WorldWideScience

Sample records for deep antarctic ice

  1. Rapid Access Ice Drill: A New Tool for Exploration of the Deep Antarctic Ice Sheets and Subglacial Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodge, J. W.; Severinghaus, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) will penetrate the Antarctic ice sheets in order to core through deep ice, the glacial bed, and into bedrock below. This new technology will provide a critical first look at the interface between major ice caps and their subglacial geology. Currently in construction, RAID is a mobile drilling system capable of making several long boreholes in a single field season in Antarctica. RAID is interdisciplinary and will allow access to polar paleoclimate records in ice >1 Ma, direct observation at the base of the ice sheets, and recovery of rock cores from the ice-covered East Antarctic craton. RAID uses a diamond rock-coring system as in mineral exploration. Threaded drill-pipe with hardened metal bits will cut through ice using reverse circulation of Estisol for pressure-compensation, maintenance of temperature, and removal of ice cuttings. Near the bottom of the ice sheet, a wireline bottom-hole assembly will enable diamond coring of ice, the glacial bed, and bedrock below. Once complete, boreholes will be kept open with fluid, capped, and made available for future down-hole measurement of thermal gradient, heat flow, ice chronology, and ice deformation. RAID will also sample for extremophile microorganisms. RAID is designed to penetrate up to 3,300 meters of ice and take sample cores in less than 200 hours. This rapid performance will allow completion of a borehole in about 10 days before moving to the next drilling site. RAID is unique because it can provide fast borehole access through thick ice; take short ice cores for paleoclimate study; sample the glacial bed to determine ice-flow conditions; take cores of subglacial bedrock for age dating and crustal history; and create boreholes for use as an observatory in the ice sheets. Together, the rapid drilling capability and mobility of the drilling system, along with ice-penetrating imaging methods, will provide a unique 3D picture of the interior Antarctic ice sheets.

  2. Late Pleistocene variations in Antarctic sea ice II: effect of interhemispheric deep-ocean heat exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Thomas J.; Parkinson, Claire L.

    1988-10-01

    Variations in production rates of warm North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) have been proposed as a mechanism for linking climate fluctuations in the northern and southern hemispheres during the Pleistocene. We have tested this hypothesis by examining the sensitivity of a thermodynamic/dynamic model for Antarctic sea ice to changes in vertical ocean heat flux and comparing the simulations with modified CLIMAP sea-ice maps for 18 000 B.P. Results suggest that changes in NADW production rates, and the consequent changes in the vertical ocean heat flux in the Antarctic, can only account for about 20% 30% of the overall variance in Antarctic sea-ice extent. This conclusion has been validated against an independent geological data set involving a time series of sea-surface temperatures from the subantarctic. The latter comparison suggests that, although the overall influence of NADW is relatively minor, the linkage may be much more significant at the 41 000-year obliquity period. Despite some limitations in the models and geological data, we conclude that NADW variations may have played only a modest role in causing late Pleistocene climate change in the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere. Our conclusion is consistent with calculations by Manabe and Broccoli (1985) suggesting that atmospheric CO2 changes may be more important for linking the two hemispheres.

  3. 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.

  4. Coring to the West Antarctic ice sheet bed with a new Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) drill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, C. R.; Taylor, K. C.; Shturmakov, A. J.; Mason, W. P.; Emmel, G. R.; Lebar, D. A.

    2005-05-01

    As a contribution to IPY 2007-2008, the U.S. ice core research community, supported by the National Science Foundation, plans to core through the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) at the ice-flow divide between the Ross Sea and Amundsen Sea drainage systems. The aim is to develop a unique series of interrelated climatic, ice-dynamic, and biologic records focused on understanding interactions among global earth systems. There will be approximately 15 separate but synergistic projects to analyze the ice and interpret the records. The most significant expected outcome of the WAIS Divide program will be climate records for the last ~40,000 years with an annually resolved chronology (through layer counting), comparable to the records from central Greenland. The data will also extend, at lower temporal resolution, to approximately 100,000 BP. These records will permit comparison of environmental conditions between the northern and southern hemispheres, and study of greenhouse gas concentrations in the paleoatmosphere, with unprecedented detail. To accomplish the coring, an innovative new Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) drill is being built at the University of Wisconsin. The modular design of the bore-hole assembly (sonde) provides high flexibility for producing a 122 mm diameter ice core to depths of 4,000 m with maximum core lengths of 4 m. The DISC drill has a rotating outer barrel that can be used with or without an inner barrel designed to improve core recovery in brittle ice. Separate and independent motors for the drill and pump allow cutter speeds from 0 to 150 rpm and pump rates from 0 to 140 gpm. The high pumping rate should alleviate problems drilling in warm ice near the bed; it also helps make tripping speeds several times faster than with the old US drill. Other innovations include vibration and acoustic sensors for monitoring the drilling process, a segmented core barrel to avoid the formerly persistent problem of bent core barrels, and a high-speed data

  5. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke; Holm, A.

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet is a major player in the Earth’s climate system and is by far the largest depository of fresh water on the planet. Ice stored in the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) contains enough water to raise sea level by about 58 m, and ice loss from Antarctica contributed significantly...... 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Antarctic ice volume for the last 740 ka calculated with a simple ice sheet model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2005-01-01

    Fluctuations in the volume of the Antarctic ice sheet for the last 740 ka are calculated by forcing a simple ice sheet model with a sea-level history (from a composite deep sea δ18O record) and a temperature history (from the Dome C deuterium record). Antarctic ice volume reaches maximum values of a

  8. Post-LGM grounding line and calving front translations of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Whales Deep paleo-ice-stream trough, eastern Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGlannan, A. J.; Bart, P. J.; Chow, J.

    2016-12-01

    A large-area (2500 km2) multibeam survey of the Whales Deep paleo-ice-stream trough, eastern Ross Sea, Antarctica was acquired during NBP1502B. This sector of the continental shelf is important as it was covered by grounded and floating ice, which drained the central part of an expanded West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) during the last glacial cycle. The seafloor geomorphology shows a well-defined cluster of four back stepping grounding zone wedges (GZWs) that were deposited in a partly overlapping fashion on the middle continental shelf during WAIS retreat. These observations permit two end-member possibilities for how the WAIS grounding line and calving front vacated the trough. In the first scenario, each GZW represents successive landward shifts of the grounding line and calving front. In the second scenario, each GZW represents a large-scale retreat and re-advance of grounded and floating ice. To determine which of these two end-member scenarios most accurately describes WAIS retreat from this sector of Ross Sea, we evaluated a grid of kasten and piston cores. The core stations were selected on the basis of backstepping GZWs along the trough axis. Our core data analyses included an integration of visual core descriptions, x-ray images, grain size, water content, total organic carbon, shear strengths, and diatom assemblage data. Core data reveal a single transgressive succession from proximal diamict overlain by sub-ice-shelf and/or open-marine sediments. These data strongly support the first scenario, suggesting that an ice shelf remained continuously intact during the time that the grounding line successively moved from the shelf edge to the middle shelf by small-scale landward translations until the end of the fourth grounding event. Sedimentologic and diatom-assemblage data from the inner shelf show that only the last middle shelf grounding event ended with a long-distance retreat of grounded and then floating ice to south of the modern calving front.

  9. Snow on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massom, Robert A.; Eicken, Hajo; Hass, Christian; Jeffries, Martin O.; Drinkwater, Mark R.; Sturm, Matthew; Worby, Anthony P.; Wu, Xingren; Lytle, Victoria I.; Ushio, Shuki; Morris, Kim; Reid, Phillip A.; Warren, Stephen G.; Allison, Ian

    2001-08-01

    Snow on Antarctic sea ice plays a complex and highly variable role in air-sea-ice interaction processes and the Earth's climate system. Using data collected mostly during the past 10 years, this paper reviews the following topics: snow thickness and snow type and their geographical and seasonal variations; snow grain size, density, and salinity; frequency of occurrence of slush; thermal conductivity, snow surface temperature, and temperature gradients within snow; and the effect of snow thickness on albedo. Major findings include large regional and seasonal differences in snow properties and thicknesses; the consequences of thicker snow and thinner ice in the Antarctic relative to the Arctic (e.g., the importance of flooding and snow-ice formation); the potential impact of increasing snowfall resulting from global climate change; lower observed values of snow thermal conductivity than those typically used in models; periodic large-scale melt in winter; and the contrast in summer melt processes between the Arctic and the Antarctic. Both climate modeling and remote sensing would benefit by taking account of the differences between the two polar regions.

  10. EBSD in Antarctic and Greenland Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Ice, particularly the extensive amounts found in the polar ice sheets, impacts directly on the global climate by changing the albedo and indirectly by supplying an enormous water reservoir that affects sea level change. The discharge of material into the oceans is partly controlled by the melt excess over snow accumulation, partly by the dynamic flow of ice. In addition to sliding over bedrock, an ice body deforms gravitationally under its own weight. In order to improve our description of this flow, ice microstructure studies are needed that elucidate the dominant deformation and recrystallization mechanisms involved. Deformation of hexagonal ice is highly anisotropic: ice is easily sheared in the basal plane and is about two orders of magnitude harder parallel to the c-axis. As dislocation creep is the dominant deformation mechanism in polar ice this strong anisotropy needs to be understood in terms of dislocation activity. The high anisotropy of the ice crystal is usually ascribed to a particular behaviour of dislocations in ice, namely the extension of dislocations into partials on the basal plane. Analysis of EBSD data can help our understanding of dislocation activity by characterizing subgrain boundary types thus providing a tool for comprehensive dislocation characterization in polar ice. Cryo-EBSD microstructure in combination with light microscopy measurements from ice core material from Antarctica (EPICA-DML deep ice core) and Greenland (NEEM deep ice core) are presented and interpreted regarding substructure identification and characterization. We examined one depth for each ice core (EDML: 656 m, NEEM: 719 m) to obtain the first comparison of slip system activity from the two ice sheets. The subgrain boundary to grain boundary threshold misorientation was taken to be 3-5° (Weikusat et al. 2011). EBSD analyses suggest that a large portion of edge dislocations with slip systems basal gliding on the basal plane were indeed involved in forming subgrain

  11. Global dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2002-01-01

    The total mass budget of the Antarctic ice sheet is studied with a simple axi-symmetrical model. The ice-sheet has a parabolic profile resting on a bed that slopes linearly downwards from the centre of the ice sheet into the ocean. The mean ice velocity at the grounding line is assumed to be proport

  12. West Antarctic Ice Sheet Grounding-Line Positions in the Whales Deep Paleo-Ice-Stream Trough of Eastern Ross Sea Inferred From New Multibeam bBathymetry and Seismic Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, P. J.; DeCesare, M.; McGlannan, A. J.; Krogmeier, B.; Danielson, M.

    2016-12-01

    Regional dip-oriented seismic lines and a large-area (2500 km2) multibeam bathymetric survey were acquired during expedition NBP1502B in the Whales Deep paleo-ice-stream trough of eastern Ross Sea. This outer-shelf trough is the downstream continuation of the Bindschadler Ice Stream. The new data provide a more detailed 3D view of the time-transgressive erosional and depositional seafloor features formed during West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) advance and retreat than was possible to reconstruct with previous reconnaissance-level multibeam and seismic data. The multibeam survey also provides the opportunity to conduct a more detailed analysis of core sedimentology and stratigraphy (McGlannan et al.) that can ultimately be used to investigate grounding-event chronology (DeCesare et al.). The geophysical data show that the WAIS occupied at least four grounding-line positions as it retreated 40 km from the shelf edge to the middle shelf. After the fourth grounding event at the middle shelf, grounded ice retreated abruptly by >200 km to an area/zone south of the modern calving front - where it may have pinned at Roosevelt Island.

  13. 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.

  14. Sensitivity of ocean circulation and sea-ice conditions to loss of West Antarctic ice shelves and ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougamont, Marion; Hunke, Elizabeth C.; Tulaczyk, Slawek

    We use a global coupled ocean-sea ice model to test the hypothesis that the disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS), or just its ice shelves, may modify ocean circulation and sea-ice conditions in the Southern Ocean. We compare the results of three model runs: (1) a control run with a standard (modern) configuration of landmask in West Antarctica, (2) a no-shelves run with West Antarctic ice shelves removed and (3) a no-WAIS run. In the latter two runs, up to a few million square kilometres of new sea surface area opens to sea-ice formation, causing the volume and extent of Antarctic sea-ice cover to increase compared with the control run. In general, near-surface waters are cooler around Antarctica in the no-shelves and no-WAIS model runs than in the control run, while warm intermediate and deep waters penetrate further south, increasing poleward heat transport. Varying regional responses to the imposed changes in landmask configuration are determined by the fact that Antarctic polynyas and fast ice develop in different parts of the model domain in each run. Model results suggest that changes in the extent of WAIS may modify oceanographic conditions in the Southern Ocean.

  15. 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

  16. Uranium-series dating of antarctic ice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fireman, E.L.

    1986-01-01

    It is very interesting to date polar ice radiometrically. Bands of dust imbedded in ice are frequently observed in antarctic ice fields. This work focuses on dating ice samples with high dust contents by the uranium-series method. The author obtained uranium-series ages of 325 thousand (+/- 75) and 100 thousand (+/- 20) years for dusty ice samples from two sites in the main Allan Hills ice field. The dust-banded ice was collected from 50- to 100-centimeter depth at two sites, called Cul de Sac 100 and Cul de Sac 150. The particles in these samples were examined with an optical microscope and found to consist essentially (more than 95% of the particulates) of fine volcanic glass shards full of vesicles and microvesicles. Evidently the fine volcanic glass shards were deposited on snow, became incorporated in the ice, and moved with the ice to the Allan Hills sites. Ice samples with other types of particulates, such as terrestrial morraine, may also be amenable to uranium-series dating; however, it is difficult to date ice with less than 0.03 gram of fine particulates per kilogram of ice with their present technique. The uranium-series method can cover the age range from 10,000 to 600,000 years.

  17. Quantification of ikaite in Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Fischer

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Calcium carbonate precipitation in sea ice can increase pCO2 during precipitation in winter and decrease pCO2 during dissolution in spring. CaCO3 precipitation in sea ice is thought to potentially drive significant CO2 uptake by the ocean. However, little is known about the quantitative spatial and temporal distribution of CaCO3 within sea ice. This is the first quantitative study of hydrous calcium carbonate, as ikaite, in sea ice and discusses its potential significance for the carbon cycle in polar oceans. Ice cores and brine samples were collected from pack and land fast sea ice between September and December 2007 during an expedition in the East Antarctic and another off Terre Adélie, Antarctica. Samples were analysed for CaCO3, Salinity, DOC, DON, Phosphate, and total alkalinity. A relationship between the measured parameters and CaCO3 precipitation could not be observed. We found calcium carbonate, as ikaite, mostly in the top layer of sea ice with values up to 126 mg ikaite per liter melted sea ice. This potentially represents a contribution between 0.12 and 9 Tg C to the annual carbon flux in polar oceans. The horizontal distribution of ikaite in sea ice was heterogenous. We also found the precipitate in the snow on top of the sea ice.

  18. 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...

  19. Arctic and Antarctic sea ice and climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.

    2014-12-01

    Principal Components Analysis in T-Mode Varimax rotated was performed on Antarctic and Arctic monthly sea ice concentration anomalies (SICA) fields for the period 1979-2014, in order to investigate which are the main spatial characteristics of sea ice and its relationship with atmospheric circulation. This analysis provides 5 patterns of sea ice for inter-spring period and 3 patterns for summer-autumn for Antarctica (69,2% of the total variance) and 3 different patterns for summer-autumn and 3 for winter-spring season for the Arctic Ocean (67,8% of the total variance).Each of these patterns has a positive and negative phase. We used the Monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations database derived from satellite information generated by NASA Team algorithm. To understand the links between the SICA and climate trends, we extracted the mean pressure and, temperature field patterns for the months with high loadings (positive or negative) of the sea ice patterns that gave distinct atmospheric structures associated with each one. For Antarctica, the first SICA spatial winter-spring pattern in positive phase shows a negative SICA centre over the Drake Passage and north region of Bellingshausen and Weddell Seas together with another negative SICA centre over the East Indian Ocean. Strong positive centres over the rest of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans basins and the Amundsen Sea are also presented. A strong negative pressure anomaly covers most of the Antarctic Continent centered over the Bellingshausen Sea accompanied by three positive pressure anomalies in middle-latitudes. During recent years, the Arctic showed persistent associations of sea-ice and climate patterns principally during summer. Our strongest summer-autumn pattern in negative phase showed a marked reduction on SICA over western Arctic, primarily linked to an overall increase in Arctic atmospheric temperature most pronounced over the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian Seas, and a positive anomaly of

  20. Vigorous lateral export of the meltwater outflow from beneath an Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garabato, Alberto C. Naveira; Forryan, Alexander; Dutrieux, Pierre; Brannigan, Liam; Biddle, Louise C.; Heywood, Karen J.; Jenkins, Adrian; Firing, Yvonne L.; Kimura, Satoshi

    2017-01-01

    The instability and accelerated melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet are among the foremost elements of contemporary global climate change. The increased freshwater output from Antarctica is important in determining sea level rise, the fate of Antarctic sea ice and its effect on the Earth’s albedo, ongoing changes in global deep-ocean ventilation, and the evolution of Southern Ocean ecosystems and carbon cycling. A key uncertainty in assessing and predicting the impacts of Antarctic Ice Sheet melting concerns the vertical distribution of the exported meltwater. This is usually represented by climate-scale models as a near-surface freshwater input to the ocean, yet measurements around Antarctica reveal the meltwater to be concentrated at deeper levels. Here we use observations of the turbulent properties of the meltwater outflows from beneath a rapidly melting Antarctic ice shelf to identify the mechanism responsible for the depth of the meltwater. We show that the initial ascent of the meltwater outflow from the ice shelf cavity triggers a centrifugal overturning instability that grows by extracting kinetic energy from the lateral shear of the background oceanic flow. The instability promotes vigorous lateral export, rapid dilution by turbulent mixing, and finally settling of meltwater at depth. We use an idealized ocean circulation model to show that this mechanism is relevant to a broad spectrum of Antarctic ice shelves. Our findings demonstrate that the mechanism producing meltwater at depth is a dynamically robust feature of Antarctic melting that should be incorporated into climate-scale models.

  1. West antarctic ice sheet collapse: Chimera or clear danger

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alley, R.B. (Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)); MacAyeal, D.R. (Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States))

    1993-01-01

    The specter of a west antarctic collapse has been with us for 25 years. Recently, certain official assessments concerned primarily with the future response to projected global warming have concluded that Antarctica will not cause much sea-level rise within the planning horizon of a century or so. At the same time startling new results on ice sheet (in)stability have been emerging, pointing to less stability then previously believed. Some recent results are reviewed briefly: Heinrich layers in the North Atlantic show basally lubricated surges of the Laurentide ice sheet; the west antarctic ice sheet collapsed recently; the modern west antarctic ice sheet is changing rapidly locally; the bed of ice stream B is exceptionally well lubricated by water and water-saturated soft sediments; the modern ice sheet is thinning slowly on average; a model west antarctic ice sheet undergoes rapid collapses long after forcing and probably related to penetration of warmth to the bed. 23 refs.

  2. Air-snow transfer of nitrate on the East Antarctic Plateau - Part 2: An isotopic model for the interpretation of deep ice-core records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbland, J.; Savarino, J.; Morin, S.; France, J. L.; Frey, M. M.; King, M. D.

    2015-10-01

    Unraveling the modern budget of reactive nitrogen on the Antarctic Plateau is critical for the interpretation of ice-core records of nitrate. This requires accounting for nitrate recycling processes occurring in near-surface snow and the overlying atmospheric boundary layer. Not only concentration measurements but also isotopic ratios of nitrogen and oxygen in nitrate provide constraints on the processes at play. However, due to the large number of intertwined chemical and physical phenomena involved, numerical modeling is required to test hypotheses in a quantitative manner. Here we introduce the model TRANSITS (TRansfer of Atmospheric Nitrate Stable Isotopes To the Snow), a novel conceptual, multi-layer and one-dimensional model representing the impact of processes operating on nitrate at the air-snow interface on the East Antarctic Plateau, in terms of concentrations (mass fraction) and nitrogen (δ15N) and oxygen isotopic composition (17O excess, Δ17O) in nitrate. At the air-snow interface at Dome C (DC; 75° 06' S, 123° 19' E), the model reproduces well the values of δ15N in atmospheric and surface snow (skin layer) nitrate as well as in the δ15N profile in DC snow, including the observed extraordinary high positive values (around +300 ‰) below 2 cm. The model also captures the observed variability in nitrate mass fraction in the snow. While oxygen data are qualitatively reproduced at the air-snow interface at DC and in East Antarctica, the simulated Δ17O values underestimate the observed Δ17O values by several per mill. This is explained by the simplifications made in the description of the atmospheric cycling and oxidation of NO2 as well as by our lack of understanding of the NOx chemistry at Dome C. The model reproduces well the sensitivity of δ15N, Δ17O and the apparent fractionation constants (15ϵapp, 17Eapp) to the snow accumulation rate. Building on this development, we propose a framework for the interpretation of nitrate records

  3. The Sinking and Spreading of The Antarctic Deep Ice Shelf Water In The Ross Sea Studied By In Situ Observaions and Numerical Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubino, A.; Budillon, G.; Pierini, S.; Spezie, G.

    The sinking and spreading of the Deep Ice Shelf Water (DISW) in the Ross Sea are analyzed using in situ observations and the results of a nonlinear, reduced-gravity, frontal layered numerical "plume" model which is able to simulate the motion of a bottom-arrested current over realistic topography. The model is forced by prescribing the thickness of the DISW vein as well as its density structure at the southern model boundary. The ambient temperature and salinity are imposed using hydrographic data acquired by the Italian PNRA-CLIMA project. In the model water of the quiescent ambient ocean is allowed to entrain in the active deep layer due to a simple param- eterization of turbulent mixing. The importance of forcing the model with a realistic ambient density is demonstrated by carrying out a numerical simulation in which the bottom active layer is forced using an idealized ambient density. In a more realis- tic simulation the path and the density structure of the DISW vein flowing over the Challenger Basin are obtained and are found to be in good agreement with data. The evolution of the deep current beyond the continental shelf is also simulated. It provides useful information on the water flow and mixing in a region of the Ross Sea where the paucity of experimental data does not allow for a detailed description of the deep ocean dynamics.

