early Pliocene. This has significant implications because firstly it suggests a dynamic EAIS that is probably far more sensitive to climatic and oceanic forcing even during relatively short time periods than had previously been thought. Secondly it suggests that proxies used to interpret the advance and retreat of the grounding line from the rise can be linked with direct evidence of grounding line migration from the shelf. Together with results from the rise, this study provides a crucial ice extent target for new ice sheet models of this region during the Pliocene.

  3. Neogene to Quaternary stratigraphic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula, Pacific Margin offshore of Adelaide Island: Transitions from a non-glacial, through glacially-influenced to a fully glacial state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Molina, F. Javier; Larter, Robert D.; Maldonado, Andrés

    2017-09-01

    A detailed morphologic and seismic stratigraphic analysis of the continental margin offshore of Adelaide Island on the Pacific Margin of the Antarctic Peninsula (PMAP) is described based on the study of a regular network of reflection multichannel seismic profiles and swath bathymetry. We present an integrated study of the margin spanning the shelf to the continental rise, establish novel chronologic constraints and offer new interpretations on tectonic evolution and environmental changes affecting the PMAP. The stratigraphic stacking patterns record major shifts in the depositional style of the margin that outline three intervals in its evolution. The first non-glacial interval (Early Cretaceous to middle Miocene) encompasses a transition from an active to a passive margin (early Miocene). The second glacially-influenced interval (middle to late Miocene) is marked by pronounced aggradational sedimentary stacking and subsidence. Ice sheets advanced over the middle shelf of the margin at the end of this second interval, while the outer shelf experienced rare progradational events. The third, fully glaciated interval shows clear evidence of glacially dominated conditions on the margin. This interval divides into three minor stages. During the first stage (late Miocene to the beginning of the Pliocene), frequent grounded ice advances to the shelf break began, depositing an initial progradational unit. A major truncation surface marked the end of this stage, which coincided with extensive mass transport deposits at the base of the slope. During the second progradational glacial margin stage (early Pliocene to middle Pleistocene), stacking patterns record clearly prograding glacial sequences. The beginning of the third aggradational glacial margin stage (middle Pleistocene to present) corresponded to an important shift in global climate during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition. Morphosedimentary characteristics observed along the margin today began to develop during the

  4. Long-term experiment on physiological responses to synergetic effects of ocean acidification and photoperiod in the Antarctic sea ice algae Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dong; Wang, Yitao; Fan, Xiao; Wang, Dongsheng; Ye, Naihao; Zhang, Xiaowen; Mou, Shanli; Guan, Zheng; Zhuang, Zhimeng

    2014-07-15

    Studies on ocean acidification have mostly been based on short-term experiments of low latitude with few investigations of the long-term influence on sea ice communities. Here, the combined effects of ocean acidification and photoperiod on the physiological response of the Antarctic sea ice microalgae Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L were examined. There was a general increase in growth, PSII photosynthetic parameters, and N and P uptake in continuous light, compared to those exposed to regular dark and light cycles. Elevated pCO2 showed no consistent effect on growth rate (p=0.8) and N uptake (p=0.38) during exponential phrase, depending on the photoperiod but had a positive effect on PSII photosynthetic capacity and P uptake. Continuous dark reduced growth, photosynthesis, and nutrient uptake. Moreover, intracellular lipid, mainly in the form of PUFA, was consumed at 80% and 63% in low and high pCO2 in darkness. However, long-term culture under high pCO2 gave a more significant inhibition of growth and Fv/Fm to high light stress. In summary, ocean acidification may have significant effects on Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L survival in polar winter. The current study contributes to an understanding of how a sea ice algae-based community may respond to global climate change at high latitudes.

  5. Geochemical signatures of tephras from Quaternary Antarctic Peninsula volcanoes Geoquímica de tefras de volcanes Cuaternarios de la Península Antártica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Kraus

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In the northern Antarctic Peninsula area, at least 12 Late Plelstocene-Holocene volcanic centers could be potential sources of tephra layers in the region. We present unique geochemical fingerprints for ten of these volcanoes using major, trace, rare earth element, and isotope data from 95 samples of tephra and other eruption products. The volcanoes have predominantly basaltic and basaltic andesitic compositions. The Nb/Y ratio proves useful to distinguish between volcanic centers located on the eastern (Larsen Rift and those situated on the western side (Bransfield Rift of the Antarctic Peninsula. In addition, the Sr/Nb ratio (for samples with SiO2 En la parte norte de la Península Antártica existen, por lo menos, 12 centros volcánicos del Pleistoceno Tardío-Holoceno que podrían representar las fuentes de horizontes de tefra reconocidos en la región. Se reportan aquí análisis químicos de 10 de estos volcanes, que incluyen análisis de elementos mayores, trazas, tierras raras y composición isotópica de 95 muestras de tefra u otros productos eruptivos. Los volcanes tienen, en su mayoría, composición basáltica a basáltico-andesítica. Las razones Nb/Y resultan útiles para distinguir entre centros volcánicos ubicados al lado oriental (Larsen Rift de aquellos ubicados al lado occidental (Bransfield Rift de la Península Antártica. Adicionalmente, las razones Sr/Nb (para muestras con SiO2 <63 wt%, Sr/Y, Ba/La, Zr/Hf y Th/Nb sirven para caracterizar los productos generados por cada centro volcánico. Análisis de microsonda en vidrio muestran que las rocas estudiadas tienen bajos contenidos de K2O, y que vidrios de rocas provenientes de volcanes ubicados en el rift de Bransfield son ricos en SiO2, mientras que las de volcanes del rift de Larsen tienden hacía contenidos elevados de álcalis. Se propone un algoritmo para la identificación del volcán de origen de un horizonte de tefra cualquiera, basado en las distintivas

  6. Mesospheric front observations by the OH airglow imager carried out at Ferraz Station on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula, in 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giongo, Gabriel Augusto; Valentin Bageston, José; Prado Batista, Paulo; Wrasse, Cristiano Max; Dornelles Bittencourt, Gabriela; Paulino, Igo; Paes Leme, Neusa Maria; Fritts, David C.; Janches, Diego; Hocking, Wayne; Schuch, Nelson Jorge

    2018-02-01

    The main goals of this work are to characterize and investigate the potential wave sources of four mesospheric fronts identified in the hydroxyl near-infrared (OH-NIR) airglow images, obtained with an all-sky airglow imager installed at Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station (EACF, as per its Portuguese acronym) located on King George Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. We identified and analyzed four mesospheric fronts in 2011 over King George Island. In addition, we investigate the atmospheric background environment between 80 and 100 km altitude and discuss the ducts and propagation conditions for these waves. For that, we used wind data obtained from a meteor radar operated at EACF and temperature data obtained from the TIMED/SABER satellite. The vertical wavenumber squared, m2, was calculated for each of the four waves. Even though no clearly defined duct (indicated by positive values of m2 sandwiched between layers above and below with m2 conditions for horizontal propagation of the fronts were found in three cases. In the fourth case, the wave front did not find any duct support and it appeared to dissipate near the zenith, transferring energy and momentum to the medium and, consequently, accelerating the wind in the wave propagation direction (near to south) above the OH peak (88-92 km). The likely wave sources for these four cases were investigated by using meteorological satellite images and in two cases we could find that strong instabilities were potential sources, i.e., a cyclonic activity and a large convective cloud cell. In the other two cases it was not possible to associate troposphere sources as potential candidates for the generation of such wave fronts observed in the mesosphere and secondary wave sources were attributed to these cases.

  7. Mesospheric front observations by the OH airglow imager carried out at Ferraz Station on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula, in 2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. A. Giongo

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The main goals of this work are to characterize and investigate the potential wave sources of four mesospheric fronts identified in the hydroxyl near-infrared (OH-NIR airglow images, obtained with an all-sky airglow imager installed at Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station (EACF, as per its Portuguese acronym located on King George Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. We identified and analyzed four mesospheric fronts in 2011 over King George Island. In addition, we investigate the atmospheric background environment between 80 and 100 km altitude and discuss the ducts and propagation conditions for these waves. For that, we used wind data obtained from a meteor radar operated at EACF and temperature data obtained from the TIMED/SABER satellite. The vertical wavenumber squared, m2, was calculated for each of the four waves. Even though no clearly defined duct (indicated by positive values of m2 sandwiched between layers above and below with m2 < 0 was found in any of the events, favorable propagation conditions for horizontal propagation of the fronts were found in three cases. In the fourth case, the wave front did not find any duct support and it appeared to dissipate near the zenith, transferring energy and momentum to the medium and, consequently, accelerating the wind in the wave propagation direction (near to south above the OH peak (88–92 km. The likely wave sources for these four cases were investigated by using meteorological satellite images and in two cases we could find that strong instabilities were potential sources, i.e., a cyclonic activity and a large convective cloud cell. In the other two cases it was not possible to associate troposphere sources as potential candidates for the generation of such wave fronts observed in the mesosphere and secondary wave sources were attributed to these cases.