  4. Spatial-temporal characters of Antarctic sea ice variation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ma Lijuan; Lu Longhua; Bian Lingen

    2004-01-01

    Using sea ice concentration dataset covering the period of 1968-2002 obtained from the Hadley Center of UK, this paper investigates characters of Antarctic sea ice variations .The finding demonstrates that the change of mean sea-ice extent is almost consistent with that of sea-ice area, so sea-ice extent can be chosen to go on this research. The maximum and the minimum of Antarctic sea ice appear in September and February respectively. The maximum and the maximal variation of sea ice appear in Weddell Sea and Ross Sea, while the minimum and the minimal variation of sea-ice appear in Antarctic Peninsula. In recent 35 years, as a whole, Antarctic sea ice decreased distinctly. Moreover, there are 5 subdivision characteristic regions considering their different variations. Hereinto, the sea-ice extent of Weddell Sea and Ross Sea regions extends and area increases, while the sea-ice extent of the other three regions contracts and area decreases. They are all of obvious 2-4 years and 5-7 years significant oscillation periods. It is of significance for further understanding the sea-ice-air interaction in Antarctica region and discussing the relationship between sea-ice variation and atmospheric circulation.

  5. The circum-Antarctic sedimentary record; a dowsing rod for Antarctic ice in the Eocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scher, H.

    2012-12-01

    Arguments for short-lived Antarctic glacial events during the Eocene (55-34 Ma) are compelling, however the paleoceanographic proxy records upon which these arguments are based (e.g., benthic δ18O, eustatic sea level, deep sea carbonate deposition) are global signals in which the role of Antarctic ice volume variability is ambiguous. That is to say, the proxy response to ice volume may be masked other processes. As a result broad correlations between proxies for ice volume are lacking during suspected Eocene glacial events. I will present a more direct approach for detecting Antarctic ice sheets in the Eocene; utilizing provenance information derived from the radiogenic isotopic composition of the terrigenous component of marine sediments near Antarctica. The method relies on knowledge that marine sediments represent a mixture derived from different basement terrains with different isotopic fingerprints. A key issue when using sedimentary deposits to characterize continental sediment sources is to deconvolve different sources from the mixed signal of the bulk sample. The pioneering work of Roy et al. (2007) and van de Flierdt et al. (2007) represents a major advance in Antarctic provenance studies. It is now known that the isotopic composition of neodymium (Nd) and hafnium (Hf) in modern circum-Antarctic sediments are distributed in a pattern that mimics the basement age of sediment sources around Antarctica. For this study I selected two Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) sites on southern Kerguelen Plateau (ODP Sites 738 and 748) because of their proximity to Prydz Bay, where Precambrian sediment sources contribute to extremely nonradiogenic isotopic signatures in modern sediments in the Prydz Bay region. New detrital Nd isotope records from these sediment cores reveal an Nd isotope excursion at the Bartonian/Priabonian boundary (ca. 37 Ma) that coincides with a 0.5 ‰ increase in benthic foram δ18O values. Detrital sediment ɛNd values are around -12 in intervals

  6. Antarctic ice rises and rumples : Their properties and significance for ice-sheet dynamics and evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matsuoka, Kenichi; Hindmarsh, Richard C A; Moholdt, Geir; Bentley, Michael J.; Pritchard, Hamish D.; Brown, Joel; Conway, Howard; Drews, Reinhard; Durand, Gaël; Goldberg, Daniel; Hattermann, Tore; Kingslake, Jonathan; Lenaerts, Jan T M; Martín, Carlos; Mulvaney, Robert; Nicholls, Keith W.; Pattyn, Frank; Ross, Neil; Scambos, Ted; Whitehouse, Pippa L.

    2015-01-01

    Locally grounded features in ice shelves, called ice rises and rumples, play a key role buttressing discharge from the Antarctic Ice Sheet and regulating its contribution to sea level. Ice rises typically rise several hundreds of meters above the surrounding ice shelf; shelf flow is diverted around

  7. Antarctic ice rises and rumples : Their properties and significance for ice-sheet dynamics and evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matsuoka, Kenichi; Hindmarsh, Richard C A; Moholdt, Geir; Bentley, Michael J.; Pritchard, Hamish D.; Brown, Joel; Conway, Howard; Drews, Reinhard; Durand, Gaël; Goldberg, Daniel; Hattermann, Tore; Kingslake, Jonathan; Lenaerts, Jan T M|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Martín, Carlos; Mulvaney, Robert; Nicholls, Keith W.; Pattyn, Frank; Ross, Neil; Scambos, Ted; Whitehouse, Pippa L.

    2015-01-01

    Locally grounded features in ice shelves, called ice rises and rumples, play a key role buttressing discharge from the Antarctic Ice Sheet and regulating its contribution to sea level. Ice rises typically rise several hundreds of meters above the surrounding ice shelf; shelf flow is diverted around

  8. Ice core reconstruction of Antarctic climate change and implications

    OpenAIRE

    Mayewski,Paul Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Antarctica is the Earth’s largest environmental library for ice cores. Examples of the scientific fin-dings of the 21-nation consortium called the International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE) under the auspices of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) are presented with special emphasis on the value of these records in reconstructing atmospheric circulation over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

  9. A Comparative Study of Antarctic Arctic and Himalayan Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. C. Pathak

    1989-07-01

    Full Text Available Arctic, Antarctic and inaccessible lofty regions of Himalayas,which are geographically diverse areas and have been a constant source of inspiration, envisages a challenging field of study 'by early adventurers and scientists of the world. Characteristics of ice obtained at Arctic and Antarctic do not possess similar properties. Even thesalient properties of snow and ice of western and central Himalayas vary due to its differing free water content. A study has been carriedout based on recent Antarctic Expedition by Indian scientists and the data gathered along litha-tectonic regions of Himalayas and their characteristics have been compared, wkich brings out stratigraphic and metamorphic characteristics of the ice and snow. In the present paper,an analysis of the ice and snow properties of Arctic, Antarctic and Himalayan regions has been presented.

  10. Oxygen Isotope Mass-Balance Constraints on Pliocene Sea Level and East Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winnick, M. J.; Caves, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    The mid-Pliocene Warm Period (MPWP, 3.3-2.9 Ma), with reconstructed atmospheric pCO2 of 350-450 ppm, represents a potential analogue for climate change in the near future. Current highly cited estimates place MPWP maximum global mean sea level (GMSL) at 21 ± 10 m above modern, requiring total loss of the Greenland (GIS) and marine West Antarctic Ice Sheets (WAIS) and a substantial loss of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), with only a concurrent 2-3 ºC rise in global temperature. Many estimates of Pliocene GMSL are based on the partitioning of oxygen isotope records from benthic foraminifera (δ18Ob) into changes in deep-sea temperatures and terrestrial ice sheets. These isotopic budgets are underpinned by the assumption that the δ18O of Antarctic ice (δ18Oi) was the same in the Pliocene as it is today, and while the sensitivity of δ18Ob to changing meltwater δ18O has been previously considered, these analyses neglect conservation of 18O/16O in the ocean-ice system. Using well-calibrated δ18O-temperature relationships for Antarctic precipitation along with estimates of Pliocene Antarctic surface temperatures, we argue that the δ18Oi of the Pliocene Antarctic ice sheet was at minimum 1‰-4‰ higher than present. Assuming conservation of 18O/16O in the ocean-ice system, this requires lower Pliocene seawater δ18O (δ18Osw) without a corresponding change in ice sheet mass. This effect alone accounts for 5%-20% of the δ18Ob difference between the MPWP interglacials and the modern. With this amended isotope budget, we suggest that Pliocene GMSL was likely 9-13.5 m and very likely 5-17 m above modern, which suggests the EAIS is less sensitive to radiative forcing than previously inferred from the geologic record.

  11. Sensitivity of the recent increase in Antarctic sea ice in ocean models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjellsson, Joakim; Holland, Paul; Marshall, Gareth; Coward, Andrew; Aksenov, Yevgeny; Bacon, Sheldon; Megann, Alexis; Ridley, Jeff

    2015-04-01

    We study the recent increase in Antarctic sea ice using a coupled ocean--sea ice model forced by atmospheric reanalysis. We investigate the impact on sea ice from both model parameters (e.g. vertical mixing and eddy parameterisation) as well as external forcing (e.g. precipitation and melt water from the Antarctic continent). We use the NEMO ocean model coupled to the CICE sea-ice model at 1 degree horizontal resolution forced with ERA-Interim reanalysis. The results will have impacts for our understanding of the Southern Ocean, its sea ice and their representation in future coupled climate-model studies, e.g. CMIP6. Since the dawn of the satellite era there has been a slow increase in Antarctic sea ice with pronounced spatial structure. The reason for this increase is not yet fully understood and very few climate-model simulations reproduce the observed mean state and/or increase. By varying model parameters and external forcing, we determine that obtaining a realistic sea ice cover requires a complex balance of horizontal and vertical mixing as well as fresh water input. The surface fresh water balance impacts the vertical salinity gradient and thus vertical fluxes of heat and salt. Underestimation of precipitation or melt water results in deep convection in the open ocean and the opening of large polynyas in the Weddell and Ross sea. The presence of polynyas reduces the sea ice extent. The depth of the mixed layer has a large impact on the sea ice seasonal cycle. The summer mixed layer must be sufficiently deep to prevent SST from becoming too high but not so deep as to mix up heat and salt from below. In winter, a deep mixed layer lets brine rejected from sea ice mix down to depths below that of the summer mixed layer thus maintaining a necessary stratification.

  12. 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.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  13. Widespread movement of meltwater onto and across Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingslake, Jonathan; Ely, Jeremy C.; Das, Indrani; Bell, Robin E.

    2017-04-01

    Surface meltwater drains across ice sheets, forming melt ponds that can trigger ice-shelf collapse, acceleration of grounded ice flow and increased sea-level rise. Numerical models of the Antarctic Ice Sheet that incorporate meltwater’s impact on ice shelves, but ignore the movement of water across the ice surface, predict a metre of global sea-level rise this century in response to atmospheric warming. To understand the impact of water moving across the ice surface a broad quantification of surface meltwater and its drainage is needed. Yet, despite extensive research in Greenland and observations of individual drainage systems in Antarctica, we have little understanding of Antarctic-wide surface hydrology or how it will evolve. Here we show widespread drainage of meltwater across the surface of the ice sheet through surface streams and ponds (hereafter ‘surface drainage’) as far south as 85° S and as high as 1,300 metres above sea level. Our findings are based on satellite imagery from 1973 onwards and aerial photography from 1947 onwards. Surface drainage has persisted for decades, transporting water up to 120 kilometres from grounded ice onto and across ice shelves, feeding vast melt ponds up to 80 kilometres long. Large-scale surface drainage could deliver water to areas of ice shelves vulnerable to collapse, as melt rates increase this century. While Antarctic surface melt ponds are relatively well documented on some ice shelves, we have discovered that ponds often form part of widespread, large-scale surface drainage systems. In a warming climate, enhanced surface drainage could accelerate future ice-mass loss from Antarctic, potentially via positive feedbacks between the extent of exposed rock, melting and thinning of the ice sheet.

  14. Ice Nucleation in Deep Convection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Eric; Ackerman, Andrew; Stevens, David; Gore, Warren J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The processes controlling production of ice crystals in deep, rapidly ascending convective columns are poorly understood due to the difficulties involved with either modeling or in situ sampling of these violent clouds. A large number of ice crystals are no doubt generated when droplets freeze at about -40 C. However, at higher levels, these crystals are likely depleted due to precipitation and detrainment. As the ice surface area decreases, the relative humidity can increase well above ice saturation, resulting in bursts of ice nucleation. We will present simulations of these processes using a large-eddy simulation model with detailed microphysics. Size bins are included for aerosols, liquid droplets, ice crystals, and mixed-phase (ice/liquid) hydrometers. Microphysical processes simulated include droplet activation, freezing, melting, homogeneous freezing of sulfate aerosols, and heterogeneous ice nucleation. We are focusing on the importance of ice nucleation events in the upper part of the cloud at temperatures below -40 C. We will show that the ultimate evolution of the cloud in this region (and the anvil produced by the convection) is sensitive to these ice nucleation events, and hence to the composition of upper tropospheric aerosols that get entrained into the convective column.

  15. 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 ages, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles. 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 warming. 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 today and atmospheric CO 2 concentration was as high as ???400 p.p.m.v. (refs 5, 6). The evidence is consistent with a new ice-sheet/ice-shelf model 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 melt under conditions of elevated CO2. ??2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  16. West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat driven by Holocene warm water incursions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Smith, James A.; Hodell, David A.; Greaves, Mervyn; Poole, Christopher R.; Kender, Sev; Williams, Mark; Andersen, Thorbjørn Joest; Jernas, Patrycja E.; Elderfield, Henry; Klages, Johann P.; Roberts, Stephen J.; Gohl, Karsten; Larter, Robert D.; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2017-07-01

    Glaciological and oceanographic observations coupled with numerical models show that warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) incursions onto the West Antarctic continental shelf cause melting of the undersides of floating ice shelves. Because these ice shelves buttress glaciers feeding into them, their ocean-induced thinning is driving Antarctic ice-sheet retreat today. Here we present a multi-proxy data based reconstruction of variability in CDW inflow to the Amundsen Sea sector, the most vulnerable part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, during the Holocene epoch (from 11.7 thousand years ago to the present). The chemical compositions of foraminifer shells and benthic foraminifer assemblages in marine sediments indicate that enhanced CDW upwelling, controlled by the latitudinal position of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds, forced deglaciation of this sector from at least 10,400 years ago until 7,500 years ago—when an ice-shelf collapse may have caused rapid ice-sheet thinning further upstream—and since the 1940s. These results increase confidence in the predictive capability of current ice-sheet models.

  17. Definition of Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Variation Index

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Hongxia; Liu Na; Pan Zengdi; Zhang Qinghua

    2004-01-01

    It is well known that varying of the sea ice not only in the Antarctic but also in the Arctic has an active influence on the globe atmosphere and ocean. In order to understand the sea ice variation in detail, for the first time, an objective index of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice variation is defined by projecting the monthly sea ice concentration anomalies poleward of 20°N or 20°S onto the EOF (empirical orthogonal function)-1 spatial pattern. Comparing with some work in former studies of polar sea ice, the index has the potential for clarifying the variability of sea ice in northern and southern high latitudes.

  18. Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Changes and Impacts (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.

    2013-12-01

    The extent of springtime Arctic perennial sea ice, important to preconditioning summer melt and to polar sunrise photochemistry, continues its precipitous reduction in the last decade marked by a record low in 2012, as the Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) was conducted around Barrow, Alaska, to investigate impacts of sea ice reduction on photochemical processes, transport, and distribution in the polar environment. In spring 2013, there was further loss of perennial sea ice, as it was not observed in the ocean region adjacent to the Alaskan north coast, where there was a stretch of perennial sea ice in 2012 in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea. In contrast to the rapid and extensive loss of sea ice in the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has a trend of a slight increase in the past three decades. Given the significant variability in time and in space together with uncertainties in satellite observations, the increasing trend of Antarctic sea ice may arguably be considered as having a low confidence level; however, there was no overall reduction of Antarctic sea ice extent anywhere close to the decreasing rate of Arctic sea ice. There exist publications presenting various factors driving changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. After a short review of these published factors, new observations and atmospheric, oceanic, hydrological, and geological mechanisms contributed to different behaviors of sea ice changes in the Arctic and Antarctic are presented. The contribution from of hydrologic factors may provide a linkage to and enhance thermal impacts from lower latitudes. While geological factors may affect the sensitivity of sea ice response to climate change, these factors can serve as the long-term memory in the system that should be exploited to improve future projections or predictions of sea ice changes. Furthermore, similarities and differences in chemical impacts of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice changes are discussed. Understanding sea ice changes and

  19. In situ primary production in young Antarctic sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Mock, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    An in situ incubation technique used successfully to measure the photosynthetic carbon assimilation of internal algal assemblages within thick multiyear Arctic sea ice was developed and improved to measure the photosynthetic carbon assimilation within young sea ice only 50 cm thick (Eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica). The new device enabled some of the first precise measurements of in situ photosynthetic carbon assimilation in newly formed Antarctic sea ice.

  20. Evidence for warmer interglacials in East Antarctic ice cores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sime, L C; Wolff, E W; Oliver, K I C; Tindall, J C

    2009-11-19

    Stable isotope ratios of oxygen and hydrogen in the Antarctic ice core record have revolutionized our understanding of Pleistocene climate variations and have allowed reconstructions of Antarctic temperature over the past 800,000 years (800 kyr; refs 1, 2). The relationship between the D/H ratio of mean annual precipitation and mean annual surface air temperature is said to be uniform +/-10% over East Antarctica and constant with time +/-20% (refs 3-5). In the absence of strong independent temperature proxy evidence allowing us to calibrate individual ice cores, prior general circulation model (GCM) studies have supported the assumption of constant uniform conversion for climates cooler than that of the present day. Here we analyse the three available 340 kyr East Antarctic ice core records alongside input from GCM modelling. We show that for warmer interglacial periods the relationship between temperature and the isotopic signature varies among ice core sites, and that therefore the conversions must be nonlinear for at least some sites. Model results indicate that the isotopic composition of East Antarctic ice is less sensitive to temperature changes during warmer climates. We conclude that previous temperature estimates from interglacial climates are likely to be too low. The available evidence is consistent with a peak Antarctic interglacial temperature that was at least 6 K higher than that of the present day -approximately double the widely quoted 3 +/- 1.5 K (refs 5, 6).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.)

  3. Mapping and Assessing Variability in the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone, the Pack Ice and Coastal Polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, Julienne; Jenouvrier, Stephanie

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice variability within the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas plays an important role for phytoplankton productivity and krill abundance. Therefore mapping their spatial extent, seasonal and interannual variability is essential for understanding how current and future changes in these biological active regions may impact the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Knowledge of the distribution of different ice types to the total Antarctic sea ice cover may also help to shed light on the factors contributing towards recent expansion of the Antarctic ice cover in some regions and contraction in others. The long-term passive microwave satellite data record provides the longest and most consistent data record for assessing different ice types. However, estimates of the amount of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and polynyas depends strongly on what sea ice algorithm is used. This study uses two popular passive microwave sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and Bootstrap to evaluate the distribution and variability in the MIZ, the consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas. Results reveal the NASA Team algorithm has on average twice the MIZ and half the consolidated pack ice area as the Bootstrap algorithm. Polynya area is also larger in the NASA Team algorithm, and the timing of maximum polynya area may differ by as much as 5 months between algorithms. These differences lead to different relationships between sea ice characteristics and biological processes, as illustrated here with the breeding success of an Antarctic seabird.

  4. Mass Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Exceed Losses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui; Brenner, Anita; Bromwich, David

    2012-01-01

    During 2003 to 2008, the mass gain of the Antarctic ice sheet from snow accumulation exceeded the mass loss from ice discharge by 49 Gt/yr (2.5% of input), as derived from ICESat laser measurements of elevation change. The net gain (86 Gt/yr) over the West Antarctic (WA) and East Antarctic ice sheets (WA and EA) is essentially unchanged from revised results for 1992 to 2001 from ERS radar altimetry. Imbalances in individual drainage systems (DS) are large (-68% to +103% of input), as are temporal changes (-39% to +44%). The recent 90 Gt/yr loss from three DS (Pine Island, Thwaites-Smith, and Marie-Bryd Coast) of WA exceeds the earlier 61 Gt/yr loss, consistent with reports of accelerating ice flow and dynamic thinning. Similarly, the recent 24 Gt/yr loss from three DS in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is consistent with glacier accelerations following breakup of the Larsen B and other ice shelves. In contrast, net increases in the five other DS of WA and AP and three of the 16 DS in East Antarctica (EA) exceed the increased losses. Alternate interpretations of the mass changes driven by accumulation variations are given using results from atmospheric-model re-analysis and a parameterization based on 5% change in accumulation per degree of observed surface temperature change. A slow increase in snowfall with climate waRMing, consistent with model predictions, may be offsetting increased dynamic losses.

  5. 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.

  6. Modeling Drastic Ice Retreat in Antarctic Subglacial Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.; Deconto, R. M.

    2013-12-01

    Various data indicate that global mean sea level has fluctuated on O(10,000 to 100,000) year time scales during the last ~25 million years, reaching 20 m or more above modern. If correct, this implies substantial variations in the size of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). However, climate and ice-sheet models have not been able to simulate significant EAIS retreat from continental size, given low proxy atmospheric CO2 levels during this time. Here, we use a new mechanism involving a maximum vertical ice cliff size of ~100 m above the ocean at the grounding line beyond which structural failure occurs, triggered by the complete melting of floating shelves that normally prevent this configuration in large embayments. This is tested in a 3-D ice-sheet model by applying oceanic and climatic warming representing past warm periods, which attacks floating ice shelves by basal melting and by increased calving due to surface melt or rain draining into crevasses. In addition to accelerating the expected collapse of West Antarctic ice, the new mechanisms cause drastic retreat into 3 major East Antarctic subglacial basins, causing ~20 m global sea-level rise within a few thousand years that takes more than 10,000 years to recover. This offers a resolution of the past sea level model-data conflict, but suggests that Antarctica may be more vulnerable to future warming than previously realized.

  7. 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 dynami

  8. 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 dynami

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Iron biogeochemistry in Antarctic pack ice during SIPEX-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannuzel, Delphine; Chever, Fanny; van der Merwe, Pier C.; Janssens, Julie; Roukaerts, Arnout; Cavagna, Anne-Julie; Townsend, Ashley T.; Bowie, Andrew R.; Meiners, Klaus M.

    2016-09-01

    Our study quantified the spatial and temporal distribution of Fe and ancillary biogeochemical parameters at six stations visited during an interdisciplinary Australian Antarctic marine science voyage (SIPEX-2) within the East Antarctic first-year pack ice zone during September-October 2012. Unlike previous studies in the area, the sea ice Chlorophyll a, Particulate Organic Carbon and Nitrogen (POC and PON) maxima did not occur at the ice/water interface because of the snow loading and dynamic processes under which the sea ice formed. Iron in sea ice ranged from 0.9 to 17.4 nM for the dissolved (0.2 μm) fraction. Our results highlight that the concentration of particulate Fe in sea ice was highest when approaching the continent. The high POC concentration and high particulate iron to aluminium ratio in sea ice samples demonstrate that 71% of the particulate Fe was biogenic in composition. Our estimated Fe flux from melting pack ice to East Antarctic surface waters over a 30 day melting period was 0.2 μmol/m2/d of DFe, 2.7 μmol/m2/d of biogenic PFe and 1.3 μmol/m2/d of lithogenic PFe. These estimates suggest that the fertilization potential of the particulate fraction of Fe may have been previously underestimated due to the assumption that it is primarily lithogenic in composition. Our new measurements and calculated fluxes indicate that a large fraction of the total Fe pool within sea ice may be bioavailable and therefore, effective in promoting primary productivity in the marginal ice zone.

  12. Antarctic last interglacial isotope peak in response to sea ice retreat not ice-sheet collapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Max D; Sime, Louise C; Singarayer, Joy S; Tindall, Julia C; Bunch, Pete; Valdes, Paul J

    2016-08-16

    Several studies have suggested that sea-level rise during the last interglacial implies retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The prevalent hypothesis is that the retreat coincided with the peak Antarctic temperature and stable water isotope values from 128,000 years ago (128 ka); very early in the last interglacial. Here, by analysing climate model simulations of last interglacial WAIS loss featuring water isotopes, we show instead that the isotopic response to WAIS loss is in opposition to the isotopic evidence at 128 ka. Instead, a reduction in winter sea ice area of 65±7% fully explains the 128 ka ice core evidence. Our finding of a marked retreat of the sea ice at 128 ka demonstrates the sensitivity of Antarctic sea ice extent to climate warming.

  13. Estimating the extent of Antarctic summer sea ice during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edinburgh, Tom; Day, Jonathan J.

    2016-11-01

    In stark contrast to the sharp decline in Arctic sea ice, there has been a steady increase in ice extent around Antarctica during the last three decades, especially in the Weddell and Ross seas. In general, climate models do not to capture this trend and a lack of information about sea ice coverage in the pre-satellite period limits our ability to quantify the sensitivity of sea ice to climate change and robustly validate climate models. However, evidence of the presence and nature of sea ice was often recorded during early Antarctic exploration, though these sources have not previously been explored or exploited until now. We have analysed observations of the summer sea ice edge from the ship logbooks of explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and their contemporaries during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration (1897-1917), and in this study we compare these to satellite observations from the period 1989-2014, offering insight into the ice conditions of this period, from direct observations, for the first time. This comparison shows that the summer sea ice edge was between 1.0 and 1.7° further north in the Weddell Sea during this period but that ice conditions were surprisingly comparable to the present day in other sectors.

  14. Towards Resolving the Paradox of Antarctic Sea Ice: A New Integrated Framework for Observing the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, G. D.

    2014-12-01

    Antarctic sea ice distribution, a canary in the coal mine for climate change in the Southern Hemisphere, is controlled by the marginal ice zone (MIZ). The MIZ is the dynamic outer part of the sea-ice zone, where it interacts with the high-energy open ocean and is strongly affected by waves and storms. As an interface between ocean and atmosphere with extreme vertical and horizontal temperature gradients and large variations in mechanical properties, the MIZ is a complex system that evolves with, and impacts upon, the advancing/receding ice edge. More than a zone, it is a migratory transition in 'phase space' that biannually passes across the entire Antarctic SIZ. During the advance phase of sea-ice seasonality, and under freezing conditions, wave-induced pancake-ice formation can lead to rapid ice-edge advance. During the retreat phase, the dynamic break-up and modification of sea ice by passing storms, winds and waves greatly modifies the floe-size distribution within the MIZ, to create smaller floes that melt more rapidly and accelerate sea-ice retreat as spring progresses. Inspired by the current Arctic MIZ efforts, new fieldwork is proposed to resolve the key characteristics of the Antarctic MIZ and the processes controlling its extent. Combining new autonomous observation technology with ship-based techniques, integrated experiments are being designed to advance our understanding of the MIZ and its role in driving seasonal sea ice advance and retreat around Antarctica. The proposed project provides a unique opportunity to develop an observational, analytical, and science-policy framework for coordinated monitoring of sea ice in both the northern and southern hemispheres, with implications for forecasting, monitoring, and prediction that are essential with increasingly dynamic and variable polar climate systems.

  15. Origin of spherule samples recovered from antarctic ice sheet-Terrestrial or extraterrestrial?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sekimoto, Shun; Takamiya, Koichi; Shibata, Seiichi [Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University, Osaka (Japan); Kobayashi, Takayuki [College of Humanities and Sciences, Nihon University, Tokyo (Japan); Ebihara, Mitsuru [Dept. of Chemistry, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo (Japan)

    2016-04-15

    Thirty-eight spherules from the Antarctic ice sheet were analyzed using neutron activation analysis under two different conditions to investigate their origin. In almost all of these spherules, the contents of iron, cobalt, and manganese were determined to be 31% to 88%, 17 mg/kg to 810 mg/kg, and 0.017% to 7%, respectively. A detectable iridium content of 0.84 mg/kg was found in only one spherule, which was judged to be extraterrestrial in origin. A comparison of elemental compositions of the Antarctic spherules analyzed in this study with those of deep-sea sediment spherules and those of terrestrial materials revealed that most of the Antarctic spherules except for the sample in which iridium was detected could not be identified as extraterrestrial in origin.

  16. A model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1982-01-01

    Numerical modelling of ice sheets and glaciers has become a useful tool in glaciological research. A model described here deals with the vertical mean ice velocity, is time dependent, computes bedrock adjustment and uses an empirical diagnostic relationship to derive the distribution of ice thicknes

  17. Antarctic marine biodiversity and deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chown, Steven L

    2012-01-01

    The diversity of many marine benthic groups is unlike that of most other taxa. Rather than declining from the tropics to the poles, much of the benthos shows high diversity in the Southern Ocean. Moreover, many species are unique to the Antarctic region. Recent work has shown that this is also true of the communities of Antarctic deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Vent ecosystems have been documented from many sites across the globe, associated with the thermally and chemically variable habitats found around these, typically high temperature, streams that are rich in reduced compounds and polymetallic sulphides. The animal communities of the East Scotia Ridge vent ecosystems are very different to those elsewhere, though the microbiota, which form the basis of vent food webs, show less differentiation. Much of the biological significance of deep-sea hydrothermal vents lies in their biodiversity, the diverse biochemistry of their bacteria, the remarkable symbioses among many of the marine animals and these bacteria, and the prospects that investigations of these systems hold for understanding the conditions that may have led to the first appearance of life. The discovery of diverse and unusual Antarctic hydrothermal vent ecosystems provides opportunities for new understanding in these fields. Moreover, the Antarctic vents south of 60°S benefit from automatic conservation under the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Antarctic Treaty. Other deep-sea hydrothermal vents located in international waters are not protected and may be threatened by growing interests in deep-sea mining.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pritchard, H.D.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Fricker, H.A.; Vaughan, D.G.; van den Broeke, M.R.; 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,

  19. 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,

  20. Pliocene retreat of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheet margins (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deconto, R. M.; Pollard, D.

    2013-12-01

    The middle Pliocene epoch (~3 million years ago) is often considered an analogue for future global climatic conditions, because global mean temperatures were comparable to projections of future climate at the end of this century. Importantly, some estimates of mid-Pliocene sea level are >20 m higher than today, implying the potential for significant retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), in addition to the loss of the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets (WAIS). Here, we use a hybrid ice sheet-shelf model with freely migrating grounding lines coupled to a high-resolution regional climate model to test the potential for both West and East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat during the warm Pliocene and in long-term future scenarios with elevated CO2. In these simulations we apply new treatments of i) ice shelf calving (accounting for the effects of divergent ice flow and surface melt water on crevassing), ii) ice-cliff mechanics at the grounding line, iii) improved sub-glacial bathymetry using BEDMAP2, and iv) a range of plausible ocean warming scenarios based on offline ocean modeling. In warm Pliocene simulations, the combination of improved bathymetric detail and more physically based model treatments of floating and grounded calving fronts substantially increases the rates and magnitudes of ice sheet retreat into over-deepened subglacial basins in both in West and East Antarctica. These new results imply the EAIS margin did indeed contribute to elevated (and orbitally paced) Pliocene sea levels, with Antarctica contributing up to ~20m equivalent sea level during the warmest intervals. In long-term (10^3-4-yr) future simulations using the same model physics, we find these new mechanisms produce a much more sensitive and vulnerable ice sheet than previously considered, with the potential for substantial future retreat of both WAIS and parts of the East Antarctic margin in response to the combined effects of increased surface melt on ice shelf surfaces and

  1. 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.

  2. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, 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 −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr 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 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 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 ice-sheet response to atmospheric CO2 and insolation in the Middle Miocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Schulz

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Foraminiferal oxygen isotopes from deep-sea sediment cores suggest that a rapid expansion of the Antarctic ice sheet took place in the Middle Miocene around 13.9 million years ago. The origin for this transition is still not understood satisfactorily. One possible cause is a drop in the partial pressure of atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2 in combination with orbital forcing. A complication is the large uncertainty in the magnitude and timing of the reconstructed pCO2 variability and additionally the low temporal resolution of the available pCO2 records in the Middle Miocene. We used an ice sheet-climate model of reduced complexity to assess variations in Antarctic ice sheet volume induced by pCO2 and insolation forcing in the Middle Miocene. The ice-sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 was tested for several scenarios with constant pCO2 forcing or a regular decrease in pCO2. This showed that small, ephemeral ice sheets existed under relatively high atmospheric CO2 conditions (between 640–900 ppm, whereas more stable, large ice sheets occurred when pCO2 was less than ~600 ppm. The main result of this study is that the pCO2-level must have declined just before or during the period of oxygen-isotope increase, thereby crossing a pCO2 glaciation threshold of around 615 ppm. After the decline, the exact timing of the Antarctic ice-sheet expansion depends also on the relative minimum in summer insolation at approximately 13.89 million years ago. Although the mechanisms described appear to be robust, the exact values of the pCO2 thresholds are likely to be model-dependent.

  4. 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.

  5. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, 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 −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr 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 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 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 the magnitudes of the two trends differ, and in some cases these differences allow inferences about the corresponding changes in sea 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.

  6. 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

  7. Windblown Pliocene diatoms and East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Reed P; DeConto, Robert M; Pollard, David; Alley, Richard B

    2016-09-20

    Marine diatoms in tillites along the Transantarctic Mountains (TAMs) have been used to suggest a diminished East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) during Pliocene warm periods. Updated ice-sheet modelling shows significant Pliocene EAIS retreat, creating marine embayments into the Wilkes and Aurora basins that were conducive to high diatom productivity and rapid accumulation of diatomaceous sediments. Here we show that subsequent isostatic uplift exposed accumulated unconsolidated marine deposits to wind erosion. We report new atmospheric modelling utilizing Pliocene climate and derived Antarctic landscapes indicating that prevailing mid-altitude winds transported diatoms towards the TAMs, dominantly from extensive emerged coastal deposits of the Aurora Basin. This result unifies leading ideas from competing sides of a contentious debate about the origin of the diatoms in the TAMs and their link to EAIS history, supporting the view that parts of the EAIS are vulnerable to relatively modest warming, with possible implications for future sea-level rise.

  8. Response of the Antarctic ice sheet to future greenhouse warming

    OpenAIRE

    Oerlemans, J.; Huybrechts, P.

    1990-01-01

    Possible future changes in land ice volume are mentioned frequently as an important aspect of the greenhouse problem. This paper deals with the response ofthe Antarctic ice sheet and presents a tentative projection of changes in global sea level for the next few hundred years, due to changes in its surface massbalance. We imposed a temperature scenario, in which surface air temperature rises to 4.2¡C in the year 2100 AD and is kept constant afterwards. As GCMstudies seem to indicate a higher ...

  9. Mass Balance Changes and Ice Dynamics of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babonis, G. S.; Csatho, B.; Schenk, T.

    2016-06-01

    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.

  10. Antarctic marine biodiversity and deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven L Chown

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of many marine benthic groups is unlike that of most other taxa. Rather than declining from the tropics to the poles, much of the benthos shows high diversity in the Southern Ocean. Moreover, many species are unique to the Antarctic region. Recent work has shown that this is also true of the communities of Antarctic deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Vent ecosystems have been documented from many sites across the globe, associated with the thermally and chemically variable habitats found around these, typically high temperature, streams that are rich in reduced compounds and polymetallic sulphides. The animal communities of the East Scotia Ridge vent ecosystems are very different to those elsewhere, though the microbiota, which form the basis of vent food webs, show less differentiation. Much of the biological significance of deep-sea hydrothermal vents lies in their biodiversity, the diverse biochemistry of their bacteria, the remarkable symbioses among many of the marine animals and these bacteria, and the prospects that investigations of these systems hold for understanding the conditions that may have led to the first appearance of life. The discovery of diverse and unusual Antarctic hydrothermal vent ecosystems provides opportunities for new understanding in these fields. Moreover, the Antarctic vents south of 60°S benefit from automatic conservation under the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Antarctic Treaty. Other deep-sea hydrothermal vents located in international waters are not protected and may be threatened by growing interests in deep-sea mining.

  11. Speedup and fracturing of George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. O. Holt

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available George VI Ice Shelf (GVIIS is located on the Antarctic Peninsula, a region where several ice shelves have undergone rapid breakup in response to atmospheric and oceanic warming. We use a combination of optical (Landsat, radar (ERS 1/2 SAR and laser altimetry (GLAS datasets to examine the response of GVIIS to environmental change and to offer an assessment on its future stability. The spatial and structural changes of GVIIS (ca. 1973 to ca. 2010 are mapped and surface velocities are calculated at different time periods (InSAR and optical feature tracking from 1989 to 2009 to document changes in the ice shelf's flow regime. Surface elevation changes are recorded between 2003 and 2008 using repeat track ICESat acquisitions. We note an increase in fracture extent and distribution at the south ice front, ice-shelf acceleration towards both the north and south ice fronts and spatially varied negative surface elevation change throughout, with greater variations observed towards the central and southern regions of the ice shelf. We propose that whilst GVIIS is in no imminent danger of collapse, it is vulnerable to ongoing atmospheric and oceanic warming and is more susceptible to breakup along its southern margin in ice preconditioned for further retreat.

  12. Where might we find evidence of a Last Interglacial West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse in Antarctic ice core records?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, S. L.; Siddall, M.; Milne, G. A.; Masson-Delmotte, V.; Wolff, E.

    2012-05-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Babonis, G. S.; Csatho, B; Schenk, T.

    2016-01-01

    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...

  14. Modelling the Isotopic Response to Antarctic Ice Sheet Change During the Last Interglacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Max; Sime, Louise; Singarayer, Joy; Tindall, Julia; Valdes, Paul

    2015-04-01

    Ice sheet changes can exert major control over spatial water isotope variations in Antarctic surface snow. Consequently a significant mass loss or gain of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would be expected to cause changes in the water isotope record across Antarctic ice core sites. Analysis of sea level indicators for the last interglacial (LIG), around 125 to 128 ka, suggest a global sea level peak 6 to 9 m higher than present. Recent NEEM Greenland ice core results imply that Greenland likely provided a modest ~2m contribution towards this global sea level rise. This implies that a WAIS contribution is necessary to explain the LIG sea level maxima. In addition, Antarctic ice core records suggest that Antarctic air temperatures during the LIG were up to 6°C warmer than present. Climate models have been unable to recreate such warmth when only orbital and greenhouse gas forcing are considered. Thus changes to the Antarctic ice sheet and ocean circulation may be required to reconcile model simulations with ice core data. Here we model the isotopic response to differing WAIS deglaciation scenarios, freshwater hosing, and sea ice configurations using a fully coupled General Circulation Model (GCM) to help interpret Antarctic ice core records over the LIG. This approach can help isolate the contribution of individual processes and feedbacks to final isotopic signals recorded in Antarctic ice cores.

  15. 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

  16. A Modified NASA Team Sea Ice Algorithm for the Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalieri, Donald J.; Markus, Thorsten

    1998-01-01

    A recent comparative study of the NASA Team and Bootstrap passive microwave sea ice algorithms revealed significantly different sea ice concentration retrievals in some parts of the Antarctic. The study identified potential reasons for the discrepancies including the influence of sea ice temperature variability on the Bootstrap retrievals and the influence of ice surface reflectivity on the horizontally polarized emissivity in the NASA Team retrievals. In this study, we present a modified version of the NASA Team algorithm which reduces the error associated with the use of horizontally polarized radiance data, while retaining the relative insensitivity to ice temperature variations provided by radiance ratios. By retaining the 19 GHz polarization as an independent variable, we also maintain a relatively large dynamic range in sea ice concentration. The modified algorithm utilizes the 19 GHz polarization (PR19) and both gradient ratios, GRV and GRH defined by (37V-19V)/(37V+19V) and (37H-19H)/(37H+19H), respectively, rather than just GRV used in the current NASA Team algorithm. A plot of GRV versus GRH shows that the preponderance of points lie along a quadratic curve, whereas those points affected by surface reflectivity anomalies deviate from this curve. This serves as a method of identifying the problems points. The 19H brightness temperature of these problem points is increased so they too fall along quadratic curve. Sea ice concentrations derived from AVHRR imagery illustrate the extent to which this method reduces the error associated with surface layering.

  17. Ice Shelves and Landfast Ice on the Antarctic Perimeter: Revised Scope of Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambos, Ted

    2002-01-01

    Ice shelves respond quickly and profoundly to a warming climate. Within a decade after mean summertime temperature reaches approx. O C and persistent melt pending is observed, a rapid retreat and disintegration occurs. This link was documented for ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula region (the Larsen 'A', 'B' and Wilkins Ice shelves) by the results of a previous grant under ADRO-1. Modeling of ice flow and the effects of meltwater indicated that melt pending accelerates shelf breakup by increasing fracture penetration. SAR data supplemented an AVHRR- and SSM/I-based image analysis of extent and surface characteristic changes. This funded grant is a revised, scaled-down version of an earlier proposal under the ADRO-2 NRA. The overall objective remains the same: we propose to build on the previous study by examining other ice shelves of the Antarctic and incorporate an examination of the climate-related characteristics of landfast ice. The study now considers just a few shelf and fast ice areas for study, and is funded for two years. The study regions are the northeastern Ross Ice Shelf, the Larsen 'B' and 'C' shelves, fast ice and floating shelf ice in the Pine Island Glacier area, and fast ice along the Wilkes Land coast. Further, rather than investigating a host of shelf and fast ice processes, we will home in on developing a series of characteristics associated with climate change over shelf and fast ice areas. Melt pending and break-up are the end stages of a response to a warming climate that may begin with increased melt event frequency (which changes both albedo and emissivity temporarily), changing firn backscatter (due to percolation features), and possibly increased rifting of the shelf surface. Fast ice may show some of these same processes on a seasonal timescale, providing insight into shelf evolution.

  18. Measurements of sea ice proxies from Antarctic coastal shallow cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maffezzoli, Niccolò; Vallelonga, Paul; Spolaor, Andrea; Barbante, Carlo; Frezzotti, Massimo

    2015-04-01

    Despite its close relationship with climate, the climatic impact of sea ice remains only partially understood: an indication of this is the Arctic sea ice which is declining at a faster rate than models predict. Thus, the need for reliable sea ice proxies is of crucial importance. Among the sea ice proxies that can be extracted from ice cores, interest has recently been shown in the halogens Iodine (I) and Bromine (Br) (Spolaor, A., et al., 2013a, 2013b). The production of sea ice is a source of Sodium and Bromine aerosols through frost flower crystal formation and sublimation of salty blowing snow, while Iodine is emitted by the algae living underneath sea ice. We present here the results of Na, Br and I measurements in Antarctic shallow cores, drilled during a traverse made in late 2013 - early 2014 from Talos Dome (72° 00'S, 159°12'E) to GV7 (70° 41'S, 158° 51'E) seeking for sea ice signature. The samples were kept frozen until the analyses, that were carried out by Sector Field Mass Spectroscopy Inductive Coupled Plasma (SFMS-ICP): special precautions and experimental steps were adopted for the detection of such elements. The coastal location of the cores allows a clear signal from the nearby sea ice masses. The multiple cores are located about 50 km from each other and can help us to infer the provenance of the sea ice that contributed to the proxy signature. Moreover, by simultaneously determining other chemical elements and compounds in the snow, it is possible to determine the relative timing of their deposition, thus helping us to understand their processes of emission and deposition.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 30-Year Satellite Record Reveals Accelerated Arctic Sea Ice Loss, Antarctic Sea Ice Trend Reversal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalieri, Donald J.; Parkinson, C. L.; Vinnikov, K. Y.

    2003-01-01

    Arctic sea ice extent decreased by 0.30 plus or minus 0.03 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per decade from 1972 through 2002, but decreased by 0.36 plus or minus 0.05 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per decade from 1979 through 2002, indicating an acceleration of 20% in the rate of decrease. In contrast to the Arctic, the Antarctic sea ice extent decreased dramatically over the period 1973-1977, then gradually increased, with an overall 30-year trend of -0.15 plus or minus 0.08 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per 10yr. The trend reversal is attributed to a large positive anomaly in Antarctic sea ice extent observed in the early 1970's.

  2. Microwave emissivity of fresh water ice--Lake ice and Antarctic ice pack--Radiative transfer simulations versus satellite radiances

    CERN Document Server

    Mills, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Microwave emissivity models of sea ice are poorly validated empirically. Typical validation studies involve using averaged or stereotyped profiles of ice parameters against averaged radiance measurements. Measurement sites are rarely matched and even less often point-by-point. Because of saline content, complex permittivity of sea ice is highly variable and difficult to predict. Therefore, to check the validity of a typical, plane-parallel, radiative-transfer-based ice emissivity model, we apply it to fresh water ice instead of salt-water ice. Radiance simulations for lake ice are compared with measurements over Lake Superior from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on EOS (AMSR-E). AMSR-E measurements are also collected over Antarctic icepack. For each pixel, a thermodynamic model is driven by four years of European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis data and the resulting temperature profiles used to drive the emissivity model. The results suggest that the relatively simple ...

  3. The 2014 high record of Antarctic sea ice extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massonnet, Francois; Guemas, Virginie; Fuckar, Neven; Doblas-Reyes, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    In September 2014, Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded the symbolic level of 20 million km²for the first time since 1978, when reliable satellite measurements became available. After the successive records of 2012 and 2013, sea ice extent in 2014 once again reinforced the positive trend observed since the late 1970s. We conduct here a dedicated study to elucidate the origins of a major, and perhaps the most intriguing, event that happened at our Poles recently. Observations, reanalyses and model results all point towards the important role of winds in modifying near-surface heat advection patterns around Antarctica. The role of pre-conditioning (summer conditions) is found to be of lesser importance. Finally, we find no evidence that anomalous freshwater forcing (from atmospheric or continental origin) could have explained the record extent of 2014.