  8. CEDEX research activities in Antarctica. Aquatic ecosystems in Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, maritime Antarctica); Actividad investigadora del CEDEX en la Antartida. Ecosistemas acuaticos de la Peninsula Byers (Isla Livingston, Antartida)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toro, M.; Quesada, A.; Camacho, A.; Oliva, M.; Alcami, A.; Antoniades, D.; Banon, M.; Fassnacht, S.; Fernandez-Valiente, E.; Galan, L.; Giralt, S.; Granados, I.; Justel, A.; Liu, E. J.; Lopez-Bravo, A.; Martinez-Cortizas, A.; Pla-Rabes, S.; Rastrojo, A.; Rico, E.; Rochera, C.; Van de Vijver, B.; Velazquez, D.; Villaescusa, J. A.; Vicent, W. F.

    2015-07-01

    Since 2001 CEDEX has taken part in many Antarctic joint research projects with different institutions from Spain and other countries, developing scientific activities in the International Camp of Byers Peninsular (Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). This place was designed as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (No.126) because the importance and value of its terrestrial and aquatic habitats. It is one of the largest ice-free areas of maritime Antarctica, with the highest diversity of environments and geological, hydrological and biological processes in the whole region, all of them in a pristine state. Byers Peninsula is considered the most significant limnological area in the Antarctic Peninsula region because it hosts a high number of lakes, ponds and streams, with an exceptional fauna and flora diversity, including the most singular, representative or endemic Antarctic species. Furthermore, the lakes sedimentary record is one of the widest and complete archives in Antarctic Peninsula region for the palaeocological and climatic study of the Holocene. Because Byers Peninsula is an Antarctic biodiversity hotspot, and it is located in one of the areas in the Earth where global warming is being more significant, it must be considered as a suitable international reference site for limnetic, terrestrial and coastal studies, and long term monitoring programmes. (Author)

  9. Distribution and characteristics of overdeepenings beneath the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets: Implications for overdeepening origin and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, H.; Swift, D. A.; Clark, C. D.; Livingstone, S. J.; Cook, S. J.

    2016-09-01

    Glacier bed overdeepenings are ubiquitous in glacier systems and likely exert significant influence on ice dynamics, subglacial hydrology, and ice stability. Understanding of overdeepening formation and evolution has been hampered by an absence of quantitative empirical studies of their distribution and morphology, with process insights having been drawn largely from theoretical or numerical studies. To address this shortcoming, we first map the distribution of potential overdeepenings beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets using a GIS-based algorithm that identifies closed-contours in the bed topography and then describe and analyse the characteristics and metrics of a subset of overdeepenings that pass further quality control criteria. Overdeepenings are found to be widespread, but are particularly associated with areas of topographically laterally constrained ice flow, notably near the ice sheet margins where outlet systems follow deeply incised troughs. Overdeepenings also occur in regions of topographically unconstrained ice flow (for example, beneath the Siple Coast ice streams and on the Greenland continental shelf). Metrics indicate that overdeepening growth is generally allometric and that topographic confinement of ice flow in general enhances overdeepening depth. However, overdeepening depth is skewed towards shallow values - typically 200-300 m - indicating that the rate of deepening slows with overdeepening age. This is reflected in a decline in adverse slope steepness with increasing overdeepening planform size. Finally, overdeepening long-profiles are found to support headward quarrying as the primary factor in overdeepening development. These observations support proposed negative feedbacks related to hydrology and sediment transport that stabilise overdeepening growth through sedimentation on the adverse slope but permit continued overdeepening planform enlargement by processes of headward erosion.

  10. NOAA/NMC/CAC Arctic and Antarctic Monthly Sea Ice Extent, 1973-1990

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Sea ice extent from January 1973 through August 1990 was digitized from weekly operational sea ice charts produced by the Navy/NOAA Joint Ice Center. Charts were...

  11. Climate links and recent extremes in antarctic sea ice, high-latitude cyclones, Southern Annular Mode and ENSO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezza, Alexandre Bernardes; Rashid, Harun A.; Simmonds, Ian

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we study the climate link between the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the southern sea-ice extent (SIE), and discuss the possible role of stationary waves and synoptic eddies in establishing this link. In doing so, we have used a combination of techniques involving spatial correlations of SIE, eddy streamfunction and wind anomalies, and statistics of high-latitude cyclone strength. It is suggested that stationary waves may be amplified by eddy anomalies associated with high latitude cyclones, resulting in more sea ice when the SAM is in its positive phase for most, but not all, longitudes. A similar association is observed during ENSO (La Niña years). Although this synergy in the SAM/ENSO response may partially reflect preferential areas for wave amplification around Antarctica, the short extent of the climate records does not allow for a definite causality connection to be established with SIE. Stronger polar cyclones are observed over the areas where the stationary waves are amplified. These deeper cyclones will break up and export ice equatorward more efficiently, but the near-coastal regions are cold enough to allow for a rapid re-freeze of the resulting ice break-up. We speculate that if global warming continues this same effect could help reverse the current (positive) Antarctic SIE trends once the ice gets thinner, similarly to what has been observed in the Northern Hemisphere.

  12. Glacial–interglacial dynamics of Antarctic firn columns: comparison between simulations and ice core air-δ15N measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Capron

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Correct estimation of the firn lock-in depth is essential for correctly linking gas and ice chronologies in ice core studies. Here, two approaches to constrain the firn depth evolution in Antarctica are presented over the last deglaciation: outputs of a firn densification model, and measurements of δ15N of N2 in air trapped in ice core, assuming that δ15N is only affected by gravitational fractionation in the firn column. Since the firn densification process is largely governed by surface temperature and accumulation rate, we have investigated four ice cores drilled in coastal (Berkner Island, BI, and James Ross Island, JRI and semi-coastal (TALDICE and EPICA Dronning Maud Land, EDML Antarctic regions. Combined with available ice core air-δ15N measurements from the EPICA Dome C (EDC site, the studied regions encompass a large range of surface accumulation rates and temperature conditions. Our δ15N profiles reveal a heterogeneous response of the firn structure to glacial–interglacial climatic changes. While firn densification simulations correctly predict TALDICE δ15N variations, they systematically fail to capture the large millennial-scale δ15N variations measured at BI and the δ15N glacial levels measured at JRI and EDML – a mismatch previously reported for central East Antarctic ice cores. New constraints of the EDML gas–ice depth offset during the Laschamp event (~41 ka and the last deglaciation do not favour the hypothesis of a large convective zone within the firn as the explanation of the glacial firn model–δ15N data mismatch for this site. While we could not conduct an in-depth study of the influence of impurities in snow for firnification from the existing datasets, our detailed comparison between the δ15N profiles and firn model simulations under different temperature and accumulation rate scenarios suggests that the role of accumulation rate may have been underestimated in the current description of firnification

  13. Albedo of the ice covered Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas

    OpenAIRE

    Weiss, A. I.; King, J. C.; Lachlan-Cope, T. A.; Ladkin, R. S.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates the surface albedo of the sea ice areas adjacent to the Antarctic Peninsula during the austral summer. Aircraft measurements of the surface albedo, which were conducted in the sea ice areas of the Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas show significant differences between these two regions. The averaged surface albedo varied between 0.13 and 0.81. The ice cover of the Bellingshausen Sea consisted mainly of first year ice and the sea surface showed an averaged sea ice albedo o...