  4. East Antarctic land-ice/ocean networks: progress and questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Roberts, J. L.; van Ommen, T. D.; Aitken, A.; Siegert, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    International collaborative exploration over the last decade has revealed East Antarctica as a geologically diverse continent underlying an ice sheet with significant sea level potential, parts of which are currently undergoing rapid change. The Wilkes and Aurora Subglacial Basins (WSB and ASB), two of the largest reservoirs of sea level potential in Antarctica, are broader, deeper, and more susceptible to marine ice sheet instability than previously known. The morphology and coastal connections of the ASB indicate a dynamic early ice sheet with a significant erosional history and multiple ice sheet configurations. Recent results imply significant retreat into the WSB during the Pliocene while today irreversible discharge there is halted by only a small ridge. We have unveiled complex contemporary subglacial landscapes beneath both basins providing new challenges and opportunities to ice sheet modelers. For instance, geothermal heat flow varies spatially on multiple scales in the continental crust assumed to be homogeneous. A large, active, subglacial hydrological system flows through the ASB along pathways that likely predate large-scale glaciation. Proxies indicate four to eight meters of global sea level rise during the last interglacial period. Ice core results constrain the amount of sea level rise to one to three meters from contributed by East Antarctica. Going forward, new altimetry data along the East Antarctic coast reveal extensive lowering of the Totten and Denman Glaciers while satellite gravity indicate a variable but persistent record of negative regional mass loss. These discoveries provide a new baseline as the international community increases its focus on the region through ongoing airborne and marine exploration to address the many outstanding questions: What is the character and distribution of subglacial boundary conditions and water systems upstream of the grounding line in areas of significant potential sea level impact? How much subglacial

  5. Sub-Kilometer Scale Basal Roughness of the Siple Coast Ice Streams, West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.; Peters, M. E.

    2006-12-01

    The anastomosing series of dynamic, basally lubricated ice streams found on the Siple Coast of West Antarctica play an important role in regulating the mass balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Geological controls on lubrication, elucidated by gravity, magnetics and seismic data, have proven important in understanding the evolution of these features. An additional indicator of basal properties, the basal roughness of ice sheets, may be an indicator of crustal geology and glacial modification, as well as a controlling parameter on ice dynamics and subglacial hydrology. For the Siple Coast ice streams, Fourier analysis of > 5 kilometer morphology (Siegert et al. 2004) revealed a correlation between ice streams and low bed roughness. Coherent high resolution data allows analysis of along track roughness at tens of meters resolution (Peters et al. 2005), however these data are limited in coverage. We extend roughness estimates into to the hundreds-of-meters length scale, using both frequency domain and autocorrelation methods, using incoherent 60 MHz radio echo sounding data collected between 1991 and 1996 on a five kilometer grid. The data cover the Bentley Subglacial Trench, Bindschadler Ice Stream, Siple Dome and the onset region of Kamb Ice Stream. SAR-processed coherent sounding data collected in 2001 are used to confirm these methods. We test for confinement of ice stream rapid basal motion to distinct morphological provinces; assess the hypothesis that marine sediments blanket much of interior of the basal WAIS; and look for correlation between ice flow and textural anisotropy.

  6. [Two comments on “Historic cartographic evidence for Holocene changes in the Antarctic ice cover”] Antarctic ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milton, Daniel J.; Lliboutry, Louis

    1984-04-01

    Readers of John G. Weihaupt's “Historic Cartographic Evidence for Holocene Changes in the Antarctic Ice Cover” (Eos, August 28, 1984, p. 493) may wish to consult Charles H. Hapgood, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Ages (Chilton, Radnor, Penn., 1966). The major part of this book is a presentation of the thesis that Weihaupt has independently developed: that early sixteenth century maps portray Antarctica, and in particular an ice-free Ross Sea, and that such knowledge must have been obtained and transmitted from a remote, perhaps prehistoric, epoch. Hapgood is perhaps better known to the geophysical community for his earlier book, Earth's Shifting Crust (Pantheon, New York, 1958), which proposed that the growth of ice caps unbalances the crust so that it can, and during the Pleistocene frequently did, slide over the interior, displacing the poles several thousand kilometers.The more conservative literature on Terra Australis of the sixteenth century cartographers is extensive; Acta Cartographica, a collection of reprinted papers on historical cartography, has over two dozen references in its indexes. A plausible hypothesis by J. Enterline (Imago Mundi, 26, pp. 48-58, 1972) is that it reflects Portugese acquisition of Indonesian knowledge of Australia, the prominent embayment (Hapgood's and Weihaupt's ice-free Ross Sea) being the Gulf of Carpentaria. Underestimation of the size of the globe forced Australia to extend over the pole, just as it forced newly discovered America to lie close to Japan.

  7. Recent increase in Antarctic Peninsula ice core uranium concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potocki, Mariusz; Mayewski, Paul A.; Kurbatov, Andrei V.; Simões, Jefferson C.; Dixon, Daniel A.; Goodwin, Ian; Carleton, Andrew M.; Handley, Michael J.; Jaña, Ricardo; Korotkikh, Elena V.

    2016-09-01

    Understanding the distribution of airborne uranium is important because it can result in both chemical and radiological toxicity. Ice cores offer the most robust reconstruction of past atmospheric levels of toxic substances. Here we present the first sub-annually dated, continuously sampled ice core documenting change in U levels in the Southern Hemisphere. The ice core was recovered from the Detroit Plateau, northern Antarctic Peninsula, in 2007 by a joint Brazilian-Chilean-US team. It displays a significant increase in U concentration that coincides with reported mining activities in the Southern Hemisphere, notably Australia. Raw U concentrations in the Detroit Plateau ice core increased by as much as 102 between the 1980s and 2000s accompanied by increased variability in recent years. Decadal mean U concentrations increased by a factor of ∼3 from 1980 to 2007, reaching a mean of 205 pg/L from 2000 to 2007. The fact that other terrestrial source dust elements such as Ce, La, Pr, and Ti do not show a similar increase and that the increased U concentrations are enriched above natural crustal levels, supports an anthropogenic source for the U as opposed to a change in atmospheric circulation.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    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 ob...

  9. Interhemispheric coupling, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and warm Antarctic interglacials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. B. Holden

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Ice core evidence indicates that even though atmospheric CO2 concentrations did not exceed ~300 ppm at any point during the last 800 000 years, East Antarctica was at least ~3–4 °C warmer than preindustrial (CO2~280 ppm in each of the last four interglacials. During the previous three interglacials, this anomalous warming was short lived (~3000 years and apparently occurred before the completion of Northern Hemisphere deglaciation. Hereafter, we refer to these periods as "Warmer than Present Transients" (WPTs. We present a series of experiments to investigate the impact of deglacial meltwater on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC and Antarctic temperature. It is well known that a slowed AMOC would increase southern sea surface temperature (SST through the bipolar seesaw and observational data suggests that the AMOC remained weak throughout the terminations preceding WPTs, strengthening rapidly at a time which coincides closely with peak Antarctic temperature. We present two 800 kyr transient simulations using the Intermediate Complexity model GENIE-1 which demonstrate that meltwater forcing generates transient southern warming that is consistent with the timing of WPTs, but is not sufficient (in this single parameterisation to reproduce the magnitude of observed warmth. In order to investigate model and boundary condition uncertainty, we present three ensembles of transient GENIE-1 simulations across Termination II (135 000 to 124 000 BP and three snapshot HadCM3 simulations at 130 000 BP. Only with consideration of the possible feedback of West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS retreat does it become possible to simulate the magnitude of observed warming.

  10. Concentration and environmental significance of lead in surface snow of Antarctic ice sheet (III)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    秦大河; 任贾文; 孙俊英; 陈瓞延; 文克玲; 李良权

    1995-01-01

    Lead as an ultra-trace heavy metal becomes one of popular topics in glaciochemistry of the Antarctic ice sheet, because of its very low concertration (pg·g-1) and background and its sensitivity to the quality of the environment. The lead concentration of surface snow of the Antarctic ice sheet (corresponding to modern precipitation) applying LEAF technique by Chinese scholars has systematically been studied for the first time in the world. The distribution principle of lead concentration of surface snow of the Antarctic ice sheet is "low in the west and high in the east" along the route of 1990 International Trans-Antarctic Expedition (ITAE). The concentration of lead in East Antarctica is 2 - 3 fold higher than that in Larsen ice shelf and Antarctic Peninsula, which majorly results from the activity of pre-Soviet Antarctic Expedition The concentration of lead in Larsen ice shelf and Antarctic Peninsula can be regarded as the background value of modern precipitation of the Antarctic ice sheet in the en

  11. 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

  12. Thick and deformed Antarctic sea ice mapped with autonomous underwater vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, G.; Maksym, T.; Wilkinson, J.; Kunz, C.; Murphy, C.; Kimball, P.; Singh, H.

    2015-01-01

    Satellites have documented trends in Antarctic sea-ice extent and its variability for decades, but estimating sea-ice thickness in the Antarctic from remote sensing data remains challenging. In situ observations needed for validation of remote sensing data and sea-ice models are limited; most have been restricted to a few point measurements on selected ice floes, or to visual shipboard estimates. Here we present three-dimensional (3D) floe-scale maps of sea-ice draft for ten floes, compiled from two springtime expeditions by an autonomous underwater vehicle to the near-coastal regions of the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land sectors of Antarctica. Mean drafts range from 1.4 to 5.5 m, with maxima up to 16 m. We also find that, on average, 76% of the ice volume is deformed ice. Our surveys indicate that the floes are much thicker and more deformed than reported by most drilling and ship-based measurements of Antarctic sea ice. We suggest that thick ice in the near-coastal and interior pack may be under-represented in existing in situ assessments of Antarctic sea ice and hence, on average, Antarctic sea ice may be thicker than previously thought.

  13. Giant solar flares in Antarctic ice. [nitrate ions in ice core samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stothers, R.

    1980-01-01

    A new hypothesis proposes an explanation for the presence of four prominent spikes in a long time record of the NO3(-) concentration inside the Antarctic ice. This solar flare hypothesis suggests that the ionizing radiation necessary in the spike formation could have come from extremely powerful solar flares. It is proposed that these flares would have occurred during the times of the largest maxima in the solar cycle. The solar flare hypothesis is compared with the supernova hypothesis.

  14. Bellingshausen Sea ice extent recorded in an Antarctic Peninsula ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Stacy E.; Parkinson, Claire L.; Mosley-Thompson, Ellen

    2016-12-01

    Annual net accumulation (An) from the Bruce Plateau (BP) ice core retrieved from the Antarctic Peninsula exhibits a notable relationship with sea ice extent (SIE) in the Bellingshausen Sea. Over the satellite era, both BP An and Bellingshausen SIE are influenced by large-scale climatic factors such as the Amundsen Sea Low, Southern Annular Mode, and Southern Oscillation. In addition to the direct response of BP An to Bellingshausen SIE (e.g., more open water as a moisture source), these large-scale climate phenomena also link the BP and the Bellingshausen Sea indirectly such that they exhibit similar responses (e.g., northerly wind anomalies advect warm, moist air to the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring Bellingshausen Sea, which reduces SIE and increases An). Comparison with a time series of fast ice at South Orkney Islands reveals a relationship between BP An and sea ice in the northern Weddell Sea that is relatively consistent over the twentieth century, except when it is modulated by atmospheric wave patterns described by the Trans-Polar Index. The trend of increasing accumulation on the Bruce Plateau since 1970 agrees with other climate records and reconstructions in the region and suggests that the current rate of sea ice loss in the Bellingshausen Sea is unrivaled in the twentieth century.

  15. East Antarctic ice sheet stability recorded in a high-elevation ice-cored moraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bader, Nicole A.; Licht, Kathy J.; Kaplan, Michael R.; Kassab, Christine; Winckler, Gisela

    2017-03-01

    Till in an extensive blue ice moraine in the central Transantarctic Mountains at Mt. Achernar shows relatively continuous deposition by East Antarctic derived ice throughout the last glacial cycle. The most recently exposed material along the active margin of the Law Glacier (Zone 1) has hummocky topography that transitions into to a relatively flat region (Zone 2), followed by a series of ∼2 m high continuous, parallel/sub-parallel ridges and troughs (Zones 3-5). The entire moraine is ice-cored. Past surface changes of data, the U-Pb zircon data from till across all zones show little variability and are consistent with a Beacon Supergroup source, as samples show significant populations from the Proterozoic, ∼550-600 Ma and ∼950-1270 Ma, as well as the late Archean ∼2700-2770 Ma. The Mackellar, Fairchild, and lower Buckley Formations are interpreted as dominant sources of the detrital zircons. The zircon data lack the spatio-temporal variability indicated by the pebble fraction because the local Ferrar dolerite is not zircon bearing, highlighting the broader importance of using multiple techniques when interpreting provenance changes over time. Rather than reflecting major changes in ice flow path over time, the provenance changes are interpreted to indicate relative stability of the East Antarctic ice sheet, as the Law Glacier tapped into and eroded successively lower stratigraphic units of the Beacon Supergroup. This has important implications for interpreting offshore provenance records.

  16. Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelmann, Ricarda; Levermann, Anders; Ridgwell, Andy; Caldeira, Ken

    2015-09-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 m in global sea-level rise. We show in simulations using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil fuel emissions of 10,000 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC), Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 m per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West and East Antarctica results in a threshold increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources.

  17. Clean hot water drilling for exploration of the Antarctic deep subglacial environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makinson, K.; Pearce, D.; Hodgson, D.; Bentley, M.; Smith, A.; Tranter, M.; Rose, M. C.; Ross, N.; Mowlem, M. C.; Parnell, J.; Siegert, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    Overlain by several kilometres of ice, the subglacial environments deep beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet are regarded as extreme habitats for microbial life and repositories of important paleoclimate records. Of significant scientific interest, yet remaining largely unexplored, accessing and sampling these environments presents several challenges to existing drilling technologies. With over half of the ice sheet believed to be resting on a wet bed, much of it part of a hydrological drainage network, accessing of this environment must conform to international environmental contamination protocols. This makes hot water drilling the most viable option for clean, fast, access through thick ice. After two decades of planning, involving the development of drilling techniques for subglacial access, instrument design and logistics set up, significant progress has been made in attempts to directly access, measure, and sample subglacial lakes and sediments. Combining the experiences from the notable setbacks and successes, as well as recent field testing for this drilling technique, the most practical technical options and operational procedures for future clean entry into Subglacial Lake Ellsworth and other deep (>3000 m) access targets will be presented.

  18. A Palaeohydrological Shift during Neogene East Antarctic Ice Sheet Retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees-Owen, R. L.; Newton, R.; Ivanovic, R. F.; Francis, J.; Tindall, J. C.; Riding, J. B.

    2015-12-01

    The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is an important driver of global climate, playing a particular role in governing albedo and atmospheric circulation (eg. Singh et al., 2013). Recent evidence from marine sediment and terrestrial glaciovolcanic sequences suggests that the EAIS underwent periodic retreat and collapse in response to warmer climates during the late Neogene (14 to 3 million years ago). Mummified prostrate trees recovered from palaeosols at Oliver Bluffs in the Beardmore Glacier region, Transantarctic Mountains (85° S), represent a rare insight into the terrestrial palaeoclimate during one of these periods of retreat. Prostrate trees are an understudied but useful tool for interrogating endmember (e.g. periglacial) environments at high altitudes and latitudes. We present exciting new palaeoclimate data from the sequence at Oliver Bluffs. δ18O analysis of tree ring cellulose suggests that Antarctic summer palaeoprecipitation was enriched relative to today (-25 to -5‰ for ancient, -35 to -20‰ for modern); consistent with our isotope-enabled general circulation model simulations. The MBT/CBT palaeothermometer gives a summer temperature of 3-6ºC, consistent with other palaeobotanical climate indices. These geological and model data have wide-ranging implications for our understanding of the hydrological cycle during this time period. We present data suggesting that changes in moisture recycling and source region indicate a markedly different hydrological cycle.

  19. Response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to a climatic warming: a model study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1982-01-01

    It is generally believed that the increasing C02 content of the atmosphere will lead to a substantial climatic warming in the polar regions. In this study the effect of consequent changes in the ice accumulation rate over the Antarctic Ice Sheet is investigated by means of a numerical ice flow model

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barrand, N.E.; Hindmarsh, R.C.A.; Arthern, R.J.; Williams, C.R.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.; Rignot, Eric; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Edwards, T.L.; Cook, A.J.; Simonsen, S.B.

    2013-01-01

    The contribution to sea level to 2200 from the grounded, mainland Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet (APIS) was calculated using an ice-sheet model initialized with a new technique computing ice fluxes based on observed surface velocities, altimetry and surface mass balance, and computing volume response

  1. 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.

  2. Millennial-scale variability in Antarctic ice-sheet discharge during the last deglaciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, M E; Clark, P U; Kuhn, G; Timmermann, A; Sprenk, D; Gladstone, R; Zhang, X; Lohmann, G; Menviel, L; Chikamoto, M O; Friedrich, T; Ohlwein, C

    2014-06-05

    Our understanding of the deglacial evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) following the Last Glacial Maximum (26,000-19,000 years ago) is based largely on a few well-dated but temporally and geographically restricted terrestrial and shallow-marine sequences. This sparseness limits our understanding of the dominant feedbacks between the AIS, Southern Hemisphere climate and global sea level. Marine records of iceberg-rafted debris (IBRD) provide a nearly continuous signal of ice-sheet dynamics and variability. IBRD records from the North Atlantic Ocean have been widely used to reconstruct variability in Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, but comparable records from the Southern Ocean of the AIS are lacking because of the low resolution and large dating uncertainties in existing sediment cores. Here we present two well-dated, high-resolution IBRD records that capture a spatially integrated signal of AIS variability during the last deglaciation. We document eight events of increased iceberg flux from various parts of the AIS between 20,000 and 9,000 years ago, in marked contrast to previous scenarios which identified the main AIS retreat as occurring after meltwater pulse 1A and continuing into the late Holocene epoch. The highest IBRD flux occurred 14,600 years ago, providing the first direct evidence for an Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse 1A. Climate model simulations with AIS freshwater forcing identify a positive feedback between poleward transport of Circumpolar Deep Water, subsurface warming and AIS melt, suggesting that small perturbations to the ice sheet can be substantially enhanced, providing a possible mechanism for rapid sea-level rise.

  3. Deep UV Native Fluorescence Imaging of Antarctic Cryptoendolithic Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrie-Lombardi, M. C.; Douglas, S.; Sun, H.; McDonald, G. D.; Bhartia, R.; Nealson, K. H.; Hug, W. F.

    2001-01-01

    An interdisciplinary team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Center for Life Detection has embarked on a project to provide in situ chemical and morphological characterization of Antarctic cryptoendolithic microbial communities. We present here in situ deep ultraviolet (UV) native fluorescence and environmental scanning electron microscopy images transiting 8.5 mm into a sandstone sample from the Antarctic Dry Valleys. The deep ultraviolet imaging system employs 224.3, 248.6, and 325 nm lasers to elicit differential fluorescence and resonance Raman responses from biomolecules and minerals. The 224.3 and 248.6 nm lasers elicit a fluorescence response from the aromatic amino and nucleic acids. Excitation at 325 nm may elicit activity from a variety of biomolecules, but is more likely to elicit mineral fluorescence. The resultant fluorescence images provide in situ chemical and morphological maps of microorganisms and the associated organic matrix. Visible broadband reflectance images provide orientation against the mineral background. Environmental scanning electron micrographs provided detailed morphological information. The technique has made possible the construction of detailed fluorescent maps extending from the surface of an Antarctic sandstone sample to a depth of 8.5 mm. The images detect no evidence of microbial life in the superficial 0.2 mm crustal layer. The black lichen component between 0.3 and 0.5 mm deep absorbs all wavelengths of both laser and broadband illumination. Filamentous deep ultraviolet native fluorescent activity dominates in the white layer between 0.6 mm and 5.0 mm from the surface. These filamentous forms are fungi that continue into the red (iron-rich) region of the sample extending from 5.0 to 8.5 mm. Using differential image subtraction techniques it is possible to identify fungal nuclei. The ultraviolet response is markedly attenuated in this region, apparently from the absorption of ultraviolet light by iron-rich particles coating

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Centennial-scale Holocene climate variations amplified by Antarctic Ice Sheet discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakker, Pepijn; Clark, Peter U.; Golledge, Nicholas R.; Schmittner, Andreas; Weber, Michael E.

    2016-12-01

    Proxy-based indicators of past climate change show that current global climate models systematically underestimate Holocene-epoch climate variability on centennial to multi-millennial timescales, with the mismatch increasing for longer periods. Proposed explanations for the discrepancy include ocean-atmosphere coupling that is too weak in models, insufficient energy cascades from smaller to larger spatial and temporal scales, or that global climate models do not consider slow climate feedbacks related to the carbon cycle or interactions between ice sheets and climate. Such interactions, however, are known to have strongly affected centennial- to orbital-scale climate variability during past glaciations, and are likely to be important in future climate change. Here we show that fluctuations in Antarctic Ice Sheet discharge caused by relatively small changes in subsurface ocean temperature can amplify multi-centennial climate variability regionally and globally, suggesting that a dynamic Antarctic Ice Sheet may have driven climate fluctuations during the Holocene. We analysed high-temporal-resolution records of iceberg-rafted debris derived from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and performed both high-spatial-resolution ice-sheet modelling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and multi-millennial global climate model simulations. Ice-sheet responses to decadal-scale ocean forcing appear to be less important, possibly indicating that the future response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet will be governed more by long-term anthropogenic warming combined with multi-centennial natural variability than by annual or decadal climate oscillations.

  7. Marine ice regulates the future stability of a large Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulessa, Bernd; Jansen, Daniela; Luckman, Adrian J.; King, Edward C.; Sammonds, Peter R.

    2014-01-01

    The collapses of the Larsen A and B ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula in 1995 and 2002 confirm the impact of southward-propagating climate warming in this region. Recent mass and dynamic changes of Larsen B’s southern neighbour Larsen C, the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica, may herald a similar instability. Here, using a validated ice-shelf model run in diagnostic mode, constrained by satellite and in situ geophysical data, we identify the nature of this potential instability. We demonstrate that the present-day spatial distribution and orientation of the principal stresses within Larsen C ice shelf are akin to those within pre-collapse Larsen B. When Larsen B’s stabilizing frontal portion was lost in 1995, the unstable remaining shelf accelerated, crumbled and ultimately collapsed. We hypothesize that Larsen C ice shelf may suffer a similar fate if it were not stabilized by warm and mechanically soft marine ice, entrained within narrow suture zones. PMID:24751641

  8. The Second Deep Ice Coring Project at Dome Fuji, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideaki Motoyama

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the history of the polar icecaps, dust and aerosols have been transported through the atmosphere to the poles, to be preserved within the annually freezing ice of the growing ice shields. Therefore, the Antarctic ice sheet is a “time capsule" for environmental data, containing information of ancient periods of Earth’s history. To unravel this history and decode cycles in glaciations and global change is among the major goals of the Dome Fuji Ice Coring Project.

  9. Airborne radar surveys of snow depth over Antarctic sea ice during Operation IceBridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panzer, B.; Gomez-Garcia, D.; Leuschen, C.; Paden, J. D.; Gogineni, P. S.

    2012-12-01

    Over the last decade, multiple satellite-based laser and radar altimeters, optimized for polar observations, have been launched with one of the major objectives being the determination of global sea ice thickness and distribution [5, 6]. Estimation of sea-ice thickness from these altimeters relies on freeboard measurements and the presence of snow cover on sea ice affects this estimate. Current means of estimating the snow depth rely on daily precipitation products and/or data from passive microwave sensors [2, 7]. Even a small uncertainty in the snow depth leads to a large uncertainty in the sea-ice thickness estimate. To improve the accuracy of the sea-ice thickness estimates and provide validation for measurements from satellite-based sensors, the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets deploys the Snow Radar as a part of NASA Operation IceBridge. The Snow Radar is an ultra-wideband, frequency-modulated, continuous-wave radar capable of resolving snow depth on sea ice from 5 cm to more than 2 meters from long-range, airborne platforms [4]. This paper will discuss the algorithm used to directly extract snow depth estimates exclusively using the Snow Radar data set by tracking both the air-snow and snow-ice interfaces. Prior work in this regard used data from a laser altimeter for tracking the air-snow interface or worked under the assumption that the return from the snow-ice interface was greater than that from the air-snow interface due to a larger dielectric contrast, which is not true for thick or higher loss snow cover [1, 3]. This paper will also present snow depth estimates from Snow Radar data during the NASA Operation IceBridge 2010-2011 Antarctic campaigns. In 2010, three sea ice flights were flown, two in the Weddell Sea and one in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas. All three flight lines were repeated in 2011, allowing an annual comparison of snow depth. In 2011, a repeat pass of an earlier flight in the Weddell Sea was flown, allowing for a

  10. The signature analysis of summer Antarctic sea-ice distribution by ship-based sea-ice observation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Based on the Chinese 19th National Antarctic Research Expedition,we carried out ship-based Antarctic sea-ice observa-tion on icebreaker Xue Long using Antarctic sea-ice process and climate (ASPeCt) criteria during austral summer.Sea-ice distribution data were obtained along nearly 6,500 km of the ship’s track.The measurement parameters included sea-ice thickness,sea-ice concentration,snow thickness,and floe size.Analysis showed the presence of the large spatial varia-tions of the observed sea-ice characteristics.Sea-ice concentration varied between 0 and 80 percent and reached its peak value in Weddell Sea because of the specific dynamical process affecting in summer sea-ice melting.There are large areas of open water along the study section.Sea ice and the upper snow thickness of the section varied between 10 cm and 210 cm and 2 cm and 80 cm,respectively,and each reaches its peak values near Amery ice shelf.The floe size varied from less than 10 cm and the maximum of more than 2,000 km along the section.

  11. Feedbacks between ice and ocean dynamics at the West Antarctic Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in future global warming scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goeller, Sebastian; Timmermann, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    The ice flow at the margins of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is moderated by large ice shelves. Their buttressing effect substantially controls the mass balance of the WAIS and thus its contribution to sea level rise. The stability of these ice shelves results from the balance of mass gain by accumulation and ice flow from the adjacent ice sheet and mass loss by calving and basal melting due to the ocean heat flux. Recent results of ocean circulation models indicate that warm circumpolar water of the Southern Ocean may override the submarine slope front of the Antarctic Continent and boost basal ice shelf melting. In particular, ocean simulations for several of the IPCC's future climate scenarios demonstrate the redirection of a warm coastal current into the Filchner Trough and underneath the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf within the next decades. In this study, we couple the finite elements ocean circulation model FESOM and the three-dimensional thermomechanical ice flow model RIMBAY to investigate the complex interactions between ocean and ice dynamics at the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. We focus on the impact of a changing ice shelf cavity on ocean dynamics as well as the feedback of the resulting sub-shelf melting rates on the ice shelf geometry and implications for the dynamics of the adjacent marine-based Westantarctic Ice Sheet. Our simulations reveal the high sensitivity of grounding line migration to ice-ocean interactions within the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and emphasize the importance of coupled model studies for realistic assessments of the Antarctic mass balance in future global warming scenarios.

  12. Evolving Toward the Next Antarctic Ice Shelf Disintegration: Recent Ice Velocity, Climate, and Ocean Observations of the Larsen B Ice Shelf Remnants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambos, T. A.; Shuman, C. A.; Truffer, M.; Pettit, E. C.; Huber, B. A.; Haran, T. M.; Ross, R.; Domack, E. W.

    2013-12-01

    Ice shelf / ice tongue disintegrations and break-ups have a major effect on glacier mass balance, and nowhere has this been more evident than in the northern sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula. Ice flux in this region surged 2- to 6-fold after the 1995 and 2002 ice shelf disintegration events, driven by a group of processes based on the presence of extensive surface melt lakes. However, precursor changes in the ice shelves beginning more than a decade before the events have been identified. A new assessment of these provides insight on the earliest causes of ice shelf change. Among the precursor changes are an increase in meltwater lake extent, structural changes in the ice shelf shear margins, grounding line changes, and pre-breakup acceleration of the ice shelves and feeder glaciers. In the aftermath of the 2002 disintegration of the Larsen B, the two large remnant ice shelves at Seal Nunataks (~400 km2) and Scar Inlet (~2400 km2) have also evolved in these ways. These changes have been measured by a combination of in situ automated observation systems (AMIGOS: see Scambos et al., 2013, J. Glaciol.) and remote sensing as part of the Larsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica (LARISSA) NSF project and NASA Cryosphere Program funding. Ice flow speed on the central Scar Inlet ice shelf has increased 60% between 2002 and 2012 (425 to 675 m/yr), and by 20% (540 to 660 m/yr) just above the grounding line of Flask Glacier, a tributary. Elevation change data from ICESat altimetry and ASTER stereo images show evidence of grounding line movement for Flask between 2003 and 2008, and for Crane Glacier prior to the 2002 break-up. In late 2002, and again in late 2012, major new rifts have formed on the southern portion of the Scar Inlet shelf, and the northwestern shear zone has rapidly evolved. The ice speed increase and the new rifts are inferred to be due to significant structural changes in the ice shelf shear margin on its northern side (concentration of

  13. Sublimation: A Mechanism for the Enrichment of Organics in Antarctic Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Luann; McDonald, Gene D.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Bada, Jeffrey L.; Bunch, Theodore E.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Recent analyses of the carbonate globules present in the Martian meteorite ALH84001 have detected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at the ppm level. The distribution of PAHs observed in ALH84001 was interpreted as being inconsistent with a terrestrial origin and were claimed to be indigenous to the meteorite, perhaps derived from an ancient Martian biota. However, Becker et al., have examined PAHs in the Martian meteorite EETA79001, in several Antarctic carbonaceous chondrites and Antarctic Allan Hills Ice and detected many of the same PAHs found in ALH84001. The reported presence of L-amino acids of apparent terrestrial origin in the EETA79001 druse material, suggests that this meteorite is contaminated with terrestrial/extraterrestrial organics probably derived from Antarctic ice meltwater that had percolated through the meteorite. The detection of PAHs and L-amino acids in these Martian meteorites suggests that despite storage in the Antarctic ice, selective changes of certain chemical and mineralogical phases has occurred.

  14. Quasi-parabolic reflecting bottom surfaces of the Drygalski Antarctic floating ice tongue

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bianchi, C.; Chiappini, M.; Zirizzotti, A.; Zuccheretti, E. [Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome (Italy); Tabacco, I. E. [Milan Univ., Milan (Italy). Sez. Geofisica

    2001-06-01

    Very high frequency deep radio sounding systems for ice thickness measurements are practically the only useful apparatuses for large scale radar flight surveys in polar regions. The morphology of the bottom surface of a n Antarctic floating ice tongue, in the Ross Sea area, East Antarctica, was studied using the arrival times of signal echoes of the radio sounding system. The amplitude variations of radar signals from the reflecting surface were analyzed to determine the gain or the loss of the reflectors. Such surfaces show quasi-parabolic geometrical shapes at the ice/water interface with both concave and convex faces towards the sounding system. Electromagnetic analysis performed on radar echoes indicates that amplitude variations detected by the antenna are focusing or defocusing effects only due to the reflector's shape. A factor in the radar equation that represents the surface shape when coherent reflectors are involved is introduced. This factor allows everyone to determine more precisely the morphology and electromagnetic characteristics of the interface between the media investigated by means of radio echo sounding.

  15. Quasi-parabolic reflecting bottom surfaces of the Drygalski Antarctic floating ice tongue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Zuccheretti

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Very high frequency deep radio sounding systems for ice thickness measurements are practically the only useful apparatuses for large scale radar flight surveys in polar regions. The morphology of the bottom surface of an Antarctic floating ice tongue, in the Ross Sea area, East Antarctica, was studied using the arrival times of signal echoes of the radio sounding system. The amplitude variations of radar signals from the reflecting surface were analyzed to determine the gain or the loss of the reflectors. Such surfaces show quasi-parabolic geometrical shapes at the ice/water interface with both concave and convex faces towards the sounding system. Electromagnetic analysis performed on radar echoes indicates that amplitude variations detected by the antenna are focusing or defocusing effects only due to the reflector's shape. A factor in the radar equation that represents the surface shape when coherent reflectors are involved is introduced. This factor allows us to determine more precisely the morphology and electromagnetic characteristics of the interface between the media investigated by means of radio echo sounding.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Variability in sea ice cover and climate elicit sex specific responses in an Antarctic predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labrousse, Sara; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Fraser, Alexander D.; Massom, Rob A.; Reid, Phillip; Hobbs, William; Guinet, Christophe; Harcourt, Robert; McMahon, Clive; Authier, Matthieu; Bailleul, Frédéric; Hindell, Mark A.; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2017-01-01

    Contrasting regional changes in Southern Ocean sea ice have occurred over the last 30 years with distinct regional effects on ecosystem structure and function. Quantifying how Antarctic predators respond to such changes provides the context for predicting how climate variability/change will affect these assemblages into the future. Over an 11-year time-series, we examine how inter-annual variability in sea ice concentration and advance affect the foraging behaviour of a top Antarctic predator, the southern elephant seal. Females foraged longer in pack ice in years with greatest sea ice concentration and earliest sea ice advance, while males foraged longer in polynyas in years of lowest sea ice concentration. There was a positive relationship between near-surface meridional wind anomalies and female foraging effort, but not for males. This study reveals the complexities of foraging responses to climate forcing by a poleward migratory predator through varying sea ice property and dynamic anomalies. PMID:28233791

  19. INTERPRETATIONS OF COMPLICATED FOLDED STRUCTURES AT THE LOWER PARTS OF ANTARCTIC AND GREENLAND ICE SHEETS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey N. Markov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Complicated folded structures were recently recorded by radar survey in the lower portions of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. From a geological point of view the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are considered as geological features, while the ice is classified as sedimentary or metamorphic rock. In this regard the genesis of the ice sheets is analyzed from the perspective of geodynamics and metamorphism, and complicated folded structures on radar profiles are interpreted as tectonic and metamorphic structures. This study considers the processes of three kinds of tectonic structures: glacial diapirs, glacial diapir folds and glacial intrusions. Radar profiles not only capture ice flow structure but can also detect the thermobaric field in ice sheet, and in this case the complicated folded structures are interpreted as representative of recorded metastable boundaries of ice recrystallization.

  20. Detailed ice loss pattern in the northern Antarctic Peninsula: widespread decline driven by ice front retreats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. Scambos

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The northern Antarctic Peninsula (nAP, 3 a−1 and 24.9 ± 7.8 Gt a−1. This mass loss is compatible with recent gravimetric assessments, but it implies that almost all the gravimetry-inferred loss lies in the nAP sector. Mass loss is highest for eastern glaciers affected by major ice shelf collapses in 1995 and 2002, where twelve glaciers account for 60% of the total imbalance. However, losses at smaller rates occur throughout the nAP, and at high and low elevation, despite increased snow accumulation along the western coast and at high elevations. We interpret the widespread mass loss to be driven by decades of ice front retreats on both sides of the nAP, and by the propagation of kinematic waves triggered at the fronts into the interior.

  1. Drilling deep in South Pole Ice

    CERN Document Server

    Karg, Timo

    2014-01-01

    To detect the tiny flux of ultra-high energy neutrinos from active galactic nuclei or from interactions of highest energy cosmic rays with the microwave background photons needs target masses of the order of several hundred cubic kilometers. Clear Antarctic ice has been discussed as a favorable material for hybrid detection of optical, radio and acoustic signals from ultra-high energy neutrino interactions. To apply these technologies at the adequate scale hundreds of holes have to be drilled in the ice down to depths of about 2500 m to deploy the corresponding sensors. To do this on a reasonable time scale is impossible with presently available tools. Remote drilling and deployment schemes have to be developed to make such a detector design reality. After a short discussion of the status of modern hot water drilling we present here a design of an autonomous melting probe, tested 50 years ago to reach a depth of about 1000 m in Greenland ice. A scenario how to build such a probe today with modern technologies...

  2. Using fluorescence to characterize dissolved organic matter in Antarctic sea ice brines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stedmon, Colin A.; Thomas, David N.; Papadimitriou, Stathys; Granskog, Mats A.; Dieckmann, Gerhard S.

    2011-09-01

    Sea ice plays a dynamic role in the air-sea exchange of CO2. In addition to abiotic inorganic carbon fluxes, an active microbial community produces and remineralizes organic carbon, which can accumulate in sea ice brines as dissolved organic matter (DOM). In this study, the characteristics of DOM fluorescence in Antarctic sea ice brines from the western Weddell Sea were investigated. Two humic-like components were identified, which were identical to those previously found to accumulate in the deep ocean and represent refractory material. Three amino-acid-like signals were found, one of which was unique to the brines and another that was spectrally very similar to tryptophan and found both in seawater and in brine samples. The tryptophan-like fluorescence in the brines exhibited intensities higher than could be explained by conservative behavior during the freezing of seawater. Its fluorescence was correlated with the accumulation of nitrogen-rich DOM to concentrations up to 900 μmol L-1 as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and, thus, potentially represented proteins released by ice organisms. A second, nitrogen-poor DOM fraction also accumulated in the brines to concentrations up to 200 μmol L-1 but was not correlated with any of the fluorescence signals identified. Because of the high C:N ratio and lack of fluorescence, this material is thought to represent extracellular polymeric substances, which consist primarily of polysaccharides. The clear grouping of the DOM pool into either proteinaceous or carbohydrate-dominated material indicates that the production and accumulation of these two subpools of DOM in sea ice brines is, to some extent, decoupled.

  3. Meltwater produced by wind-albedo interaction stored in an East Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Lhermitte, S.; Drews, R.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; Berger, S.; Helm, V.; Smeets, C. J. P. P.; Broeke, M. R. Van Den; 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 shelves causing grounded glaciers to accelerate and sea level to rise. 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. Here, we provide observational and model evidence that this process also occurs over an East Antarctic ice shelf, where meltwater-induced firn air depletion is found in the grounding zone. Unlike the Antarctic Peninsula, where foehn events originate from episodic interaction of the circumpolar westerlies with the topography, in coastal East Antarctica high temperatures are caused by persistent katabatic winds originating from the ice sheet’s interior. Katabatic winds warm and mix the air as it flows downward and cause widespread snow erosion, explaining >3 K higher near-surface temperatures in summer and surface melt doubling in the grounding zone compared with its surroundings. Additionally, these winds expose blue ice and firn with lower surface albedo, further enhancing melt. The in situ observation of supraglacial flow and englacial storage of meltwater suggests that ice-shelf grounding zones in East Antarctica, like their Antarctic Peninsula counterparts, are vulnerable to hydrofracturing.

  4. Impact of the El Nino on the Variability of the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈锦年; 褚健婷; 徐兰英

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, the spreading way in the southern hemisphere that anomalous warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific is analysed and then impact of El Nino on the variability of the Antarctic sea ice extent is investigated by using a dataset from 1970 to 2002. The analysis result show that in El Nino event the anomalous warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific is poleward propagation yet the westward propagation along southern equator current hasn 't been discovered . The poleward propagation time of the anomalous warm water is about 1 year or so. El Nino event has a close relationship with the sea ice extent in the Amundsen sea , Bellingshausen sea and Antarctic peninsula. After El Nino appears , there is a lag of two years that the sea ice in the Amundsen sea , Bellingshausea sea, especially in the Antarctic peninsula decreases obviously. The processes that El Nino has influence with Antarctic sea ice extent is the warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific poleward propagation along off the coast of southern America and cause the anomalous temperature raise in near pole and then lead the sea ice in Amundsen sea , Bellingshausen sea and Antarctic peninsula to decrease where the obvious decrease of the sea ice since 80 'decade has close relation to the frequently appearance of El Nino.

  5. Firn air depletion as a precursor of Antarctic ice-shelf collapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Vaughan, D.G.

    2014-01-01

    Since the 1970s, the sudden, rapid collapse of 20% of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula has led to large-scale thinning and acceleration of its tributary glaciers. The leading hypothesis for the collapse of most of these ice shelves is the process of hydrofracturing, whereby a water-filled crev

  6. 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

    Since 1995 several ice shelves in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula have collapsed and triggered ice-mass unloading, invoking a solid Earth response that has been recorded at continuous GPS (cGPS) stations. A previous attempt to model the observation of rapid uplift following the 2002 breakup of L...

  7. 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.

  8. The association of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba with the under-ice habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hauke Flores

    Full Text Available The association of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba with the under-ice habitat was investigated in the Lazarev Sea (Southern Ocean during austral summer, autumn and winter. Data were obtained using novel Surface and Under Ice Trawls (SUIT, which sampled the 0-2 m surface layer both under sea ice and in open water. Average surface layer densities ranged between 0.8 individuals m(-2 in summer and autumn, and 2.7 individuals m(-2 in winter. In summer, under-ice densities of Antarctic krill were significantly higher than in open waters. In autumn, the opposite pattern was observed. Under winter sea ice, densities were often low, but repeatedly far exceeded summer and autumn maxima. Statistical models showed that during summer high densities of Antarctic krill in the 0-2 m layer were associated with high ice coverage and shallow mixed layer depths, among other factors. In autumn and winter, density was related to hydrographical parameters. Average under-ice densities from the 0-2 m layer were higher than corresponding values from the 0-200 m layer collected with Rectangular Midwater Trawls (RMT in summer. In winter, under-ice densities far surpassed maximum 0-200 m densities on several occasions. This indicates that the importance of the ice-water interface layer may be under-estimated by the pelagic nets and sonars commonly used to estimate the population size of Antarctic krill for management purposes, due to their limited ability to sample this habitat. Our results provide evidence for an almost year-round association of Antarctic krill with the under-ice habitat, hundreds of kilometres into the ice-covered area of the Lazarev Sea. Local concentrations of postlarval Antarctic krill under winter sea ice suggest that sea ice biota are important for their winter survival. These findings emphasise the susceptibility of an ecological key species to changing sea ice habitats, suggesting potential ramifications on Antarctic ecosystems induced by climate

  9. Climate Model Dependency and Understanding the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Warm Late Pliocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolan, Aisling; de Boer, Bas; Bernales, Jorge; Hunter, Stephen; Haywood, Alan

    2016-04-01

    In the context of future climate change, understanding the nature and behaviour of ice sheets during warm intervals of Earth history is fundamentally important. A warm period in the Late Pliocene (3.264 to 3.025 million years before present) can serve as a potential analogue for projected future climates. Although Pliocene ice locations and extents are still poorly constrained, a significant contribution to sea-level rise should be expected from both the Greenland ice sheet and the West and East Antarctic ice sheets based on palaeo sea-level reconstructions and geological evidence. Following a five year international project PLISMIP (Pliocene Ice Sheet Modeling Intercomparison Project) we present the final set of results which quantify uncertainty in climate model-based predictions of the Antarctic ice sheet. In this study we use an ensemble of climate model forcings within a multi-ice sheet model framework to assess the climate (model) dependency of large scale features of the Antarctic ice sheet. Seven coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models are used to derive surface temperature, precipitation and oceanic forcing that drive three ice sheet models (over the grounded and floating domain). Similar to results presented over Greenland, we show that the reconstruction of the Antarctic ice sheet is sensitive to which climate model is used to provide the forcing field. Key areas of uncertainty include West Antarctica, the large subglacial basins of East Antarctica and the overall thickness of the continental interior of East Antarctica. We relate the results back to geological proxy data, such as those relating to exposure rates which provide information on potential ice sheet thickness. Finally we discuss as to whether the choice of modelling framework (i.e. climate model and ice sheet model used) or the choice of boundary conditions causes the greatest uncertainty in ice sheet reconstructions of the warm Pliocene.

  10. The Importance of History for Predicting the Future of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, R.

    2008-12-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) initiative began in 1990, following on earlier studies of the 'Siple Coast' ice streams and the Ross Ice Shelf. The past nearly two decades of field and satellite research of the West Antarctic ice sheet have produced an astounding number of discoveries, not the least of which is the variability of the West Antarctic ice sheet on time scales from seconds (yes, seconds!) to many millennia. The shorter-time-scale variations, such as the recent acceleration and thinning of glaciers draining into the Amundsen Sea, have illustrated serious weaknesses in what were once regarded as excellent models of ice sheet dynamics. Repairing this modeling capability requires understanding and incorporating external and internal processes previously regarded as less important. Ice-sheet history remains the best means to test, tune and validate numerical models of ice sheets. Cenozoic-age behavior may seem too ancient to matter to a centennial-time-scale focus on the future, but it is precisely through a long history, that the variety of more extreme ice sheet configurations can be extracted. Such upper or lower bound estimates have served the WAIS community well over the years to help justify research needed to assess the probability of dramatic behavior. Now, with the necessity of model revisions central to the WAIS effort, time histories of ice sheet behavior over both short and long time scales will return to a position of extreme importance.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  13. Fluxes of microbes, organic aerosols, dust, and methanesulfonate onto Greenland and Antarctic ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. B. Price

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Using a spectrofluorimeter with 224-nm laser excitation to measure fluorescence intensity at 300-μm depth intervals, 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 an autofluorescence spectrum different from Trp as a function of depth in ice cores from west Antarctica (WAIS Divide and Siple Dome and Greenland (GISP 2. The ratio of fluxes of microbial cells onto Antarctic Greenland ice is 0.23±0.11 and of non-Trp aerosols is 0.17±0.08, both of which are comparable to the ratio of fluxes of mineral dust at Antarctic and Greenland sites (0.09±0.06. In contrast, the ratio of fluxes of methanesulfonate (MSA onto Antarctic relative to Greenland sites is 1.86±0.4, a factor 20 higher. The lower fluxes of microbes, non-Trp aerosols, and dust onto Antarctic ice may be due to the smaller areas of their source regions, together with less favorable wind patterns for Antarctic ice than Greenland ice. We attribute the higher fluxes of MSA in Antarctic ice to the concentration of haptophytes, a phylum of marine algae, in the far more extensive sea ice margin around Antarctica than around Greenland. The similarity of flux ratios of microbes and non-Trp aerosols to dust flux ratios suggests that their source regions overlap with dust sources rather than with MSA sources. A new version of the spectrofluorimeter with additional channels for mapping chlorophyll and volcanic tephra will be used to map WAIS Divide ice at 1 mm intervals to bedrock.