  14. Effects of ocean acidification on the physiological performance and carbon production of the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia sp. ICE-H.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Chang-Feng; Liu, Fang-Ming; Zheng, Zhou; Wang, Yi-Bin; Li, Xue-Gang; Yuan, Hua-Mao; Li, Ning; An, Mei-Ling; Wang, Xi-Xi; He, Ying-Ying; Li, Lu-Lu; Miao, Jin-Lai

    2017-07-15

    Ocean acidification (OA) resulting from increasing atmospheric CO 2 strongly influences marine ecosystems, particularly in the polar ocean due to greater CO 2 solubility. Here, we grew the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia sp. ICE-H in a semicontinuous culture under low (~400ppm) and high (1000ppm) CO 2 levels. Elevated CO 2 resulted in a stimulated physiological response including increased growth rates, chlorophyll a contents, and nitrogen and phosphorus uptake rates. Furthermore, high CO 2 enhanced cellular particulate organic carbon production rates, indicating a greater shift from inorganic to organic carbon. However, the cultures grown in high CO 2 conditions exhibited a decrease in both extracellular and intracellular carbonic anhydrase activity, suggesting that the carbon concentrating mechanisms of Nitzschia sp. ICE-H may be suppressed by elevated CO 2 . Our results revealed that OA would be beneficial to the survival of this sea ice diatom strain, with broad implications for global carbon cycles in the future ocean. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Concentrations from Multichannel Passive-Microwave Satellite Data Sets: October 1978-September 1995 User's Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalieri, Donald J.; Parkinson, Claire L.; Gloersen, Per; Zwally, H. Jay

    1997-01-01

    Satellite multichannel passive-microwave sensors have provided global radiance measurements with which to map, monitor, and study the Arctic and Antarctic polar sea ice covers. The data span over 18 years (as of April 1997), starting with the launch of the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) on NASA's SeaSat A and Nimbus 7 in 1978 and continuing with the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSMI) series beginning in 1987. It is anticipated that the DMSP SSMI series will continue into the 21st century. The SSMI series will be augmented by new, improved sensors to be flown on Japanese and U.S. space platforms. This User's Guide provides a description of a new sea ice concentration data set generated from observations made by three of these multichannel sensors. The data set includes gridded daily ice concentrations (every-other-day for the SMMR data) for both the north and south polar regions from October 26, 1978 through September 30, 1995, with the one exception of a 6-week data gap from December 3, 1987 through January 12, 1988. The data have been placed on two CD-ROMs that include a ReadMeCD file giving the technical details on the file format, file headers, north and south polar grids, ancillary data sets, and directory structure of the CD-ROM. The CD-ROMS will be distributed by the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, CO.

  16. Measuring ethane and acetylene in Antarctic ice cores to quantify long-term hydrocarbon emissions from tropical fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicewonger, M. R.; Aydin, M.; Prather, M. J.; Saltzman, E. S.

    2017-12-01

    This study examines ethane (C2H6) and acetylene (C2H2) in polar ice cores in order to reconstruct variations in the atmospheric levels of these trace gases over the past 2,000 years. Both of these non-methane hydrocarbons are released from fossil fuel, biofuel, and biomass burning. Ethane, but not acetylene, is also emitted from natural geologic outgassing of hydrocarbons. In an earlier study, we reported ethane levels in Greenland and Antarctic ice cores showing roughly equal contributions from biomass burning and geologic emissions to preindustrial atmospheric ethane levels (Nicewonger et al., 2016). Here we introduce acetylene as an additional constraint to better quantify preindustrial variations in the emissions from these natural hydrocarbon sources. Here we present 30 new measurements of ethane and acetylene from the WDC-06A ice core from WAIS Divide and the newly drilled South Pole ice core (SPICECORE). Ethane results display a gradual decline from peak levels of 110 ppt at 1400 CE to a minimum of 60-80 ppt during 1700-1875 CE. Acetylene correlates with ethane (r2 > 0.4), dropping from peak levels of 35 ppt at 1400 CE to 15-20 ppt at 1875 CE. The covariance between the two trace gases implies that the observed changes are likely caused by decreasing emissions from low latitude biomass burning. We will discuss results from chemical transport modeling and sensitivity tests and the implications for the preindustrial ethane and acetylene budgets.

  17. Assessing the Global Climate Response to Freshwater Forcing from the Antarctic Ice Sheet Under Future Climate Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogstad, S.; Condron, A.; DeConto, R.; Pollard, D.

    2017-12-01

    Observational evidence indicates that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is losing mass at an accelerating rate. Impacts to global climate resulting from changing ocean circulation patterns due to increased freshwater runoff from Antarctica in the future could have significant implications for global heat transport, but to-date this topic has not been investigated using complex numerical models with realistic freshwater forcing. Here, we present results from a high resolution fully coupled ocean-atmosphere model (CESM 1.2) forced with runoff from Antarctica prescribed from a high resolution regional ice sheet-ice shelf model. Results from the regional simulations indicate a potential freshwater contribution from Antarctica of up to 1 m equivalent sea level rise by the end of the century under RCP 8.5 indicating that a substantial input of freshwater into the Southern Ocean is possible. Our high resolution global simulations were performed under IPCC future climate scenarios RCP 4.5 and 8.5. We will present results showing the impact of WAIS collapse on global ocean circulation, sea ice, air temperature, and salinity in order to assess the potential for abrupt climate change triggered by WAIS collapse.

  18. Application of remotely piloted aircraft systems in observing the atmospheric boundary layer over Antarctic sea ice in winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius O. Jonassen

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The main aim of this paper is to explore the potential of combining measurements from fixed- and rotary-wing remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS to complement data sets from radio soundings as well as ship and sea-ice-based instrumentation for atmospheric boundary layer (ABL profiling. This study represents a proof-of-concept of RPAS observations in the Antarctic sea-ice zone. We present first results from the RV Polarstern Antarctic winter expedition in the Weddell Sea in June–August 2013, during which three RPAS were operated to measure temperature, humidity and wind; a fixed-wing small unmanned meteorological observer (SUMO, a fixed-wing meteorological mini-aerial vehicle, and an advanced mission and operation research quadcopter. A total of 86 RPAS flights showed a strongly varying ABL structure ranging from slightly unstable temperature stratification near the surface to conditions with strong surface-based temperature inversions. The RPAS observations supplement the regular upper air soundings and standard meteorological measurements made during the campaign. The SUMO and quadcopter temperature profiles agree very well and, excluding cases with strong temperature inversions, 70% of the variance in the difference between the SUMO and quadcopter temperature profiles can be explained by natural, temporal, temperature fluctuations. Strong temperature inversions cause the largest differences, which are induced by SUMO's high climb rates and slow sensor response. Under such conditions, the quadcopter, with its slower climb rate and faster sensor, is very useful in obtaining accurate temperature profiles in the lowest 100 m above the sea ice.

  19. Fluxes of microbes, organic aerosols, dust, sea-salt Na ions, non-sea-salt Ca ions, and methanesulfonate onto Greenland and Antarctic ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. B. Price

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Using a spectrofluorimeter with 224-nm laser excitation and six emission bands from 300 to 420 nm to measure fluorescence intensities at 0.3-mm depth intervals in ice cores, we report results of the first comparative study of concentrations of microbial cells (using the spectrum of protein-bound tryptophan (Trp as a proxy and of aerosols with autofluorescence spectra different from Trp (denoted "non-Trp" as a function of depth in ice cores from West Antarctica (WAIS Divide and Siple Dome and Greenland (GISP2. The ratio of fluxes of microbial cells onto West Antarctic (WAIS Divide versus Greenland sites is 0.13±0.06; the ratio of non-Trp aerosols onto WAIS Divide versus Greenland sites is 0.16±0.08; and the ratio of non-sea-salt Ca2+ ions (a proxy for dust grains onto WAIS Divide versus Greenland sites is 0.06±0.03. All of these are roughly comparable to the ratio of fluxes of dust onto Antarctic versus Greenland sites (0.08±0.05. By contrast to those values, which are considerably lower than unity, the ratio of fluxes of methanesulfonate (MSA onto Antarctic versus Greenland sites is 1.9±0.4 and the ratio of sea-salt Na2+ ions onto WAIS Divide versus Greenland sites is 3.0±2. These ratios are more than an order of magnitude higher than those in the first grouping. We infer that the correlation of microbes and non-Trp aerosols with non-sea-salt Ca and dust suggests a largely terrestrial rather than marine origin. The lower fluxes of microbes, non-Trp aerosols, non-sea-salt Ca and dust onto WAIS Divide ice than onto Greenland ice may be due to the smaller areas of their source regions and less favorable wind patterns for transport onto Antarctic ice than onto Greenland ice. The correlated higher relative fluxes of MSA and marine Na onto Antarctic versus Greenland ice is consistent with the view that both originate largely on or around sea ice, with the Antarctic sea ice being far more extensive than that around Greenland.

  20. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Altimetry Data V033

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLA12 contains the ice sheet elevation and elevation distribution corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for ice sheet...

  1. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Altimetry Data V034

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLA12 contains the ice sheet elevation and elevation distribution corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for ice sheet...

  2. On the feasibility of space-based radar ice sounding of the Antarctic ice sheet at P-band

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dall, Jørgen; Kusk, Anders; Corr, Hugh

    parameters and system parameters envisioned for a space-based radar. The first step is accomplished by establishing empirical models of the attenuation coefficients and backscatter coefficients for the surface, volume and base of glaciers, ice shelves, central ice sheets etc.. The models are used...

  3. Broad-scale predictability of carbohydrates and exopolymers in Antarctic and Arctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underwood, Graham J C; Aslam, Shazia N; Michel, Christine; Niemi, Andrea; Norman, Louiza; Meiners, Klaus M; Laybourn-Parry, Johanna; Paterson, Harriet; Thomas, David N

    2013-09-24

    Sea ice can contain high concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), much of which is carbohydrate-rich extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) produced by microalgae and bacteria inhabiting the ice. Here we report the concentrations of dissolved carbohydrates (dCHO) and dissolved EPS (dEPS) in relation to algal standing stock [estimated by chlorophyll (Chl) a concentrations] in sea ice from six locations in the Southern and Arctic Oceans. Concentrations varied substantially within and between sampling sites, reflecting local ice conditions and biological content. However, combining all data revealed robust statistical relationships between dCHO concentrations and the concentrations of different dEPS fractions, Chl a, and DOC. These relationships were true for whole ice cores, bottom ice (biomass rich) sections, and colder surface ice. The distribution of dEPS was strongly correlated to algal biomass, with the highest concentrations of both dEPS and non-EPS carbohydrates in the bottom horizons of the ice. Complex EPS was more prevalent in colder surface sea ice horizons. Predictive models (validated against independent data) were derived to enable the estimation of dCHO concentrations from data on ice thickness, salinity, and vertical position in core. When Chl a data were included a higher level of prediction was obtained. The consistent patterns reflected in these relationships provide a strong basis for including estimates of regional and seasonal carbohydrate and dEPS carbon budgets in coupled physical-biogeochemical models, across different types of sea ice from both polar regions.

  4. On the influence of model physics on simulations of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Massonnet

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Two hindcast (1983–2007 simulations are performed with the global, ocean-sea ice models NEMO-LIM2 and NEMO-LIM3 driven by atmospheric reanalyses and climatologies. The two simulations differ only in their sea ice component, while all other elements of experimental design (resolution, initial conditions, atmospheric forcing are kept identical. The main differences in the sea ice models lie in the formulation of the subgrid-scale ice thickness distribution, of the thermodynamic processes, of the sea ice salinity and of the sea ice rheology. To assess the differences in model skill over the period of investigation, we develop a set of metrics for both hemispheres, comparing the main sea ice variables (concentration, thickness and drift to available observations and focusing on both mean state and seasonal to interannual variability. Based upon these metrics, we discuss the physical processes potentially responsible for the differences in model skill. In particular, we suggest that (i a detailed representation of the ice thickness distribution increases the seasonal to interannual variability of ice extent, with spectacular improvement for the simulation of the recent observed summer Arctic sea ice retreats, (ii the elastic-viscous-plastic rheology enhances the response of ice to wind stress, compared to the classical viscous-plastic approach, (iii the grid formulation and the air-sea ice drag coefficient affect the simulated ice export through Fram Strait and the ice accumulation along the Canadian Archipelago, and (iv both models show less skill in the Southern Ocean, probably due to the low quality of the reanalyses in this region and to the absence of important small-scale oceanic processes at the models' resolution (~1°.

  5. Short-term under-ice variability of prokaryotic plankton communities in coastal Antarctic waters (Cape Hallett, Ross Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celussi, Mauro; Paoli, Alessandro; Crevatin, Erica; Bergamasco, Andrea; Margiotta, Francesca; Saggiomo, Vincenzo; Umani, Serena Fonda; Del Negro, Paola

    2009-03-01

    During the 2006 Italian Antarctic expedition a diel sampling was performed close to Cape Hallett (Ross Sea) during the Austral summer. Under-ice seawater samples (˜4 m) were collected every 2 h for 28 h in order to estimate prokaryotic processes' variability and community structure dynamics. Prokaryotic and viral abundances, exoenzymatic activities (β-glucosidase, chitinase, lipase, alkaline phosphatase and leucine aminopeptidase), prokaryotic carbon production ( 3H-leucine incorporation) and community structure (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis - DGGE fingerprints) were analysed. Results showed that the diel variability of the prokaryotic activity followed a variation in salinity, probably as a consequence of the periodical thawing of sea ice (driven by solar radiation and air temperature cycles), while negligible variation in viral and prokaryotic abundances occurred. The Bacterial and Archaeal community structures underwent an Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) temporal shift from the beginning to the end of the sampling, while Flavobacteria-specific primers highlighted high variations in this group possibly related to sea ice melting and substrate release.

  6. A 220-year continuous record of volcanic H2SO4 in the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legrand, M.; Delmas, R. J.

    1987-06-01

    Continuous H2SO4 profiles observed in snow from several Antarctic locations reveal four major volcanic events of the past two centuries (Agung, Krakatoa, Tambora and another large-scale event not recorded historically). Acid deposition and interhemispheric distribution mechanisms are quantified and then used to obtain an order of magnitude estimate for the H2SO4 emissions from these eruptions.

  7. A new albedo parameterization for use in climate models over the Antarctic ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831891; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Flanner, M.G.; Gardner, A.S.; van de Berg, W.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831611

    2011-01-01

    A parameterization for broadband snow surface albedo, based on snow grain size evolution, cloud optical thickness, and solar zenith angle, is implemented into a regional climate model for Antarctica and validated against field observations of albedo for the period 1995–2004. Over the Antarctic

  8. Detection and structural identification of dissolved organic matter in Antarctic glacial ice at natural abundance by SPR-W5-WATERGATE 1H NMR spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pautler, Brent G; Simpson, André J; Simpson, Myrna J; Tseng, Li-Hong; Spraul, Manfred; Dubnick, Ashley; Sharp, Martin J; Fitzsimons, Sean J

    2011-06-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems and is derived from various inputs that control its turnover. Glaciers and ice sheets are the second largest water reservoir in the global hydrologic cycle, but little is known about glacial DOM composition or contributions to biogeochemical cycling. Here we employ SPR-W5-WATERGATE (1)H NMR spectroscopy to elucidate and quantify the chemical structures of DOM constituents in Antarctic glacial ice as they exist in their natural state (average DOC of 8 mg/L) without isolation or preconcentration. This Antarctic glacial DOM is predominantly composed of a mixture of small recognizable molecules differing from DOM in marine, lacustrine, and other terrestrial environments. The major constituents detected in three distinct types of glacial ice include lactic and formic acid, free amino acids, and a mixture of simple sugars and amino sugars with concentrations that vary between ice types. The detection of free amino acid and amino sugar monomer components of peptidoglycan within the ice suggests that Antarctic glacial DOM likely originates from in situ microbial activity. As these constituents are normally considered to be biologically labile (fast cycling) in nonglacial environments, accelerated glacier melt and runoff may result in a flux of nutrients into adjacent ecosystems.

  9. Equatorial heat accumulation as a long-term trigger of permanent Antarctic ice sheets during the Cenozoic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblin, Maxime; Hermoso, Michaël; Minoletti, Fabrice

    2016-10-18

    Growth of the first permanent Antarctic ice sheets at the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (EOT), ∼33.7 million years ago, indicates a major climate shift within long-term Cenozoic cooling. The driving mechanisms that set the stage for this glaciation event are not well constrained, however, owing to large uncertainties in temperature reconstructions during the Eocene, especially at lower latitudes. To address this deficiency, we used recent developments in coccolith biogeochemistry to reconstruct equatorial Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) and atmospheric pCO 2 values from pelagic sequences preceding and spanning the EOT. We found significantly more variability in equatorial SSTs than previously reported, with pronounced cooling from the Early to Middle Eocene and subsequent warming during the Late Eocene. Thus, we show that the Antarctic glaciation at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary was preceded by a period of heat accumulation in the low latitudes, likely focused in a progressively contracting South Atlantic gyre, which contributed to cooling high-latitude austral regions. This prominent redistribution of heat corresponds to the emplacement of a strong meridional temperature gradient that typifies icehouse climate conditions. Our equatorial coccolith-derived geochemical record thus highlights an important period of global climatic and oceanic upheaval, which began 4 million years before the EOT and, superimposed on a long-term pCO 2 decline, drove the Earth system toward a glacial tipping point in the Cenozoic.