  14. Fluxes of microbes, organic aerosols, dust, and methanesulfonate onto Greenland and Antarctic ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, P. B.; Rohde, R. A.; Bay, R. C.

    2008-12-01

    Using a spectrofluorimeter with 224-nm laser excitation to measure fluorescence intensity at 300-μm depth intervals, 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 an autofluorescence spectrum different from Trp as a function of depth in ice cores from west Antarctica (WAIS Divide and Siple Dome) and Greenland (GISP 2). The ratio of fluxes of microbial cells onto Antarctic Greenland ice is 0.23±0.11 and of non-Trp aerosols is 0.17±0.08, both of which are comparable to the ratio of fluxes of mineral dust at Antarctic and Greenland sites (0.09±0.06). In contrast, the ratio of fluxes of methanesulfonate (MSA) onto Antarctic relative to Greenland sites is 1.86±0.4, a factor 20 higher. The lower fluxes of microbes, non-Trp aerosols, and dust onto Antarctic ice may be due to the smaller areas of their source regions, together with less favorable wind patterns for Antarctic ice than Greenland ice. We attribute the higher fluxes of MSA in Antarctic ice to the concentration of haptophytes, a phylum of marine algae, in the far more extensive sea ice margin around Antarctica than around Greenland. The similarity of flux ratios of microbes and non-Trp aerosols to dust flux ratios suggests that their source regions overlap with dust sources rather than with MSA sources. A new version of the spectrofluorimeter with additional channels for mapping chlorophyll and volcanic tephra will be used to map WAIS Divide ice at 1 mm intervals to bedrock.

  15. 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.

  16. Cenozoic ice sheet history from East Antarctic Wilkes Land continental margin sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escutia, C.; De Santis, L.; Donda, F.; Dunbar, R.B.; Cooper, A. K.; Brancolini, Giuliano; Eittreim, S.L.

    2005-01-01

    regime during the Pliocene-Pleistocene, when most sediment delivered to the margin is trapped in the outer shelf and slope-forming steep prograding wedges. During the warmer but still polar, Holocene, biogenic sediment accumulates quickly in deep inner-shelf basins during the high-stand intervals. These sediments contain an ultrahigh resolution (annual to millennial) record of climate variability. Validation of our inferences about the nature and timing of Wilkes Land glacial sequences can be achieved by deep sampling (i.e., using IODP-type techniques). The most complete record of the long-term history of glaciation in this margin can be obtained by sampling both (1) the shelf, which contains the direct (presence or no presence of ice) but low-resolution record of glaciation, and (2) the rise, which contains the distal (cold vs. warm) but more complete record of glaciation. The Wilkes Land margin is the only known Antarctic margin where the presumed "onset" of glaciation unconformity (WL-U3) can be traced from shelf to the abyssal plain, allowing links between the proximal and the distal records of glaciation to be established. Additionally, the eastern segment of the Wilkes Land margin may be more sensitive to climate change because the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) is grounded below sea level. Therefore, the Wilkes Land margin is not only an ideal location to obtain the long-term EAIS history but also to obtain the shorter-term record of ice sheet fluctuations at times that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is thought to have been more stable (after 15 Ma-recent). ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Incorporation of iron and organic matter into young Antarctic sea ice during its initial growth stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Janssens

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study reports concentrations of iron (Fe and organic matter in young Antarctic pack ice and during its initial growth stages in situ. Although the importance of sea ice as an Fe reservoir for oceanic waters of the Southern Ocean has been clearly established, the processes leading to the enrichment of Fe in sea ice have yet to be investigated and quantified. We conducted two in situ sea-ice growth experiments during a winter cruise in the Weddell Sea. Our aim was to improve the understanding of the processes responsible for the accumulation of dissolved Fe (DFe and particulate Fe (PFe in sea ice, and of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, extracellular polymeric substances, inorganic macro-nutrients (silicic acid, nitrate and nitrite, phosphate and ammonium, chlorophyll a and bacteria. Enrichment indices, calculated for natural young ice and ice newly formed in situ, indicate that during Antarctic winter all of the measured forms of particulate matter were enriched in sea ice compared to underlying seawater, and that enrichment started from the initial stages of sea-ice formation. Some dissolved material (DFe and ammonium was also enriched in the ice but at lower enrichment indices than the particulate phase, suggesting that size is a key factor for the incorporation of impurities in sea ice. Low chlorophyll a concentrations and the fit of the macro-nutrients (with the exception of ammonium with their theoretical dilution lines indicated low biological activity in the ice. From these and additional results we conclude that physical processes are the dominant mechanisms leading to the enrichment of DFe, PFe, organic matter and bacteria in young sea ice, and that PFe and DFe are decoupled during sea-ice formation. Our study thus provides unique quantitative insight into the initial incorporation of impurities, in particular DFe and PFe, into Antarctic sea ice.

  19. DMSP and DMS cycling within Antarctic sea ice during the winter-spring transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damm, E.; Nomura, D.; Martin, A.; Dieckmann, G. S.; Meiners, K. M.

    2016-09-01

    This study describes within-ice concentrations of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), its degradation product dimethylsulphide (DMS), as well as nutrients and chlorophyll a, that were sampled during the Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems eXperiment-2 (SIPEX-2) in 2012. DMSP is a methylated substrate produced in large amounts annually by ice-associated microalgae, while DMS plays a significant role in carbon and sulphur cycling in the Southern Ocean. In the East Antarctic study area between 115-125°E and 64-66°S, ice and slush cores, brine, under-ice seawater and zooplankton (Antarctic krill) samples were collected at 6 ice stations. The pack-ice was characterised by high snow loading which initiated flooding events and triggered nutrient supply to the sea-ice surface, while variation in ice conditions influenced sea-ice permeability. This ranged from impermeable surface and middle sections of the sea ice, to completely permeable ice cores at some stations. Chlorophyll a maxima shifted from the sea-ice surface horizon at the first station to the sea ice bottom layer at the last station. Highest DMSP concentrations were detected in brine samples at the sea-ice surface, reflecting a mismatch with respect to the distribution of chlorophyll a. Our data suggest enhanced DMSP production by sea-ice surface algal communities and its release into brine during freezing and melting, which in turn is coupled to flooding events early in the season. A time-cycle of DMS production by DMSP degradation and DMS efflux is evident at the sea ice-snow interface when slush is formed during melt. Seawater under the ice contained only low concentrations of DMSP and DMS, even when brine drainage was evident and the sea ice became permeable. We postulate that in situ grazing by zooplankton may act as sink for the DMSP produced early in the season.

  20. Were West Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding events in the Ross Sea a consequence of East Antarctic Ice Sheet expansion during the middle Miocene?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Philip J.

    2003-11-01

    Seismic correlation of glacial unconformities from the Ross Sea outer continental shelf to chronostratigraphic control at DSDP sites 272 and 273 indicates that at least two West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) expansions occurred during the early part of the middle Miocene (i.e. well before completion of continental-scale expansion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) inferred from δ 18O and eustatic shifts). Therefore, if the volume of the EAIS was indeed relatively low, and if the Ross Sea age model is valid, then these WAIS expansions/contractions were not a direct consequence of EAIS expansion over the Transantarctic Mountains onto West Antarctica. An in-situ development of the WAIS during the middle Miocene suggests that either West Antarctic land elevations were above sea level and/or that air and water temperatures were sufficiently cold to support a marine-based ice sheet. Additional chronostratigraphic and lithologic data are needed from Antarctic margins to test these speculations.

  1. Modeling Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat in warm climates: a historical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.; Deconto, R. M.; Gasson, E.

    2016-12-01

    Early modeling of Antarctic Ice Sheet size vs. climate focused on asymmetry between retreat and growth, with much greater warming needed to cause retreat from full ice cover, due to Height Mass Balance Feedback and albedo feedback. This led to a long-standing model-data conflict, with models needing 1000 to2000 ppmv atmospheric CO2 to produce retreat from full size, vs. proxy data of large ice fluctuations despite much lower CO2 since the Miocene.Subsequent modeling with marine ice physics found that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could undergo repeated warm-period collapses with realistic past forcing. However, that yields only 3 to 7 m equivalent sea-level rise above modern, compared to 10 to 20 m or more suggested by some geologic data. Large subglacial basins in East Antarctica could be vulnerable to the same processes,but did not retreat in most models due to narrower and shallower sills.After recent modifications, some ice sheet models were able to produce warm-period collapse of major East Antarctic basins, with sea-level rise of up to 15 m. The modifications are (i) hydrofracturing by surface melt, and structural failure of ice cliffs, or (ii) numerical treatment at the grounding line. In these models, large retreat occurs both for past warmintervals, and also for future business-as-usual scenarios.Some interpretations of data in the late Oligocene and Miocene suggest yet larger fluctuations, between 50 to 100% of modern Antarctic size. That would require surface-melt driven retreat of some terrestrial East Antarctic ice, despite the hysteresis issue raised above. A recent study using a coupled climate-ice sheet model found that with a finer climate gridand more frequent coupling exchange, substantial retreat of terrestrial Antarctica can occur with 500 to 840 ppmv CO2, much lower than in earlier models. This will allow meaningful interactions between modeling and deeper-time geologic interpretations since the late Oligocene.

  2. Effect of Cd on GSH and GSH-related enzymes of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L existing in Antarctic ice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING Yu; MIAO Jin-lai; LI Guang-you; WANG Quan-fu; KAN Guang-feng; WANG Guo-dong

    2005-01-01

    Glutathione(GSH) and GSH-related enzymes play a great role in protecting organisms from oxidative damage. The GSH level and GSH-related enzymes activities were investigated as well as the growth yield and malonyldialdehyde(MDA) content in the Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L exposure to the different cadmium concentration in this paper. The results showed that the higher concentration Cd inhibited the growth of ICE-L significantly and Cd would induce formation of MDA. At the same time, it is clear that GSH level, glutathione peroxidases(GPx) activity and glutathione S-transferases(GST), activity were higher in ICE-L exposed to Cd than the control. But GR activity dropped notably when ICE-L were cultured in the medium containing Cd. Increase of GSH level, GPx and GST activities acclimate to oxidative stress induced by Cd and protect Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L from toxicity caused by Cd exposure. These parameters may be used to assess the biological impact of Cd in the Antarctic pole region environment.

  3. Antarctic pack ice algal distribution: Floe-scale spatial variability and predictability from physical parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiners, K. M.; Arndt, S.; Bestley, S.; Krumpen, T.; Ricker, R.; Milnes, M.; Newbery, K.; Freier, U.; Jarman, S.; King, R.; Proud, R.; Kawaguchi, S.; Meyer, B.

    2017-07-01

    Antarctic pack ice serves as habitat for microalgae which contribute to Southern Ocean primary production and serve as important food source for pelagic herbivores. Ice algal biomass is highly patchy and remains severely undersampled by classical methods such as spatially restricted ice coring surveys. Here we provide an unprecedented view of ice algal biomass distribution, mapped (as chlorophyll a) in a 100 m by 100 m area of a Weddell Sea pack ice floe, using under-ice irradiance measurements taken with an instrumented remotely operated vehicle. We identified significant correlations (p < 0.001) between algal biomass and concomitant in situ surface measurements of snow depth, ice thickness, and estimated sea ice freeboard levels using a statistical model. The model's explanatory power (r2 = 0.30) indicates that these parameters alone may provide a first basis for spatial prediction of ice algal biomass, but parameterization of additional determinants is needed to inform more robust upscaling efforts.

  4. Sensitivity of Antarctic sea ice to form drag parameterization: model results and remote sensing observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsamados, M.; Barbic, G.; Petty, A.; Schroeder, D.; Holland, P.; Feltham, D. L.

    2016-12-01

    A new drag parametrization accounting explicitly for form drag has been recently formulated and applied to the Arctic sea ice (Lupkes et al, 2012 and Tsamados et al, 2014). We summarizehere the fundamental elements of this formulation and we then adapt it to the Antarctic sea ice. Considering the general expression of the momentum balance of sea ice, we analyze thetotal (neutral) drag coefficients by studying separately air-ice and ocean-ice momentum fluxes, and by introducing the parameterization for both the atmospheric neutral drag coeffcient (ANDC)and the oceanic neutral drag coeffcient (ONDC). The two coefficients are calculated as a sum of their skin frictional contribution and form drag contribution, which comes from ridges and floeedges for the ANDC and keels and floe edges for the ONDC. Due to the contrasting geography of the two polar regions, there are important differences, both dynamic and thermodynamic, betweenArctic and Antarctic sea ice. In the Antarctic, sea ice is younger, less ridged (hence thinner and smoother). Due to the intense snowfalls, the snow cover is generally thicker than in theArctic, with values that vary significantly both seasonally and regionally and can affect the roughness of the surface and can lead to flooding of the ice. At the outer boundary of the SouthernOcean, the ice is unconstrained by land, divergent and subject to meridional advection, which leads to a much faster ice drift than in the Arctic. We show here how the new parameterization accountingfor form drag influences the Antarctic sea ice characteristics.

  5. Extensive dynamic thinning on the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, Hamish D; Arthern, Robert J; Vaughan, David G; Edwards, Laura A

    2009-10-15

    Many glaciers along the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are accelerating and, for this reason, contribute increasingly to global sea-level rise. Globally, ice losses contribute approximately 1.8 mm yr(-1) (ref. 8), but this could increase if the retreat of ice shelves and tidewater glaciers further enhances the loss of grounded ice or initiates the large-scale collapse of vulnerable parts of the ice sheets. Ice loss as a result of accelerated flow, known as dynamic thinning, is so poorly understood that its potential contribution to sea level over the twenty-first century remains unpredictable. Thinning on the ice-sheet scale has been monitored by using repeat satellite altimetry observations to track small changes in surface elevation, but previous sensors could not resolve most fast-flowing coastal glaciers. Here we report the use of high-resolution ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) laser altimetry to map change along the entire grounded margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. To isolate the dynamic signal, we compare rates of elevation change from both fast-flowing and slow-flowing ice with those expected from surface mass-balance fluctuations. We find that dynamic thinning of glaciers now reaches all latitudes in Greenland, has intensified on key Antarctic grounding lines, has endured for decades after ice-shelf collapse, penetrates far into the interior of each ice sheet and is spreading as ice shelves thin by ocean-driven melt. In Greenland, glaciers flowing faster than 100 m yr(-1) thinned at an average rate of 0.84 m yr(-1), and in the Amundsen Sea embayment of Antarctica, thinning exceeded 9.0 m yr(-1) for some glaciers. Our results show that the most profound changes in the ice sheets currently result from glacier dynamics at ocean margins.

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

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    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

  7. Spatial scales of light transmission through Antarctic pack ice: Surface flooding vs. floe-size distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, S.; Meiners, K.; Krumpen, T.; Ricker, R.; Nicolaus, M.

    2016-12-01

    Snow on sea ice plays a crucial role for interactions between the ocean and atmosphere within the climate system of polar regions. Antarctic sea ice is covered with snow during most of the year. The snow contributes substantially to the sea-ice mass budget as the heavy snow loads can depress the ice below water level causing flooding. Refreezing of the snow and seawater mixture results in snow-ice formation on the ice surface. The snow cover determines also the amount of light being reflected, absorbed, and transmitted into the upper ocean, determining the surface energy budget of ice-covered oceans. The amount of light penetrating through sea ice into the upper ocean is of critical importance for the timing and amount of bottom sea-ice melt, biogeochemical processes and under-ice ecosystems. Here, we present results of several recent observations in the Weddell Sea measuring solar radiation under Antarctic sea ice with instrumented Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV). The combination of under-ice optical measurements with simultaneous characterization of surface properties, such as sea-ice thickness and snow depth, allows the identification of key processes controlling the spatial distribution of the under-ice light. Thus, our results show how the distinction between flooded and non-flooded sea-ice regimes dominates the spatial scales of under-ice light variability for areas smaller than 100-by-100m. In contrast, the variability on larger scales seems to be controlled by the floe-size distribution and the associated lateral incidence of light. These results are related to recent studies on the spatial variability of Arctic under-ice light fields focusing on the distinctly differing dominant surface properties between the northern (e.g. summer melt ponds) and southern (e.g. year-round snow cover, surface flooding) hemisphere sea-ice cover.

  8. The Brazilian research contribution to knowledge of the plant communities from Antarctic ice free areas

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    ANTONIO B. PEREIRA

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This work aims to summarize the results of research carried out by Brazilian researchers on the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas during the last twenty five years. Since 1988 field work has been carried out in Elephant Island, King George Island, Nelson Island and Deception Island. During this period six papers were published on the chemistry of lichens, seven papers on plant taxonomy, five papers on plant biology, two studies on UVB photoprotection, three studies about the relationships between plant communities and bird colonies and eleven papers on plant communities from ice free areas. At the present, Brazilian botanists are researching the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas in order to understand their relationships to soil microbial communities, the biodiversity, the distribution of the plants populations and their relationship with birds colonies. In addition to these activities, a group of Brazilian researchers are undertaking studies related to Antarctic plant genetic diversity, plant chemistry and their biotechnological applications.

  9. The suppression of Antarctic bottom water formation by melting ice shelves in Prydz Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, G. D.; Herraiz-Borreguero, L.; Roquet, F.; Tamura, T.; Ohshima, K. I.; Fukamachi, Y.; Fraser, A. D.; Gao, L.; Chen, H.; McMahon, C. R.; Harcourt, R.; Hindell, M.

    2016-08-01

    A fourth production region for the globally important Antarctic bottom water has been attributed to dense shelf water formation in the Cape Darnley Polynya, adjoining Prydz Bay in East Antarctica. Here we show new observations from CTD-instrumented elephant seals in 2011-2013 that provide the first complete assessment of dense shelf water formation in Prydz Bay. After a complex evolution involving opposing contributions from three polynyas (positive) and two ice shelves (negative), dense shelf water (salinity 34.65-34.7) is exported through Prydz Channel. This provides a distinct, relatively fresh contribution to Cape Darnley bottom water. Elsewhere, dense water formation is hindered by the freshwater input from the Amery and West Ice Shelves into the Prydz Bay Gyre. This study highlights the susceptibility of Antarctic bottom water to increased freshwater input from the enhanced melting of ice shelves, and ultimately the potential collapse of Antarctic bottom water formation in a warming climate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chao-Yuan; Liu, Jiping; Hu, Yongyun; Horton, Radley M.; Chen, Liqi; Cheng, Xiao

    2016-10-01

    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.

  11. Impacts of freshwater changes on Antarctic sea ice in an eddy-permitting sea-ice-ocean model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haid, Verena; Iovino, Doroteaciro; Masina, Simona

    2017-06-01

    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.

  12. Boundary conditions of an active West Antarctic subglacial lake: implications for storage of water beneath the ice sheet

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    M. J. Siegert

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Repeat-pass IceSat altimetry has revealed 124 discrete surface height changes across the Antarctic Ice Sheet, interpreted to be caused by subglacial lake discharges (surface lowering and inputs (surface uplift. Few of these active lakes have been confirmed by radio-echo sounding (RES despite several attempts (notable exceptions are Lake Whillans and three in the Adventure Subglacial Trench. Here we present targeted RES and radar altimeter data from an "active lake" location within the upstream Institute Ice Stream, into which 0.12 km3 of water is calculated to have flowed between October 2003 and February 2008. We use a series of transects to establish an accurate appreciation of the influences of bed topography and ice-surface elevation on water storage potential. The location of surface height change is over the downslope flank of a distinct topographic hollow, where RES reveals no obvious evidence for deep (> 10 m water. The regional hydropotential reveals a sink coincident with the surface change, however. Governed by the location of the hydrological sink, basal water will likely "drape" over existing topography in a manner dissimilar to subglacial lakes where flat strong specular RES reflections are measured. The inability of RES to detect the active lake means that more of the Antarctic ice sheet bed may contain stored water than is currently appreciated. Variation in ice surface elevation datasets leads to significant alteration in calculations of the local flow of basal water indicating the value of, and need for, high resolution RES datasets in both space and time to establish and characterise subglacial hydrological processes.

  13. Late Quaternary Advance and Retreat of an East Antarctic Ice Shelf System: Insights from Sedimentary Beryllium-10 Concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guitard, M. E.; Shevenell, A.; Domack, E. W.; Rosenheim, B. E.; Yokoyama, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Observed retreat of Antarctica's marine-based glaciers and the presence of warm (~2°C) modified Circumpolar Deep Water on Antarctica's continental shelves imply ocean temperatures may influence Antarctic cryosphere stability. A paucity of information regarding Late Quaternary East Antarctic cryosphere-ocean interactions makes assessing the variability, timing, and style of deglacial retreat difficult. Marine sediments from Prydz Bay, East Antarctica contain hemipelagic siliceous mud and ooze units (SMO) alternating with glacial marine sediments. The record suggests Late Quaternary variability of local outlet glacier systems, including the Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf system that drains 15% of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. We present a refined radiocarbon chronology and beryllium-10 (10Be) record of Late Quaternary depositional history in Prydz Channel, seaward of the Amery Ice Shelf system, which provides insight into the timing and variability of this important outlet glacier system. We focus on three piston cores (NBP01-01, JPC 34, 35, 36; 750 m water depth) that contain alternating SMO and granulated units uninterrupted by glacial till; the record preserves a succession of glacial marine deposits that pre-date the Last Glacial Maximum. We utilize the ramped pyrolysis preparatory method to improve the bulk organic carbon 14C-based chronology for Prydz Channel. To determine if the SMO intervals reflect open water conditions or sub-ice shelf advection, we measured sedimentary 10Be concentrations. Because ice cover affects 10Be pathways through the water column, sedimentary concentrations should provide information on past depositional environments in Prydz Channel. In Prydz Channel sediments, 10Be concentrations are generally higher in SMO units and lower in glacial units, suggesting Late Quaternary fluctuations in the Amery Ice Shelf. Improved chronologic constraints indicate that these fluctuations occurred on millennial timescales during the Last Glacial

  14. Antarctic icebergs melt over the Southern Ocean : Climatology and impact on sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Nacho; Le Sommer, Julien; Durand, Gael; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Madec, Gurvan; Mathiot, Pierre; Tournadre, Jean

    2016-08-01

    Recent increase in Antarctic freshwater release to the Southern Ocean is suggested to contribute to change in water masses and sea ice. However, climate models differ in their representation of the freshwater sources. Recent improvements in altimetry-based detection of small icebergs and in estimates of the mass loss of Antarctica may help better constrain the values of Antarctic freshwater releases. We propose a model-based seasonal climatology of iceberg melt over the Southern Ocean using state-of-the-art observed glaciological estimates of the Antarctic mass loss. An improved version of a Lagrangian iceberg model is coupled with a global, eddy-permitting ocean/sea ice model and compared to small icebergs observations. Iceberg melt increases sea ice cover, about 10% in annual mean sea ice volume, and decreases sea surface temperature over most of the Southern Ocean, but with distinctive regional patterns. Our results underline the importance of improving the representation of Antarctic freshwater sources. This can be achieved by forcing ocean/sea ice models with a climatological iceberg fresh-water flux.