  10. Fun at Antarctic grounding lines: Ice-shelf channels and sediment transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drews, Reinhard; Mayer, Christoph; Eisen, Olaf; Helm, Veit; Ehlers, Todd A.; Pattyn, Frank; Berger, Sophie; Favier, Lionel; Hewitt, Ian H.; Ng, Felix; Fürst, Johannes J.; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Bergeot, Nicolas; Matsuoka, Kenichi

    2017-04-01

    Meltwater beneath the polar ice sheets drains, in part, through subglacial conduits. Landforms created by such drainages are abundant in areas formerly covered by ice sheets during the last glacial maximum. However, observations of subglacial conduit dynamics under a contemporary ice sheet are lacking. We present results from ice-penetrating radar to infer the existence of subglacial conduits upstream of the grounding line of Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, Antarctica. The conduits are aligned with ice-shelf channels, and underlain by esker ridges formed from sediment deposition due to reduced water outflow speed near the grounding line. In turn, the eskers modify local ice flow to initiate the bottom topography of the ice-shelf channels, and create small surface ridges extending onto the shelf. Relict features on the shelf are interpreted to indicate a history of these interactions and variability of past subglacial drainages. Because ice-shelf channels are loci where intense melting occurs to thin an ice shelf, these findings expose a novel link between subglacial drainage, sedimentation, and ice-shelf stability. To investigate the role of sediment transport beneath ice sheets further, we model the sheet-shelf system of the Ekstömisen catchment, Antarctica. A 3D finite element model (Elmer/ICE) is used to solve the transients full Stokes equation for isotropic, isothermal ice with a dynamic grounding line. We initialize the model with surface topography from the TanDEM-X satellites and by inverting simultaneously for ice viscosity and basal drag using present-day surface velocities. Results produce a flow field which is consitent with sattelite and on-site observations. Solving the age-depth relationship allows comparison with radar isochrones from airborne data, and gives information about the atmospheric/dynamic history of this sector. The flow field will eventually be used to identify potential sediment sources and sinks which we compare with more than 400 km of

  11. A correction for in situ 14C in Antarctic ice with 14CO

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roijen, J.J. van; Borg, K. van der; Jong, A.F.M. de; Oerlemans, J.

    1995-01-01

    We use a dry extraction method to obtain trapped C02 of shallow ice cores from a blue ice area of East Antarctica. In-situ-produced 14C extracted in 14CO2 and 10CO concentrations show a mean ratio of 3.4 ± 0.4. Correction for insitu 14CO2 resulted in ice ages within 7-13 ka. The accumulation and

  12. Dry extraction of 14C02 and 14C0 from Antarctic ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roijen, J.J. van; Bintanja, R.; Borg, R. van den; Broeke, M.R. van den; Jong, A.F.M. de; Oerlemans, J.

    A dry extraction method was used to obtain trapped CO, of 2-5 kg ice samples from a blue ice zone in East Antarctica. In situ produced 14C was also extracted in 14C0, and 14C0 concentrations at a ratio of 3.4 f 0.9. Correction of trapped 14C0, from in situ resulted in ice dates in the range 5-15

  13. Continent-Wide Estimates of Antarctic Strain Rates from Landsat 8-Derived Velocity Grids and Their Application to Ice Shelf Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, K. E.; Scambos, T.; Anderson, R. S.; Rajaram, H.; Pope, A.; Haran, T.

    2017-12-01

    Strain rates are fundamental measures of ice flow used in a wide variety of glaciological applications including investigations of bed properties, calculations of basal mass balance on ice shelves, application to Glen's flow law, and many other studies. However, despite their extensive application, strain rates are calculated using widely varying methods and length scales, and the calculation details are often not specified. In this study, we compare the results of nominal and logarithmic strain-rate calculations based on a satellite-derived velocity field of the Antarctic ice sheet generated from Landsat 8 satellite data. Our comparison highlights the differences between the two commonly used approaches in the glaciological literature. We evaluate the errors introduced by each code and their impacts on the results. We also demonstrate the importance of choosing and specifying a length scale over which strain-rate calculations are made, which can have large local impacts on other derived quantities such as basal mass balance on ice shelves. We present strain-rate data products calculated using an approximate viscous length-scale with satellite observations of ice velocity for the Antarctic continent. Finally, we explore the applications of comprehensive strain-rate maps to future ice shelf studies, including investigations of ice fracture, calving patterns, and stability analyses.

  14. Continuous monitoring of Antarctic sub-ice shelf dynamics and ocean column temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobs, S.; Tyler, S. W.; Zagorodnov, V.; Holland, D. M.; Stern, A.; Sledek, C.; Bryenton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Monitoring of ice shelf dynamics and sub-ice shelf ocean processes represents an important, but challenging step in understanding the dynamics of ice sheet behavior. In November 2011, a set of moorings through the McMurdo Ice Shelf at Windless Bight were installed to develop new installation and monitoring tools for understanding sub-ice shelf conditions. The mooring consists of fiber optic cables for distributed temperature sensing (DTS) extending from the surface, through 190m of ice shelf and to a depth of ~920m through the water column along with pressure transducer and independent thermistor strings. With DTS, temperature measurements are made every meter along the fiber optic cable. A continuous in time and depth temperature record was collected from late November 2011 through June 2012. A total of 5.5 million data points of temperature have been collected to date. The temperature record for the water column beneath the ice shelf clearly shows the intrusion of warm currents ( > -1.75 °C) under the ice shelf starting in late January and remaining present into May. Observed warming continues down through the water column into March, reaching depths of ~200m below the ice-ocean interface. The maximum recorded temperature occurred on March 7th and was -1.09 °C, indicating a maximum warming of ~0.8 °C. From March through May the water column began to cool back to the early spring isothermal condition of -1.9 °C. Temperature profiles within the shelf ice indicate a long-term basal melt rate of ~1 m/yr, preliminary observations from the ocean-ice interface show similar melt rates. The system is currently in a depowered state and will be revisited in the following field season.

  15. Broad-scale predictability of carbohydrates and exopolymers in Antarctic and Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underwood, Graham J. C.; Aslam, Shazia N.; Michel, Christine; Niemi, Andrea; Norman, Louiza; Meiners, Klaus M.; Laybourn-Parry, Johanna; Paterson, Harriet; Thomas, David N.

    2013-01-01

    Sea ice can contain high concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), much of which is carbohydrate-rich extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) produced by microalgae and bacteria inhabiting the ice. Here we report the concentrations of dissolved carbohydrates (dCHO) and dissolved EPS (dEPS) in relation to algal standing stock [estimated by chlorophyll (Chl) a concentrations] in sea ice from six locations in the Southern and Arctic Oceans. Concentrations varied substantially within and between sampling sites, reflecting local ice conditions and biological content. However, combining all data revealed robust statistical relationships between dCHO concentrations and the concentrations of different dEPS fractions, Chl a, and DOC. These relationships were true for whole ice cores, bottom ice (biomass rich) sections, and colder surface ice. The distribution of dEPS was strongly correlated to algal biomass, with the highest concentrations of both dEPS and non-EPS carbohydrates in the bottom horizons of the ice. Complex EPS was more prevalent in colder surface sea ice horizons. Predictive models (validated against independent data) were derived to enable the estimation of dCHO concentrations from data on ice thickness, salinity, and vertical position in core. When Chl a data were included a higher level of prediction was obtained. The consistent patterns reflected in these relationships provide a strong basis for including estimates of regional and seasonal carbohydrate and dEPS carbon budgets in coupled physical-biogeochemical models, across different types of sea ice from both polar regions. PMID:24019487

  16. Development of a Passive Microwave Surface Melt Record for Antarctica and Antarctic Ice Shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karmosky, C. C.; Reasons, J.; Morgan, N. J.

    2015-12-01

    Antarctica contains the largest mass of ice in the world and much time and energy has gone into researching the ice-ocean-atmosphere-land dynamics that, in a warming climate, have the potential to significantly affect sea levels throughout the world. While there are many datasets currently available to researchers examining sea ice extent and volume, glacier thickness, ice shelf retreat and expansion, and atmospheric variables such as temperature and wind speeds, there is not currently a dataset that offers surface melt extent of land ice in the southern hemisphere. The database outlined here uses the Cross-Polarized Gradient Ratio (XPGR) to show surface melt extent on a daily basis for all of Antarctica. XPGR utilizes passive microwave satellite imagery in the 19 GHz and 37GHz frequencies to determine the presence or absence of greater than 1% liquid water in the top layers of ice. Daily XPGR melt occurrence (1987-2014) was calculated for both the ice sheet as well as ice shelves on Antarctica, and is available as a GIS shapefile or asci text file.

  17. Centuries of intense surface melt on Larsen C Ice Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bevan, Suzanne L.; Luckman, Adrian; Hubbard, Bryn; Kulessa, Bernd; Ashmore, David; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; O'Leary, Martin; Booth, Adam; Sevestre, Heidi; McGrath, Daniel

    2017-12-01

    Following a southward progression of ice-shelf disintegration along the Antarctic Peninsula (AP), Larsen C Ice Shelf (LCIS) has become the focus of ongoing investigation regarding its future stability. The ice shelf experiences surface melt and commonly features surface meltwater ponds. Here, we use a flow-line model and a firn density model (FDM) to date and interpret observations of melt-affected ice layers found within five 90 m boreholes distributed across the ice shelf. We find that units of ice within the boreholes, which have densities exceeding those expected under normal dry compaction metamorphism, correspond to two climatic warm periods within the last 300 years on the Antarctic Peninsula. The more recent warm period, from the 1960s onwards, has generated distinct sections of dense ice measured in two boreholes in Cabinet Inlet, which is close to the Antarctic Peninsula mountains - a region affected by föhn winds. Previous work has classified these layers as refrozen pond ice, requiring large quantities of mobile liquid water to form. Our flow-line model shows that, whilst preconditioning of the snow began in the late 1960s, it was probably not until the early 1990s that the modern period of ponding began. The earlier warm period occurred during the 18th century and resulted in two additional sections of anomalously dense ice deep within the boreholes. The first, at 61 m in one of our Cabinet Inlet boreholes, consists of ice characteristic of refrozen ponds and must have formed in an area currently featuring ponding. The second, at 69 m in a mid-shelf borehole, formed at the same time on the edge of the pond area. Further south, the boreholes sample ice that is of an equivalent age but which does not exhibit the same degree of melt influence. This west-east and north-south gradient in the past melt distribution resembles current spatial patterns of surface melt intensity.

  18. Are the past variations of the stratospheric sulfate burden recorded in central Antarctic snow and ice layers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delmas, Robert; Boutron, Claude

    1980-10-01

    Thirty-two snow samples, taken from a pit dug at Dome C (central Antarctica) and covering a continuous time period of about 100 years from 1880 (±5 years) up to the present, have been subjected to sulfate analysis. The concentrations determined range from 50 to 150·10-9g g,-1 of snow, with no apparent increase because of global sulfur pollution. The more important fluctuations observed on the sulfate concentration profile seem to be linked to major volcanic eruptions which occurred in the southern hemisphere during the studied time period, in particular Krakatoa in 1883 and Agung in 1963. The experimental and calculated contributions of this last eruption to the sulfate deposition in Antarctica agree satisfactorily. The sulfate background (about ? of the overall sulfate deposition during the last 100 years) has most likely a marine origin (`excess sulfate'.) It is suggested that the past variations of the stratospheric sulfate burden are recorded in Antarctic snow and ice layers and that they could be reconstructed by analyzing the sulfate content in deep ice cores.

  19. Are the past variations of the stratospheric sulfate burden recorded in central Antarctic snow and ice layers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delmas, R.; Boutron, C.

    1980-10-20

    Thirty-two snow samples, taken from a pit dug at Dome C (central Antarctica) and covering a continuous time period of about 100 years from 1880 ( +- 5 years) up to the present, have been subjected to sulfate analysis. The concentrations determined range from 50 to 150x10/sup -9/g g,/sup -1/ of snow, with no apparent increase because of global sulfur pollution. The more important fluctuations observed on the sulfate concentration profile seem to be linked to major volcanic eruptions which occurred in the southern hemisphere during the studied time period, in particular Krakatoa in 1883 and Agung in 1963. The experimental and calculated contributions of this last eruption to the sulfate deposition in Antarctica agree satisfactorily. The sulfate background (about 2/3 of the overall sulfate deposition during the last 100 years) has most likely a marine origin ('excess sulfate'). It is suggested that the past variations of the stratospheric sulfate burden are recorded in Antarctic snow and ice layers and that they could be reconstructed by analyzing the sulfate content in deep ices cores.

  20. Simultaneous teleseismic and geodetic observations of the stick-slip motion of an Antarctic ice stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, Douglas A; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Winberry, J Paul; King, Matt A

    2008-06-05

    Long-period seismic sources associated with glacier motion have been recently discovered, and an increase in ice flow over the past decade has been suggested on the basis of secular changes in such measurements. Their significance, however, remains uncertain, as a relationship to ice flow has not been confirmed by direct observation. Here we combine long-period surface-wave observations with simultaneous Global Positioning System measurements of ice displacement to study the tidally modulated stick-slip motion of the Whillans Ice Stream in West Antarctica. The seismic origin time corresponds to slip nucleation at a region of the bed of the Whillans Ice Stream that is likely stronger than in surrounding regions and, thus, acts like an 'asperity' in traditional fault models. In addition to the initial pulse, two seismic arrivals occurring 10-23 minutes later represent stopping phases as the slip terminates at the ice stream edge and the grounding line. Seismic amplitude and average rupture velocity are correlated with tidal amplitude for the different slip events during the spring-to-neap tidal cycle. Although the total seismic moment calculated from ice rigidity, slip displacement, and rupture area is equivalent to an earthquake of moment magnitude seven (M(w) 7), seismic amplitudes are modest (M(s) 3.6-4.2), owing to the source duration of 20-30 minutes. Seismic radiation from ice movement is proportional to the derivative of the moment rate function at periods of 25-100 seconds and very long-period radiation is not detected, owing to the source geometry. Long-period seismic waves are thus useful for detecting and studying sudden ice movements but are insensitive to the total amount of slip.

  1. EBSD analysis of subgrain boundaries and dislocation slip systems in Antarctic and Greenland ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weikusat, Ilka; Kuiper, Ernst-Jan N.; Pennock, Gill M.; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Drury, Martyn R.

    2017-09-01

    Ice has a very high plastic anisotropy with easy dislocation glide on basal planes, while glide on non-basal planes is much harder. Basal glide involves dislocations with the Burgers vector b = 〈a〉, while glide on non-basal planes can involve dislocations with b = 〈a〉, b = [c], and b = 〈c + a〉. During the natural ductile flow of polar ice sheets, most of the deformation is expected to occur by basal slip accommodated by other processes, including non-basal slip and grain boundary processes. However, the importance of different accommodating processes is controversial. The recent application of micro-diffraction analysis methods to ice, such as X-ray Laue diffraction and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD), has demonstrated that subgrain boundaries indicative of non-basal slip are present in naturally deformed ice, although so far the available data sets are limited. In this study we present an analysis of a large number of subgrain boundaries in ice core samples from one depth level from two deep ice cores from Antarctica (EPICA-DML deep ice core at 656 m of depth) and Greenland (NEEM deep ice core at 719 m of depth). EBSD provides information for the characterization of subgrain boundary types and on the dislocations that are likely to be present along the boundary. EBSD analyses, in combination with light microscopy measurements, are presented and interpreted in terms of the dislocation slip systems. The most common subgrain boundaries are indicative of basal 〈a〉 slip with an almost equal occurrence of subgrain boundaries indicative of prism [c] or 〈c + a〉 slip on prism and/or pyramidal planes. A few subgrain boundaries are indicative of prism 〈a〉 slip or slip of 〈a〉 screw dislocations on the basal plane. In addition to these classical polygonization processes that involve the recovery of dislocations into boundaries, alternative mechanisms are discussed for the formation of subgrain boundaries that are not related to the

  2. Health aspects of Antarctic tourism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prociv, P

    1998-12-01

    Increasing numbers of seaborne tourists are visiting Antarctica, with most coming from the United States (3503 in 1996-97), Germany (777), and Australia (680; cf. 356 in 1994-95 and 410 in 1995-96). The impression among travel medicine clinicians is that, each year, more prospective travelers seek advice about the health demands of this type of adventure, mostly relating to fitness for travel, exposure to extreme cold, hazards in ice and snow, and other potential health risks. This is a recent phenomenon. While a regular shipping service had been established between the Falklands and the subantarctic islands of South Georgia and the South Shetlands by 1924, the first documented tourists accompanied an Argentine expedition to the South Orkneys in 1933.1 Commercial airline flights over these islands and the Antarctic Peninsula began in 1956, from Chile, and recreational cruises to the Peninsula began in 1958. Tourist numbers subsequently grew slowly, for what was clearly an exclusive and very expensive undertaking, with few ships available for these hazardous voyages. From 1957 to 1993, 37,000 tourists visited by sea, most seeing only the Peninsula.2 The dramatic recent growth in numbers is a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The small fleet of ice-strengthened research vessels and working icebreakers, which was made redundant by withdrawal of central government support from isolated communities and military activities along the northern coast of Siberia (and from Antarctic research bases), now accounts for the bulk of charter-cruise tourism to Antarctica, at competitive prices. According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators,3 7322 people traveled to Antarctica on commercially organized voyages in the 1996-97 season, and a record 10,000 shipborne visitors were expected for the 1997-98 season (November-March), traveling mainly from South America to the Peninsula on 15 ice-reinforced vessels, each carrying between 36 and 180

  3. Seasat and GEOSAT Altimetry for the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Note: This data set is now on FTP so references to CD-ROM are historic and no longer applicable. The Ice Altimetry System (IAS) data seet contains surface elevations...

  4. Inverted Basal Shear Stress of Antarctic and Greenland Ice Streams and Glaciers, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set includes basal shear distributions inferred from surface observations - surface ice velocities (Joughin et al., 2010, Rignot et al., 2011), bed and...

  5. The aeromagnetic method as a tool to identify Cenozoic magmatism in the West Antarctic Rift System beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: a review; Thiel subglacial volcano as possible source of the ash layer in the WAISCOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.