  15. Potential for future sea-level contributions from the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, Rob; Pollard, David; Gasson, Ed

    2017-04-01

    Recent Antarctic ice-sheet modeling that includes the effects of surface meltwater on ice-sheet dynamics (through hydrofracturing and ice-cliff collapse) has demonstrated the previously underappreciated sensitivity of the ice sheet to atmospheric warming in addition to sub-ice oceanic warming. Here, we improve on our modeling of future ice-sheet retreat by using time-evolving atmospheric climatologies from a high-resolution regional climate model, synchronized with SSTs, subsurface ocean temperatures, and sub-ice melt rates from the NCAR CCSM4 GCM. Ongoing improvements in ice-sheet model physics are tested and calibrated relative to observations of recent and ancient (Pliocene, Last InterGlacial, and Last Deglaciation) ice-sheet responses to warming. The model is applied to a range of future greenhouse-gas emissions scenarios, including modified RCP scenarios corresponding to the 1.5° and 2.0° targets of the Paris Agreement and higher emissions scenarios including RCP8.5. The results imply that a threshold in the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and outlet glaciers in East Antarctica might be exceeded in the absence of aggressive mitigation policies like those discussed in Paris. We also explore the maximum potential for Antarctica to contribute to future sea-level rise in high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, by testing a range of model physical parameters within the bounds of observations.

  16. An improved Antarctic dataset for high resolution numerical ice sheet models (ALBMAP v1

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    A. M. Le Brocq

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The dataset described in this paper (ALBMAP has been created for the purposes of high-resolution numerical ice sheet modelling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. It brings together data on the ice sheet configuration (e.g. ice surface and ice thickness and boundary conditions, such as the surface air temperature, accumulation and geothermal heat flux. The ice thickness and basal topography is based on the BEDMAP dataset (Lythe et al., 2001, however, there are a number of inconsistencies within BEDMAP and, since its release, more data has become available. The dataset described here addresses these inconsistencies, including some novel interpolation schemes for sub ice-shelf cavities, and incorporates some major new datasets. The inclusion of new datasets is not exhaustive, this considerable task is left for the next release of BEDMAP, however, the data and procedure documented here provides another step forward and demonstrates the issues that need addressing in a continental scale dataset useful for high resolution ice sheet modelling. The dataset provides an initial condition that is as close as possible to present-day ice sheet configuration, aiding modelling of the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to various forcings, which are, at present, not fully understood.

  17. Physicochemical control of bacterial and protist community composition and diversity in Antarctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torstensson, Anders; Dinasquet, Julie; Chierici, Melissa; Fransson, Agneta; Riemann, Lasse; Wulff, Angela

    2015-10-01

    Due to climate change, sea ice experiences changes in terms of extent and physical properties. In order to understand how sea ice microbial communities are affected by changes in physicochemical properties of the ice, we used 454-sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes to examine environmental control of microbial diversity and composition in Antarctic sea ice. We observed a high diversity and richness of bacteria, which were strongly negatively correlated with temperature and positively with brine salinity. We suggest that bacterial diversity in sea ice is mainly controlled by physicochemical properties of the ice, such as temperature and salinity, and that sea ice bacterial communities are sensitive to seasonal and environmental changes. For the first time in Antarctic interior sea ice, we observed a strong eukaryotic dominance of the dinoflagellate phylotype SL163A10, comprising 63% of the total sequences. This phylotype is known to be kleptoplastic and could be a significant primary producer in sea ice. We conclude that mixotrophic flagellates may play a greater role in the sea ice microbial ecosystem than previously believed, and not only during the polar night but also during summer when potential food sources are abundant.

  18. Recent dramatic thinning of largest West Antarctic ice stream triggered by oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Antony J.; Vieli, Andreas; Shepherd, Andrew P.; Wingham, Duncan J.; Rignot, Eric

    2004-12-01

    A growing body of observational data suggests that Pine Island Glacier (PIG) is changing on decadal or shorter timescales. These changes may have far-reaching consequences for the future of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) and global sea levels because of PIG's role as the ice sheet's primary drainage portal. We test the hypothesis that these changes are triggered by the adjoining ocean. Specifically, we employ an advanced numerical ice-flow model to simulate the effects of perturbations at the grounding line on PIG's dynamics. The speed at which these changes are propagated upstream implies a tight coupling between ice-sheet interior and surrounding ocean.

  19. 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

  20. Ice core and climate reanalysis analogs to predict Antarctic and Southern Hemisphere climate changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayewski, P. A.; Carleton, A. M.; Birkel, S. D.; Dixon, D.; Kurbatov, A. V.; Korotkikh, E.; McConnell, J.; Curran, M.; Cole-Dai, J.; Jiang, S.; Plummer, C.; Vance, T.; Maasch, K. A.; Sneed, S. B.; Handley, M.

    2017-01-01

    A primary goal of the SCAR (Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research) initiated AntClim21 (Antarctic Climate in the 21st Century) Scientific Research Programme is to develop analogs for understanding past, present and future climates for the Antarctic and Southern Hemisphere. In this contribution to AntClim21 we provide a framework for achieving this goal that includes: a description of basic climate parameters; comparison of existing climate reanalyses; and ice core sodium records as proxies for the frequencies of marine air mass intrusion spanning the past ∼2000 years. The resulting analog examples include: natural variability, a continuation of the current trend in Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate characterized by some regions of warming and some cooling at the surface of the Southern Ocean, Antarctic ozone healing, a generally warming climate and separate increases in the meridional and zonal winds. We emphasize changes in atmospheric circulation because the atmosphere rapidly transports heat, moisture, momentum, and pollutants, throughout the middle to high latitudes. In addition, atmospheric circulation interacts with temporal variations (synoptic to monthly scales, inter-annual, decadal, etc.) of sea ice extent and concentration. We also investigate associations between Antarctic atmospheric circulation features, notably the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), and primary climate teleconnections including the SAM (Southern Annular Mode), ENSO (El Nîno Southern Oscillation), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), and solar irradiance variations.

  1. 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

    2017-01-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. The sub-ice platelet layer and its influence on freeboard to thickness conversion of Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, D.; Rack, W.; Langhorne, P. J.; Haas, C.; Leonard, G.; Barnsdale, K.

    2014-06-01

    This is an investigation to quantify the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer on satellite measurements of total freeboard and their conversion to thickness of Antarctic sea ice. The sub-ice platelet layer forms as a result of the seaward advection of supercooled ice shelf water from beneath ice shelves. This ice shelf water provides an oceanic heat sink promoting the formation of platelet crystals which accumulate at the sea ice-ocean interface. The build-up of this porous layer increases sea ice freeboard, and if not accounted for, leads to overestimates of sea ice thickness from surface elevation measurements. In order to quantify this buoyant effect, the solid fraction of the sub-ice platelet layer must be estimated. An extensive in situ data set measured in 2011 in McMurdo Sound in the southwestern Ross Sea is used to achieve this. We use drill-hole measurements and the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption to estimate a mean value for the solid fraction of this sub-ice platelet layer of 0.16. This is highly dependent upon the uncertainty in sea ice density. We test this value with independent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) surface elevation data to estimate sea ice thickness. We find that sea ice thickness can be overestimated by up to 19%, with a mean deviation of 12% as a result of the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer. It is concluded that within 100 km of an ice shelf this influence might need to be considered when undertaking sea ice thickness investigations using remote sensing surface elevation measurements.

  4. Simultaneous solution for mass trends on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

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    N. Schön

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the largest potential source of future sea-level rise. Mass loss has been increasing over the last two decades in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS, but with significant discrepancies between estimates, especially for the Antarctic Peninsula. Most of these estimates utilise geophysical models to explicitly correct the observations for (unobserved processes. Systematic errors in these models introduce biases in the results which are difficult to quantify. In this study, we provide a statistically rigorous, error-bounded trend estimate of ice mass loss over the WAIS from 2003–2009 which is almost entirely data-driven. Using altimetry, gravimetry, and GPS data in a hierarchical Bayesian framework, we derive spatial fields for ice mass change, surface mass balance, and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA without relying explicitly on forward models. The approach we use separates mass and height change contributions from different processes, reproducing spatial features found in, for example, regional climate and GIA forward models, and provides an independent estimate, which can be used to validate and test the models. In addition, full spatial error estimates are derived for each field. The mass loss estimates we obtain are smaller than some recent results, with a time-averaged mean rate of −76 ± 15 GT yr−1 for the WAIS and Antarctic Peninsula (AP, including the major Antarctic Islands. The GIA estimate compares very well with results obtained from recent forward models (IJ05-R2 and inversion methods (AGE-1. Due to its computational efficiency, the method is sufficiently scalable to include the whole of Antarctica, can be adapted for other ice sheets and can easily be adapted to assimilate data from other sources such as ice cores, accumulation radar data and other measurements that contain information about any of the processes that are solved for.

  5. Simultaneous solution for mass trends on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoen, N.; Zammit-Mangion, A.; Rougier, J. C.; Flament, T.; Rémy, F.; Luthcke, S.; Bamber, J. L.

    2015-04-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the largest potential source of future sea-level rise. Mass loss has been increasing over the last 2 decades for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) but with significant discrepancies between estimates, especially for the Antarctic Peninsula. Most of these estimates utilise geophysical models to explicitly correct the observations for (unobserved) processes. Systematic errors in these models introduce biases in the results which are difficult to quantify. In this study, we provide a statistically rigorous error-bounded trend estimate of ice mass loss over the WAIS from 2003 to 2009 which is almost entirely data driven. Using altimetry, gravimetry, and GPS data in a hierarchical Bayesian framework, we derive spatial fields for ice mass change, surface mass balance, and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) without relying explicitly on forward models. The approach we use separates mass and height change contributions from different processes, reproducing spatial features found in, for example, regional climate and GIA forward models, and provides an independent estimate which can be used to validate and test the models. In addition, spatial error estimates are derived for each field. The mass loss estimates we obtain are smaller than some recent results, with a time-averaged mean rate of -76 ± 15 Gt yr-1 for the WAIS and Antarctic Peninsula, including the major Antarctic islands. The GIA estimate compares well with results obtained from recent forward models (IJ05-R2) and inverse methods (AGE-1). The Bayesian framework is sufficiently flexible that it can, eventually, be used for the whole of Antarctica, be adapted for other ice sheets and utilise data from other sources such as ice cores, accumulation radar data, and other measurements that contain information about any of the processes that are solved for.

  6. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 kyr BP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, A.; Bigler, M.; Blunier, T.; Clausen, H. B.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; Fischer, H.; Fujita, S.; Goto-Azuma, K.; Johnsen, S. J.; Kawamura, K.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Kohno, M.; Parrenin, F.; Popp, T.; Rasmussen, S. O.; Schwander, J.; Seierstad, I.; Severi, M.; Steffensen, J. P.; Udisti, R.; Uemura, R.; Vallelonga, P.; Vinther, B. M.; Wegner, A.; Wilhelms, F.; Winstrup, M.

    2012-11-01

    The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 kyr ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra from Malaysia and on accurately dated European stalagmites the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland Interstadials (GI) 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM) 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP) and Antarctic (EDML) ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 kyr BP) before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM 19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place paleo-environmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic context.

  7. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 kyr BP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Svensson

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 kyr ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra from Malaysia and on accurately dated European stalagmites the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland Interstadials (GI 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM 19 and 20.

    In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP and Antarctic (EDML ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 kyr BP before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM 19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores.

    The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place paleo-environmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic context.

  8. Geoologic controls on the architecture of the Antarctic Ice Sheet's basal interface: New results from West and East Antarctica from long range geophysics (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Richter, T.; Aitken, A.; Siegert, M. J.; Roberts, J. L.

    2013-12-01

    The ice-rock interface underlying the Antarctic Ice Sheet was shaped by interactions between underlying gondwanan geology and the overlying ice sheet. The ice sheet now preserves from sedimentary infill an incredibly rugged terrain which now plays a critical role in shaping subglacial hydrology, and thus shape ice sheet behavior. This terrain can by imaged through aerogeophysical means, in particular through ice penetrating radar, while airborne potential fields measurements provide insight into the geological framework that controlled erosion. Over the post IPY era, the density of airborne coverage is only now reaching the point where small scale structure can be identified and placed in context. Of particular importance is understanding the formation of focused erosional valleys, 30-50 km wide, representing now buried subglacial fjords. After initial data from the GIMBLE project in West Antarctica, and five years of sustained long range ICECAP surveys over East Antarctica , we now have a better view of the diversity of these features. The local erosion of these valleys, often cutting through significant topographic barriers, irregularly samples the underlying geology, provided a complex story in the sediment to the Antarctic margin. These valleys now provide the subglacial conduits for significant ice sheet catchments, in particular for subglacial water, including the inland catchments of DeVicq, Thwaites, and Pine Island Glaciers in West Antarctica, and Denman Glacier, Totten Glacier, Byrd Glacier and Cook Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. We find that these features, now sometimes hundreds of kilometers inland of the modern grounding line, often nucleate on or are aligned with structure inherited from the assembly of the Antarctic continent. While many of these features currently host active outlet glaciers or their tributaries, some do not, implying avenues for ice sheet change. In West Antarctica, we find a new deep connection between the coast and interior basin

  9. Mapping and assessing variability in the Antarctic marginal ice zone, pack ice and coastal polynyas in two sea ice algorithms with implications on breeding success of snow petrels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, Julienne C.; Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Campbell, G. Garrett; Barbraud, Christophe; Delord, Karine

    2016-08-01

    Sea ice variability within the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas plays an important role for phytoplankton productivity and krill abundance. Therefore, mapping their spatial extent as well as seasonal and interannual variability is essential for understanding how current and future changes in these biologically active regions may impact the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Knowledge of the distribution of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas in the total Antarctic sea ice cover may also help to shed light on the factors contributing towards recent expansion of the Antarctic ice cover in some regions and contraction in others. The long-term passive microwave satellite data record provides the longest and most consistent record for assessing the proportion of the sea ice cover that is covered by each of these ice categories. However, estimates of the amount of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and polynyas depend strongly on which sea ice algorithm is used. This study uses two popular passive microwave sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and Bootstrap, and applies the same thresholds to the sea ice concentrations to evaluate the distribution and variability in the MIZ, the consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas. Results reveal that the seasonal cycle in the MIZ and pack ice is generally similar between both algorithms, yet the NASA Team algorithm has on average twice the MIZ and half the consolidated pack ice area as the Bootstrap algorithm. Trends also differ, with the Bootstrap algorithm suggesting statistically significant trends towards increased pack ice area and no statistically significant trends in the MIZ. The NASA Team algorithm on the other hand indicates statistically significant positive trends in the MIZ during spring. Potential coastal polynya area and amount of broken ice within the consolidated ice pack are also larger in the NASA Team algorithm. The timing of maximum polynya area may differ by as much as 5 months between algorithms. These

  10. Development and Applications of Dome A-DEM in Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Jiying; WEN Jiahong; WANG Yafeng; WANG Weili; Beata M CATHSO; Kenneth C JEZEK

    2007-01-01

    Dome A, the highest dome of East Antarctic Ice Sheet, is being an area focused by international Antarctic community after Chinese Antarctic Expedition finally reached there in 2005, and with the ongoing International Polar Year (IPY) during August 2007. In this paper two data processing methods are used together to generate two 100-m cell size digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Dome A region (Dome A-DEM) by using Cokriging method to interpolate the ICESat GLAS data, with Ihde-DEM as a constraint. It provides fundamental data to glaciological and geophysical investigation in this area. The Dome A-DEM was applied to determining the ice-sheet surface elevations and coordinates of the south and north summits, defining boundaries of basins and ice flowlines, deducing subglacial topography, and mapping surface slope and aspect in Dome A region. The DEM shows there are two (north and south) summits in Dome A region. The coordinate and the surface elevation of the highest point (the north summit) are 80°21'29.86"S, 77°21'50.29"E and 4092.71±1.43m, respectively. The ice thickness and sub-ice bedrock elevation at north summit are 2420m and 1672m, respectively. Dome A region contains four drainage basins that meet together near the south summit. Ice flowlines, slope and aspect in detail are also derived using the DEM.

  11. The sub-ice platelet layer and its influence on freeboard to thickness conversion of Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Price

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This is an investigation to quantify the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer on satellite measurements of total freeboard and their conversion to thickness of Antarctic sea ice. The sub-ice platelet layer forms as a result of the seaward advection of supercooled ice shelf water from beneath ice shelves. This ice shelf water provides an oceanic heat sink promoting the formation of platelet crystals which accumulate at the sea ice–ocean interface. The build-up of this porous layer increases sea ice freeboard, and if not accounted for, leads to overestimates of sea ice thickness from surface elevation measurements. In order to quantify this buoyant effect, the solid fraction of the sub-ice platelet layer must be estimated. An extensive in situ data set measured in 2011 in McMurdo Sound in the south-western Ross Sea is used to achieve this. We use drill-hole measurements and the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption to estimate a mean value for the solid fraction of this sub-ice platelet layer of 0.16. This is highly dependent upon the uncertainty in sea ice density. We test this value with independent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS surface elevation data to estimate sea ice thickness. We find that sea ice thickness can be overestimated by up to 19%, with a mean deviation of 12% as a result of the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer. It is concluded that in close proximity to ice shelves this influence should be considered universally when undertaking sea ice thickness investigations using remote sensing surface elevation measurements.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krapp, R.H.; Berge, J.; Florentino De Souza Silva, A.P.; Gulliksen, B.; Werner, I.

    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 (Decembe

  13. Towards quantifying the contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Broeke, M.R.

    2006-01-01

    At present, the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and its contribution to global sea level change are poorly known. Current methods to determine AIS mass balance as well as the inherent uncertainties are discussed. Special emphasis is placed on the increasingly important role of regional

  14. Changing distributions of sea ice melt and meteoric water west of the Antarctic Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meredith, M.P.; Stammerjohn, S.; venables, H.J.; Ducklow, H.W.; Martinson, D.G.; Iannuzzi, R.A.; Leng, M.J.; van Wessem, J.M.; Reijmer, C.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/229345956; Barrand, N.E.

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula has recently undergone rapid climatic warming, with associated decreases in sea ice extent and duration, and increases in precipitation and glacial discharge to the ocean. These shifts in the freshwater budget can have significant consequences on the functioning of

  15. Modelling mass loss and spatial uncertainty of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: a data assimilation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamber, Jonathan L.; Schoen, Nana; Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Rougier, Jonty; Luthcke, Scott; King, Matt

    2013-04-01

    Quantifying ice mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet remains an important, yet still challenging problem. Although some agreement has been reached as to the order of magnitude of ice loss over the last two decades, in general methods lack statistical rigour in deriving uncertainties and for East Antarctica and the Peninsula significant inconsistencies remain. Here, we present rigorously-derived, error-bounded mass balance trends for part of the Antarctic ice sheet from a combination of satellite, in situ and regional climate model data sets for 2003-2009. Estimates for glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), surface mass balance (SMB) anomaly, and ice mass change are derived from satellite gravimetry (the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, GRACE), laser altimetry (ICESat, the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) and GPS bedrock elevation rates. We use a deterministic Bayes approach to simultaneously solve for the unknown parameters and the covariance matrix which provides the uncertainties. The data were distributed onto a finite element grid the resolution of which reflects the gradients in the underlying process: here ice dynamics and surface mass balance. In this proof of concept study we solve for the time averaged, spatial distribution of mass trends over the 7 year time interval. The results illustrate the potential of the approach, especially for the Antarctic Peninsula (AP), where, due to its narrow width and steep orography, data coverage is sparse and error-prone for satellite altimetry. Results for the ice mass balance estimates are consistent with previous estimates and demonstrate the strength of the approach. Well-known patterns of ice mass change over the WAIS, like the stalled Kamb Ice Stream and the rapid thinning in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, are reproduced in terms of mass trend. Also, without relying on information on ice dynamics, the method correctly places ice loss maxima at the outlets of major glaciers on the AP. Combined ice mass

  16. Impacts of warm water on Antarctic ice shelf stability through basal channel formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, Karen E.; Scambos, Ted A.; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Fricker, Helen Amanda

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica's ice shelves provide resistance to the flow of grounded ice towards the ocean. If this resistance is decreased as a result of ice shelf thinning or disintegration, acceleration of grounded ice can occur, increasing rates of sea-level rise. Loss of ice shelf mass is accelerating, especially in West Antarctica, where warm seawater is reaching ocean cavities beneath ice shelves. Here we use satellite imagery, airborne ice-penetrating radar and satellite laser altimetry spanning the period from 2002 to 2014 to map extensive basal channels in the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica. The highest density of basal channels is found in West Antarctic ice shelves. Within the channels, warm water flows northwards, eroding the ice shelf base and driving channel evolution on annual to decadal timescales. Our observations show that basal channels are associated with the development of new zones of crevassing, suggesting that these channels may cause ice fracture. We conclude that basal channels can form and grow quickly as a result of warm ocean water intrusion, and that they can structurally weaken ice shelves, potentially leading to rapid ice shelf loss in some areas.

  17. Ice Streams as the Critical Link Between the Interior Ice Reservoir of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Global Climate System - a WISSARD Perspective (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulaczyk, S. M.; Beem, L.; Walter, J. I.; Hossainzadeh, S.; Mankoff, K. D.

    2010-12-01

    Fast flowing ice streams represent crucial features of the Antarctic ice sheet because they provide discharge ‘valves’ for the interior ice reservoir and because their grounding lines are exposed to ocean thermal forcing. Even with no/little topographic control ice flow near the perimeter of a polar ice sheet self-organizes into discrete, fast-flowing ice streams. Within these features basal melting (i.e. lubrication for ice sliding) is sustained through elevated basal shear heating in a region of thin ice that would otherwise be characterized by basal freezing and slow ice motion. Because faster basal ice motion is typically associated with faster subglacial erosion, ice streams tend to localize themselves over time by carving troughs into underlying rocks and sediments. Debris generated by this erosional activity is carried to the continental shelf and/or continental slope where it may be deposited at very high rates, rivaling these associated with deposition by some of the largest rivers on Earth. In terms of their hydrologic and geological functions, Antarctic ice streams play pretty much the same role as rivers do on non-glaciated continents. However, understanding of their dynamics is still quite rudimentary, largely because of the relative inaccessibility of the key basal and marine boundaries of ice streams where pertinent measurements need to be made. The present elevated interest in predicting future contribution of Antarctica to global sea level changes is driving ambitious research programs aimed at scientific exploration of these poorly investigated environments that will play a key role in defining the response of the ice sheet to near future climate changes. We will review one of these programs, the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) with particular focus on its planned contributions to understanding of ice stream dynamics.