    2013-01-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) flows through the volcanically active West Antarctic Rift System (WARS). The aeromagnetic method has been the most useful geophysical tool for identification of subglacial volcanic rocks, since 1959–64 surveys, particularly combined with 1978 radar ice-sounding. The unique 1991–97 Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey covering 354,000 km2 over the WAIS, (5-km line-spaced, orthogonal lines of aeromagnetic, radar ice-sounding, and aerogravity measurements), still provides invaluable information on subglacial volcanic rocks, particularly combined with the older aeromagnetic profiles. These data indicate numerous 100–>1000 nT, 5–50-km width, shallow-source, magnetic anomalies over an area greater than 1.2 × 106 km2, mostly from subglacial volcanic sources. I interpreted the CWA anomalies as defining about 1000 “volcanic centers” requiring high remanent normal magnetizations in the present field direction. About 400 anomaly sources correlate with bed topography. At least 80% of these sources have less than 200 m relief at the WAIS bed. They appear modified by moving ice, requiring a younger age than the WAIS (about 25 Ma). Exposed volcanoes in the WARS are The present rapid changes resulting from global warming, could be accelerated by subglacial volcanism.

  6. Dust optical properties in antarctic ice cores: application of the Single Particle Extinction and Scattering (SPES) method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potenza, Marco; Villa, Stefano; Sanvito, Tiziano; Albani, Samuel; Delmonte, Barbara; Maggi, Valter

    2015-04-01

    From the point of view of light scattering each particle is characterized by several parameters, the size being by far the most important in determining the amount of radiated power. Nevertheless, composition, internal structure, shape do slightly affect the way light is scattered, and in turn also prevent the possibility to extract the correct size. Recovering the whole information is of paramount difficulty, if not impossibile for single particles. A trade off can be obtained by introducing the optical thickness, i.e. the product of the size and the refractive index, which determines the optical properties. Here we focus at studying the optical thickness of dust particles from the EPICA Dome C ice core. We provide for the first time a direct measurement of dust optical parameters that is the most direct information needed by climate models, and highlight important differences among samples. The SPES method is named after its capability to access both the extinction cross section and the forward scattered field amplitude for each particle. This method is well working with extremely dilute suspensions, such as Antarctic ice core samples. The SPES method is based upon combined and simultaneous measurements of the power reduction of a laser beam in presence of the particle (extinction by definition) and the interference between the intense transmitted beam and the much fainter forward scattered wave (scattering). In such a way it is possible to access both the amplitude and phase of the scattered wave, which means both the real and imaginary parts of the complex field amplitude. This makes the difference with traditional approaches. We show some preliminary results from glacial and interglacial samples from the EPICA ice core and suggest a method to extract information which is important for the light scattering properties of the ensemble of dust particles contained in each sample.

  7. Influence of a West Antarctic mantle plume on ice sheet basal conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seroussi, Helene; Ivins, Erik R.; Wiens, Douglas A.; Bondzio, Johannes

    2017-09-01

    The possibility that a deep mantle plume manifests Pliocene and Quaternary volcanism and potential elevated heat flux in West Antarctica has been studied for more than 30 years. Recent seismic images support the plume hypothesis as the cause of Marie Byrd Land (MBL) volcanism and geophysical structure. Mantle plumes may more than double the geothermal heat flux above nominal continental values. A dearth of in situ ice sheet basal data exists that samples the heat flux. Consequently, we examine a realistic distribution of heat flux associated with a possible late Cenozoic mantle plume in West Antarctica and explore its impact on thermal and melt conditions at the ice sheet base. We use a simple analytical mantle plume parameterization to produce geothermal heat flux at the base of the ice sheet. The three-dimensional ice flow model includes an enthalpy framework and full-Stokes stress balance. As both the putative plume location and extent are uncertain, we perform broadly scoped experiments to characterize the impact of the plume on geothermal heat flux and ice sheet basal conditions. The experiments show that mantle plumes have an important local impact on the ice sheet, with basal melting rates reaching several centimeters per year directly above the hotspot. In order to be consistent with observations of basal hydrology in MBL, the upper bound on the plume-derived geothermal heat flux is 150 mW/m2. In contrast, the active lake system of the lower part of Whillans Ice Stream suggests a widespread anomalous mantle heat flux, linked to a rift source.

  8. First identification of cryptotephra from the Kamchatka Peninsula in a Greenland ice core: Implications of a widespread marker deposit that links Greenland to the Pacific northwest

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cook, Eliza; Portnyagin, Maxim; Ponomareva, Vera

    2018-01-01

    Peninsula in Greenland ice and the first finding of the KHG tephra outside Kamchatka. The NGRIP KHG has an age of 7872 ± 50 a BP 1950, and this date will help improve age models for Kamchatka, where existing age estimates of KHG are too young, thus highlighting the importance of locating long-range, low......Contiguous sampling of Holocene ice from the NGRIP core, Greenland, has revealed a new rhyolitic cryptotephra that is geochemically identical to the KHG tephra, a widespread marker deposit originating from the Khangar volcano, Kamchatka. This is the first identification of tephra from the Kamchatka......-concentration cryptotephra deposits in well-dated ice cores. In Greenland KHG is located close to the termination of the 8.2 ka BP cooling event that is also a climate feature in palaeo-records of Kamchatka. This tie-point therefore provides a unique opportunity to synchronise records of environmental change in distal...

  9. First identification of cryptotephra from the Kamchatka Peninsula in a Greenland ice core: Implications of a widespread marker deposit that links Greenland to the Pacific northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Eliza; Portnyagin, Maxim; Ponomareva, Vera; Bazanova, Lilia; Svensson, Anders; Garbe-Schönberg, Dieter

    2018-02-01

    Contiguous sampling of Holocene ice from the NGRIP core, Greenland, has revealed a new rhyolitic cryptotephra that is geochemically identical to the KHG tephra, a widespread marker deposit originating from the Khangar volcano, Kamchatka. This is the first identification of tephra from the Kamchatka Peninsula in Greenland ice and the first finding of the KHG tephra outside Kamchatka. The NGRIP KHG has an age of 7872 ± 50 a BP 1950, and this date will help improve age models for Kamchatka, where existing age estimates of KHG are too young, thus highlighting the importance of locating long-range, low-concentration cryptotephra deposits in well-dated ice cores. In Greenland KHG is located close to the termination of the 8.2 ka BP cooling event that is also a climate feature in palaeo-records of Kamchatka. This tie-point therefore provides a unique opportunity to synchronise records of environmental change in distal locations.

  10. Sea-level response to melting of Antarctic ice shelves on multi-centennial timescales with the fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet model (f.ETISh v1.0)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2017-08-01

    The magnitude of the Antarctic ice sheet's contribution to global sea-level rise is dominated by the potential of its marine sectors to become unstable and collapse as a response to ocean (and atmospheric) forcing. This paper presents Antarctic sea-level response to sudden atmospheric and oceanic forcings on multi-centennial timescales with the newly developed fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet (f.ETISh) model. The f.ETISh model is a vertically integrated hybrid ice sheet-ice shelf model with vertically integrated thermomechanical coupling, making the model two-dimensional. Its marine boundary is represented by two different flux conditions, coherent with power-law basal sliding and Coulomb basal friction. The model has been compared to existing benchmarks. Modelled Antarctic ice sheet response to forcing is dominated by sub-ice shelf melt and the sensitivity is highly dependent on basal conditions at the grounding line. Coulomb friction in the grounding-line transition zone leads to significantly higher mass loss in both West and East Antarctica on centennial timescales, leading to 1.5 m sea-level rise after 500 years for a limited melt scenario of 10 m a-1 under freely floating ice shelves, up to 6 m for a 50 m a-1 scenario. The higher sensitivity is attributed to higher ice fluxes at the grounding line due to vanishing effective pressure. Removing the ice shelves altogether results in a disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet and (partially) marine basins in East Antarctica. After 500 years, this leads to a 5 m and a 16 m sea-level rise for the power-law basal sliding and Coulomb friction conditions at the grounding line, respectively. The latter value agrees with simulations by DeConto and Pollard (2016) over a similar period (but with different forcing and including processes of hydrofracturing and cliff failure). The chosen parametrizations make model results largely independent of spatial resolution so that f.ETISh can potentially be

  11. FjordPhyto: Antarctic Citizen Science Project

    OpenAIRE

    Lee Cusick, Allison

    2017-01-01

    The FjordPhyto Citizen Science project is designed to engage the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators and their Guests in hands-on science as they journey along the fjords of the west Antarctic Peninsula. The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming regions in the world. Melting glaciers bring an influx of freshwater and nutrients into the fjords potentially altering the biology at the phytoplankton level. Phytoplankton play a critical role in regulating the atmosphe...

  12. Very little in situ produced radiocarbon retained in accumulating Antarctic ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kemp, W.J.M. van der; Alderliesten, C.; Borg, K. van der; Holmlund, P.; Jong, A.F.M. de; Karlöf, L.; Lamers, R.A.N.; Oerlemans, J.; Thomassen, M.; Wal, R.S.W. van de

    2000-01-01

    Ice samples from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, were analyzed for 14CO2 and 14CO by accelerator mass spectrometry. Only a small amount (~2%) of in situ produced radiocarbon was detected. The calibrated radiocarbon ages, corrected for in situ produced 14C, are in fair agreement with age estimates

  13. CO2 drawdown following the middle Miocene expansion of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Badger, M.P.S.; Lear, C.H.; Pancost, R.D.; Foster, G.L.; Bailey, T.R.; Leng, M.J.; Abels, H.A.

    The development of a permanent, stable ice sheet in East Antarctica happened during the middle Miocene, about 14 million years (Myr) ago. The middle Miocene therefore represents one of the distinct phases of rapid change in the transition from the “greenhouse” of the early Eocene to the “icehouse”

  14. Quantifying the seasonal “breathing” of the Antarctic ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Horwath, M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Legrésy, B.

    2012-01-01

    [1] One way to estimate the mass balance of an ice sheet is to convert satellite observed surface elevation changes into mass changes. In order to do so, elevation and mass changes due to firn processes must be taken into account. Here, we use a firn densification model to simulate seasonal

  15. Are you pondering what I'm pondering? Time and change in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulbe, C. L.

    2016-12-01

    The motto for early 21st Century cryospheric science might be "that happend faster than I thought it would." The fact that change can come quickly to Earth's icy realms can be elucidated from the abstracts of all past Nye Lectures. From Bob Bindscahdler observing that "remarkably, nearly all time scales seem important", to Mark Serreze concluding that "the emerging surprise is the rapidity of change". Equally apparent in past lectures is the imbalance between answers and questions. Kurt Cuffy could not have been more clear about the "major unresolved issues lurking behind this facade of success, including poor understanding". Jeff Dozier was optimistic about merging satellite observations with field and modeling approaches but in many cases the quantitites we seek to measure are hidden from direct observation and the processes we seek to understand are embedded in complex systems. "This complexity may account for the lack of agreement concerning the processes" (Gary Clarke) and even worse, most of our observations are made in a "time of rapid change" (Mary Albert). "Nevertheless progress has been made" (Liz Morris). While "misunderstandings and blind alleys have ironically led to unexpected insight" (Doug MacAyeal), our community and science also benefit from the interest of an ever-expanding community of scholars who find the challenges "clear, exciting and compelling" (Richard Alley). We are active participants in "a climate change drama whose outcome is of concern to us all" (Matt Strum). This presentation will focus on the marine margins of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), places where where we know both a little and a lot, where change is observed at every time scale, and where change is not always driven externally. "We have never witnessed the collapse of a marine ice sheet," (Eric Rignot) and it matters to know as much as we can about the signs, symptoms, and processes of change. I will make the case that not everything of interest happens quickly and

  16. Rapid ice unloading in the Fleming Glacier region, southern Antarctic Peninsula, and its effect on bedrock uplift rates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhao, Chen; King, Matt A.; Watson, Christopher S.

    2017-01-01

    the Fleming Glacier, after the application of elastic and plate tectonic corrections, point away from Marguerite Bay rather than the present glacier front. This suggests that horizontal motion in the region reflects the earlier retreat of the glacier system following the LGM, compatible with a relatively...

  17. Beryllium-10 in the Taylor Dome ice core: Applications to Antarctic glaciology and paleoclimatology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steig, E.J.

    1996-12-31

    An ice core was drilled at Taylor dome, East Antarctica, reaching to bedrock at 554 meters. Oxygen-isotope measurements reveal climatic fluctuations through the last interglacial period. To facilitate comparison of the Taylor Dome paleoclimate record with geologic data and results from other deep ice cores, several glaciological issues need to be addressed. In particular, accumulation data are necessary as input for numerical ice-flow-models, for determining the flux of chemical constituents from measured concentrations, and for calculation of the offset in age between ice and trapped air in the core. The analysis of cosmogenic beryllium-10 provides a geochemical method for constraining the accumulation-rate history at Taylor Dome. High-resolution measurements were made in shallow firn cores and snow pits to determine the relationship among beryllium-10 concentrations, wet and dry deposition mechanisms, and snow-accumulation rates. Comparison between theoretical and measured variations in deposition over the last 75 years constrains the relationship between beryllium-10 deposition and global average production rates. The results indicate that variations in geomagnetically-modulated production-rate do not strongly influence beryllium-10 deposition at Taylor Dome. Although solar modulation of production rate is important for time scales of years to centuries, snow-accumulation rate is the dominant control on ice-core beryllium-10 concentrations for longer periods. Results show that the Taylor Dome core can be used to provide new constraints on regional climate over the last 130,000 years, complementing the terrestrial and marine geological record from the Dry Valley, Transantarctic Mountains and western Ross Sea.

  18. Purification and biochemical characterization of a cold-active lipase from Antarctic sea ice bacteria Pseudoalteromonas sp. NJ 70.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Quanfu; Hou, Yanhua; Ding, Yu; Yan, Peisheng

    2012-09-01

    An extracellular cold-active lipase from Antarctic sea ice bacteria Pseudoalteromonas sp. NJ 70 was purified and characterized. The overall purification based on lipase activity was 27.5-fold with a yield of 25.4 %. The purified lipase showed as a single band on SDS-PAGE with an apparent molecular weight of 37 kDa. The optimum temperature and pH were 35 °C and 7.0, respectively. The lipase activity was enhanced by Ca(2+) and Mg(2+), while was partially inhibited by other metals such as Cu(2+), Zn(2+), Ba(2+), Pb(2+), Fe(2+) and Mn(2+). The lipase had high tolerance to a wide range of NaCl concentrations (0-2 M NaCl). It exhibited high levels of activity in the presence of DTT, Thiourea, H(2)O(2) as well as in the presence of various detergents such as Span 60, Tween-80, Triton X-100. In addition, the lipase showed a preference for long-chain p-nitrophenyl esters (C(12)-C(18)). These results indicated that this lipase could be a novel cold-active lipase.

  19. Cloning, Expression, Purification, and Characterization of Glutaredoxin from Antarctic Sea-Ice Bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. AN178

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quanfu Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Glutaredoxins (Grxs are small ubiquitous redox enzymes that catalyze glutathione-dependent reactions to reduce protein disulfide. In this study, a full-length Grx gene (PsGrx with 270 nucleotides was isolated from Antarctic sea-ice bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. AN178. It encoded deduced 89 amino acid residues with the molecular weight 9.8 kDa. Sequence analysis of the amino acid sequence revealed the catalytic motif CPYC. Recombinant PsGrx (rPsGrx stably expressed in E. coli BL21 was purified to apparent homogeneity by Ni-affinity chromatography. rPsGrx exhibited optimal activity at 30°C and pH 8.0 and showed 25.5% of the activity at 0°C. It retained 65.0% of activity after incubation at 40°C for 20 min and still exhibited 37.0% activity in 1.0 M NaCl. These results indicated that rPsGrx was a typical cold active protein with low thermostability.

  20. Very little in situ produced radiocarbon retained in accumulating Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kemp, W.J.M. van der; Alderliesten, C.; Borg, K. van der; Holmlund, P.; Jong, A.F.M. de; Karloef, L.; Lamers, R.A.N.; Oerlemans, J.; Thomassen, M.; Wal, R.S.W. van de

    2000-01-01

    Ice samples from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, were analyzed for 14 CO 2 and 14 CO by accelerator mass spectrometry. Only a small amount (∼2%) of in situ produced radiocarbon was detected. The calibrated radiocarbon ages, corrected for in situ produced 14 C, are in fair agreement with age estimates obtained from stratigraphical methods added to a gas inclusion model. The ages of the entrapped air range from recent to ca. 1200 AD

  1. Getting around Antarctica: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bindschadler

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Two ice-dynamic transitions of the Antarctic ice sheet – the boundary of grounded ice features and the freely-floating boundary – are mapped at 15-m resolution by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat/GLAS laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74 % abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19 % is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7 % of the boundary ice terminates on land. The freely-floating boundary, called here the hydrostatic line, is the most landward position on ice shelves that expresses the full amplitude of oscillating ocean tides. It extends 27 521 km and is discontinuous. Positional (one-sigma accuracies of the grounded ice boundary vary an order of magnitude ranging from ±52 m for the land and open-ocean terminating segments to ±502 m for the outlet glaciers. The hydrostatic line is less well positioned with errors over 2 km. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models based on their agreement with ICESat elevation values and surface shape inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. BEDMAP-compiled data and other airborne data are compared to the ASAID elevations and ice thicknesses to ar