  18. Ice core melt features in relation to Antarctic coastal climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaczmarska, M.; Isaksson, E.; Karlöf, L.; Brandt, O.; Winther, J.G.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Johnsen, S.J.

    2006-01-01

    Measurement of light intensity transmission was carried out on an ice core S100 from coastal Dronning Maud Land (DML). Ice lenses were observed in digital pictures of the core and recorded as peaks in the light transmittance record. The frequency of ice layer occurrence was compared with climate pro

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. An optimized multi-proxy, multi-site Antarctic ice and gas orbital chronology (AICC2012: 120–800 ka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Fischer

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available An accurate and coherent chronological framework is essential for the interpretation of climatic and environmental records obtained from deep polar ice cores. Until now, one common ice core age scale has been developed based on an inverse dating method (Datice combining glaciological modelling with absolute and stratigraphic markers between 4 ice cores covering the last 50 ka (thousand of years before present (Lemieux-Dudon et al., 2010. In this paper, together with the companion paper of Veres et al. (2012, we present an extension of this work back to 800 ka for the NGRIP, TALDICE, EDML, Vostok and EDC ice cores using an improved version of the Datice tool. The AICC2012 (Antarctic Ice Core Chronology 2012 chronology includes numerous new gas and ice stratigraphic links as well as improved evaluation of background and associated variance scenarios. This paper concentrates on the long timescales between 120–800 ka. In this frame, new measurements of δ18Oatm over Marine Isotope Stage (MIS 11–12 on EDC and a complete δ18Oatm record of the TALDICE ice cores permit us to derive new orbital gas age constraints. The coherency of the different orbitally deduced ages (from δ18Oatm, δO2/N2 and air content has been verified before implementation in AICC2012. The new chronology shows only small differences, well within the original uncertainty range, when compared with the previous ice core reference age scale EDC3. For instance, the duration of the last four interglacial periods is not affected by more than 5%. The largest deviation between AICC2012 and EDC3 (4.4 ka is obtained around MIS 12. Despite significant modifications of the chronological constraints around MIS 5, now independent of speleothem records in AICC2012, the date of Termination II is very close to the EDC3 one.

  3. Impact of surface wind biases on the Antarctic sea ice concentration budget in climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, O.; Goosse, H.; Fichefet, T.; Holland, P. R.; Uotila, P.; Zunz, V.; Kimura, N.

    2016-09-01

    We derive the terms in the Antarctic sea ice concentration budget from the output of three models, and compare them to observations of the same terms. Those models include two climate models from the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and one ocean-sea ice coupled model with prescribed atmospheric forcing. Sea ice drift and wind fields from those models, in average over April-October 1992-2005, all exhibit large differences with the available observational or reanalysis datasets. However, the discrepancies between the two distinct ice drift products or the two wind reanalyses used here are sometimes even greater than those differences. Two major findings stand out from the analysis. Firstly, large biases in sea ice drift speed and direction in exterior sectors of the sea ice covered region tend to be systematic and consistent with those in winds. This suggests that sea ice errors in these areas are most likely wind-driven, so as errors in the simulated ice motion vectors. The systematic nature of these biases is less prominent in interior sectors, nearer the coast, where sea ice is mechanically constrained and its motion in response to the wind forcing more depending on the model rheology. Second, the intimate relationship between winds, sea ice drift and the sea ice concentration budget gives insight on ways to categorize models with regard to errors in their ice dynamics. In exterior regions, models with seemingly too weak winds and slow ice drift consistently yield a lack of ice velocity divergence and hence a wrong wintertime sea ice growth rate. In interior sectors, too slow ice drift, presumably originating from issues in the physical representation of sea ice dynamics as much as from errors in surface winds, leads to wrong timing of the late winter ice retreat. Those results illustrate that the applied methodology provides a valuable tool for prioritizing model improvements based on the ice concentration budget-ice drift biases-wind biases

  4. Ice in Channels and Ice-Rock Mixtures in Valleys on Mars: Did They Slide on Deformable Rubble Like Antarctic Ice Streams?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucchitta, B. K.

    1997-01-01

    Recent studies of ice streams in Antarctica reveal a mechanism of basal motion that may apply to channels and valleys on Mars. The mechanism is sliding of the ice on deformable water-saturated till under high pore pressures. It has been suggested by Lucchitta that ice was present in outflow channels on Mars and gave them their distinctive morphology. This ice may have slid like Antarctic ice streams but on rubbly weathering products rather than till. However, to generate water under high pore pressures, elevated heatflow is needed to melt the base of the ice. Either volcanism or higher heatflow more than 2 b.y. ago could have raised the basal temperature. Regarding valley networks, higher heatflow 3 b.y. ago could have allowed sliding of ice-saturated overburden at a few hundred meters depth. If the original, pristine valleys were somewhat deeper than they are now, they could have formed by the same mechanism. Recent sounding of the seafloor in front of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica reveals large persistent patterns of longitudinal megaflutes and drumlinoid forms, which bear remarkable resemblance to longitudinal grooves and highly elongated streamlined islands found on the floors of martian outflow channels. The flutes are interpreted to have formed at the base of ice streams during the last glacial advance. Additional similarities of Antarctic ice streams with martian outflow channels are apparent. Antarctic ice streams are 30 to 80 km wide and hundreds of kilometers long. Martian outflow channels have similar dimensions. Ice stream beds are below sea level. Carr determined that most common floor elevations of martian outflow channels lie below martian datum, which may have been close to or below past martian sea levels. The Antarctic ice stream bed gradient is flat and locally may go uphill, and surface slopes are exceptionally. Martian channels also have floor gradients that are shallow or go uphill locally and have low surface gradients. The depth to the

  5. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Antarctic Martian meteorites, carbonaceous chondrites, and polar ice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Becker, L. [Univ. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States)]|[National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Moffett Field, CA (United States); Glavin, D.P.; Bada, J.L. [Univ. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States)

    1997-01-01

    Recent analyses of the carbonate globules present in the Martian meteorite ALH84001 have detected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at the ppm level. The distribution of PAHs observed in ALH84001 was interpreted as being inconsistent with a terrestrial origin and were claimed to be indigenous to the meteorite, perhaps derived from an ancient martian biota. We have examined PAHs in the Antarctic shergottite EETA79001, which is also considered to be from Mars, as well as several Antarctic carbonaceous chondrites. We have found that many of the same PAHs detected in the ALH84001 carbonate globules are present in Antarctic carbonaceous chondrites and in both the matrix and carbonate (druse) component of EETA79001. We also investigated PAHs in polar ice and found that carbonate is an effective scavenger of PAHs in ice meltwater. Moreover, the distribution of PAHs in the carbonate extract of Antarctic Allan Hills ice is remarkably similar to that found in both EETA79001 and ALH84001. The reported presence of L-amino acids of apparent terrestrial origin in the EETA79001 druse material suggests that this meteorite is contaminated with terrestrial organics probably derived from Antarctic ice meltwater that had percolated through the meteorite. Our data suggests that the PAHs observed in both ALH84001 and EETA79001 are derived from either the exogenous delivery of organics to Mars or extraterrestrial and terrestrial PAHs present in the ice meltwater or, more likely, from a mixture of these sources. It would appear that PAHs are not useful biomarkers in the search for extinct or extant life on Mars. 33 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  6. Ocean-driven thinning enhances iceberg calving and retreat of Antarctic ice shelves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yan; Moore, John C; Cheng, Xiao; Gladstone, Rupert M; Bassis, Jeremy N; Liu, Hongxing; Wen, Jiahong; Hui, Fengming

    2015-03-17

    Iceberg calving from all Antarctic ice shelves has never been directly measured, despite playing a crucial role in ice sheet mass balance. Rapid changes to iceberg calving naturally arise from the sporadic detachment of large tabular bergs but can also be triggered by climate forcing. Here we provide a direct empirical estimate of mass loss due to iceberg calving and melting from Antarctic ice shelves. We find that between 2005 and 2011, the total mass loss due to iceberg calving of 755 ± 24 gigatonnes per year (Gt/y) is only half the total loss due to basal melt of 1516 ± 106 Gt/y. However, we observe widespread retreat of ice shelves that are currently thinning. Net mass loss due to iceberg calving for these ice shelves (302 ± 27 Gt/y) is comparable in magnitude to net mass loss due to basal melt (312 ± 14 Gt/y). Moreover, we find that iceberg calving from these decaying ice shelves is dominated by frequent calving events, which are distinct from the less frequent detachment of isolated tabular icebergs associated with ice shelves in neutral or positive mass balance regimes. Our results suggest that thinning associated with ocean-driven increased basal melt can trigger increased iceberg calving, implying that iceberg calving may play an overlooked role in the demise of shrinking ice shelves, and is more sensitive to ocean forcing than expected from steady state calving estimates.

  7. 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

    2016-02-01

    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.

  8. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 ka BP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, A.; Bigler, M.; Fischer, H.; Johnsen, S. J.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Parrenin, F.; Rasmussen, S. O.; Steffensen, J. P.; Vinther, B. M.; Wegner, A.

    2012-04-01

    The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 ka ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia where it constitutes a major reference horizon close to the Marine Isotope Stage 3/4 (MIS 3/4) boundary. Up to now, no tephra has been associated with Toba neither in Greenland nor in Antarctic ice cores, but based on Toba tephra identified in marine records from the Arabian Sea it is very likely that Greenland ice core acidity spikes related to Toba occur towards the end of Greenland Interstadial 20 (GI-20). Furthermore, the linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records suggests that the Antarctica counterpart should be situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM) 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP) and Antarctic (EDML) ice cores based on matching of a pattern of bi-polar volcanic spikes and annual layer counting in both cores around 74 ka BP. The synchronization pattern covers some 2000 years in GI-20 and AIM 19/20 and includes 5 major and several minor acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The most prominent acidity spikes in this time interval that occur towards the end of GI-20, are those thought to originate from Toba, but the proposed linking is independent of the source of the volcanic spikes. Although the linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores around Toba is already quite well constrained by matching of gas records, the relative phasing between ice cores from the two hemispheres still has some uncertainty related to the offset in the age of ice and air bubbles in the ice cores (delta-gas age). The identification of a direct Toba synchronization may help to determine the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate during this period and to constrain delta-gas ages. It also provides a way to place paleo-environmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic

  9. Proteomic Alterations of Antarctic Ice Microalga Chlamydomonas sp. Under Low-Temperature Stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guang-Feng Kan; Jin-Lai Miao; Cui-Juan Shi; Guang-You Li

    2006-01-01

    Antarctic ice microalga can survive and thrive in cold channels or pores in the Antarctic ice layer. In order to understand the adaptive mechanisms to low temperature, in the present study we compared two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE) profiles of normal and low temperature-stressed Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. cells. In addition, new protein spots induced by low temperature were identified with peptide mass fingerprinting based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and database searching. Well-resolved and reproducible 2-DE patterns of both normal and low temperature-stressed cells were acquired. A total of 626 spots was detected in control cells and 652 spots were detected in the corresponding low temperature-stressed cells. A total of 598 spots was matched between normal and stressed cells. Two newly synthesized proteins (a and b) in low temperature-stressed cells were characterized. Protein spot A (53 kDa, pI 6.0) was similar to isopropylmalate/homocitrate/citramalate synthases, which act in the transport and metabolism of amino acids. Protein spot b (25 kDa, pI 8.0) was related to glutathione S-transferase, which functions as a scavenger of active oxygen, free radicals, and noxious metabolites. The present study is valuable for the application of ice microalgae, establishing an ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. proteome database, and screening molecular biomarkers for further studies.

  10. 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.

  11. Ice cores record significant 1940s Antarctic warmth related to tropical climate variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David P; Steig, Eric J

    2008-08-26

    Although the 20th Century warming of global climate is well known, climate change in the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere (SH), especially in the first half of the century, remains poorly documented. We present a composite of water stable isotope data from high-resolution ice cores from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. This record, representative of West Antarctic surface temperature, shows extreme positive anomalies in the 1936-45 decade that are significant in the context of the background 20th Century warming trend. We interpret these anomalies--previously undocumented in the high-latitude SH--as indicative of strong teleconnections in part driven by the major 1939-42 El Niño. These anomalies are coherent with tropical sea-surface temperature, mean SH air temperature, and North Pacific sea-level pressure, underscoring the sensitivity of West Antarctica's climate, and potentially its ice sheet, to large-scale changes in the global climate.

  12. 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

  13. Thermal Regime at the Base of the West-Antarctic Ice Stream Tributaries - is the Holocene Decay of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Coming to an End?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, S. W.; Tulaczyk, S.; Joughin, I.

    2001-12-01

    The possible instability of the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and its effects on global sea level was in the focus of Antarctic research for more then three decades, since Mercer (1968) proposed that the ice sheet collapsed during previous interglacials. Subsequent collection of field and remotely-sensed data has revealed, among other things, a complex structure in the WAIS drainage system and enabled us to better elucidate the basal processes that permit fast ice-stream motion under low driving stresses (e.g. Kamb, 2001). With high basal water pressures and a layer of weak, highly porous water saturated sediments playing a key role in facilitating the fast motion of ice in West-Antarctica, the spatial and temporal availability of basal water has to be incorporated into models simulating the present and future WAIS behavior. Borehole observations in the interior of the WAIS (Robin, 1983) and in the Siple Coast ice streams (Engelhardt and Kamb, 1987) revealed a wet ice sheet bed and the ice at the base of the ice sheet being at its pressure melting. However the recent discovery of an up to 25 m thick basal ice layer at Ice Stream C indicates that basal melting either does not persist along the entire ice stream tributaries or did not persisted in the past. Lacking direct observations from the ice stream tributaries we are currently using finite-difference and analytical models to assess their basal energy balance; heat conduction away from the bed, geothermal flux and shear heating. Taking into account the uncertainty in the estimation of the geothermal flux (50 to 80 mW*m\\^-2 ), the results of our calculations can be summarized as followed 1) the basal ice layer formed in the central part of the northern Ice Stream C tributary; 2) post Last Glacial Maximum conditions favor basal freezing in spite of higher surface temperatures; 3) the presence of a 12-25-m-thick basal ice layer request that either 3a) flow in the ice stream tributaries had stopped in the past

  14. Century-scale simulations of the response of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to a warming climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornford, S. L.; Martin, D. F.; Payne, A. J.; Ng, E. G.; Le Brocq, A. M.; Gladstone, R. M.; Edwards, T. L.; Shannon, S. R.; Agosta, C.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Hellmer, H. H.; Krinner, G.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; Timmermann, R.; Vaughan, D. G.

    2015-01-01

    We use the BISICLES adaptive mesh ice sheet model to carry out one, two, and three century simulations of the fast-flowing ice streams of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, deploying sub-kilometer resolution around the grounding line since coarser resolution results in substantial underestimation of the

  15. Impacts of marine instability across the East Antarctic Ice Sheet on Southern Ocean dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, Steven; Fogwill, Christopher; Turney, Christian

    2017-04-01

    Recent observations and modelling studies have demonstrated the potential for rapid and substantial retreat of large sectors of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). This has major implications for ocean circulation and global sea level. Here we examine the effects of increasing meltwater from the Wilkes Basin, one of the major marine-based sectors of the EAIS, on Southern Ocean dynamics. Climate model simulations reveal that the meltwater flux rapidly stratifies surface waters, leading to a dramatic decrease in the rate of Antarctic Bottom Water formation. The surface ocean cools but, critically, the Southern Ocean warms by more than 1oC at depth. This warming is accompanied by a Southern Oceanwide "domino effect", whereby the warming signal propagates westward with depth. Our results suggest that melting of one sector of the EAIS could result in accelerated warming across other sectors, including the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Thus, localised melting of the EAIS could potentially destabilise the wider Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  16. Impacts of marine instability across the East Antarctic Ice Sheet on Southern Ocean dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, Steven J.; Fogwill, Christopher J.; Turney, Christian S. M.

    2016-09-01

    Recent observations and modelling studies have demonstrated the potential for rapid and substantial retreat of large sectors of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). This has major implications for ocean circulation and global sea level. Here we examine the effects of increasing meltwater from the Wilkes Basin, one of the major marine-based sectors of the EAIS, on Southern Ocean dynamics. Climate model simulations reveal that the meltwater flux rapidly stratifies surface waters, leading to a dramatic decrease in the rate of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) formation. The surface ocean cools but, critically, the Southern Ocean warms by more than 1 °C at depth. This warming is accompanied by a Southern Ocean-wide "domino effect", whereby the warming signal propagates westward with depth. Our results suggest that melting of one sector of the EAIS could result in accelerated warming across other sectors, including the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Thus, localised melting of the EAIS could potentially destabilise the wider Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  17. Antarctic Sea Ice-a Habitat for Extremophiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, D. N.; Dieckmann, G. S.

    2002-01-01

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensures they play a fundamental role in polar ecosystems. Apart from their ecological importance, the bacterial and algae species found in sea ice have become the focus for novel biotechnology, as well as being considered proxies for possible life forms on ice-covered extraterrestrial bodies.

  18. The Effect of Ice Shelf Meltwater on Antarctic Sea Ice and the Southern Ocean in an Earth System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauling, A.; Bitz, C. M.; Smith, I.; Langhorne, P.

    2015-12-01

    It has been suggested that recent Antarctic sea ice expansion resulted from an increase in fresh water reaching the Southern Ocean. This presentation investigates this conjecture in an Earth System Model. The freshwater flux from ice sheet and ice shelf mass imbalance is largely missing in models that participated in the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). However, CMIP5 models do account for the fresh water from precipitation minus evaporation (P-E). On average in CMIP5 models P- E reaching the Southern Ocean has increased to a present value of about 2600 Gt yr-1 greater than pre-industrial times and 3-8 times larger than estimates of the mass imbalance of Antarctic ice sheets and shelves. Two sets of model experiments were conducted from 1980-2013 in CESM1-CAM5 artificially distributing fresh water either at the ocean surface according to an estimate of iceberg melt, or at the ice shelf fronts at depth. An anomalous reduction in vertical advection of heat into the surface mixed layer resulted in sea surface cooling at high southern latitudes, and an associated increase in sea ice area. A freshwater enhancement of 1780 Gt yr-1 (approximately 1.3 times either present day basal melt or iceberg calving freshwater fluxes) raised the sea ice total area by 1×106 km2. Yet, even a freshwater enhancement up to 2670 Gt yr-1 was insufficient to offset the sea ice decline due to anthropogenic forcing for any period of 20 years or longer. Further, the sea ice response was found to be insensitive to the depth of fresh water injection.

  19. A smaller Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Pliocene and in the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, Robert; Pollard, David

    2013-04-01

    The middle Pliocene epoch (around 3.3 to 3) million years ago is often considered an analogue for future global climatic conditions, because mixing ratios of atmospheric CO2 were similar to today and global mean temperature was about 3°C warmer, comparable to projections of future climate at the end of this century (IPCC 2007). Importantly, some estimates of mid-Pliocene sea level are >20 m higher than today, implying the potential for significant retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), in addition to complete loss of the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets (WAIS). Until now, most climate-ice sheet modeling studies have failed to simulate substantial Pliocene retreat of the East Antarctic ice margin, because at 400 ppmv CO2, atmospheric conditions on the steep flanks of the ice sheet remain relatively cold, even during the warmest austral summer orbits. Here, we use a hybrid ice sheet-shelf model coupled to a high-resolution regional climate model, to test the potential for both West and East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat during the warm Pliocene and in the long-term future. In these simulations we apply new treatments of ice shelf calving and basal sliding (assuming a relationship between basal sliding coefficients and the rate of liquid water supply at the bed), and improved sub-glacial bathymetry using BEDMAP2. A range of plausible ocean warming scenarios (based on offline ocean modeling) are combined with the high-resolution regional climate model simulations to simulate the ice sheet's response to both Pliocene and long term future scenarios with elevated CO2. Unlike our previous studies, the combination of improved bathymetric detail and more physically based model treatments of calving and basal sliding result in substantial grounding line retreat into the Wilkes sub-glacial basin of East Antarctica during the Pliocene, adding several meters of equivalent sea level in addition to the contribution from a retreated WAIS. In long-term (10^3-yr

  20. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea-ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The effect of aerosols on clouds and their radiative properties is one of the largest uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. A recent study has concluded that better characterisation of pristine, natural aerosol processes leads to the largest reduction in these uncertainties. Antarctica, being far from anthropogenic activities, is an ideal location for the study of natural aerosol processes. Aerosol measurements in Antarctica are often limited to boundary layer air-masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the 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 ice-breaker 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 equator-ward into the low albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei where, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol

  1. The WAIS-Divide deep ice core WD2014 chronology – Part 2: Methane synchronization (68–31 ka BP and the gas age-ice age difference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Buizert

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS-Divide ice core (WAIS-D is a newly drilled, high-accumulation deep ice core that provides Antarctic climate records of the past ∼68 ka at unprecedented temporal resolution. The upper 2850 m (back to 31.2 ka BP have been dated using annual-layer counting. Here we present a chronology for the deep part of the core (67.8–31.2 ka BP, which is based on stratigraphic matching to annual-layer-counted Greenland ice cores using globally well-mixed atmospheric methane. We calculate the WAIS-D gas age-ice age difference (Δage using a combination of firn densification modeling, ice flow modeling, and a dataset of δ15N-N2, a proxy for past firn column thickness. The largest Δage at WAIS-D occurs during the last glacial maximum, and is 525 ± 100 years. Internally consistent solutions can only be found when assuming little-to-no influence of impurity content on densification rates, contrary to a recently proposed hypothesis. We synchronize the WAIS-D chronology to a linearly scaled version of the layer-counted Greenland Ice Core Chronology (GICC05, which brings the age of Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO events into agreement with the U/Th absolutely dated Hulu speleothem record. The small Δage at WAIS-D provides valuable opportunities to investigate the timing of atmospheric greenhouse gas variations relative to Antarctic climate, as well as the interhemispheric phasing of the bipolar "seesaw".

  2. Dynamic ancient ice caps in the sub-Antarctic suggested by new mapping of submarine ice-formed landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Alastair; Hodgson, Dominic; Cofaigh, Colm Ó.; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2014-05-01

    Recent bathymetric investigations have provided hints of significant past glaciations on several Southern Ocean sub-polar islands. The extent and behaviour of ice cover in these regions is important because it provides critical limits on the evolution of refugia and marine benthic organisms, as well as unique far-field constraints for improving polar ice-sheet model sensitivity. However, despite improvements in regional mapping, sea-floor acoustic data from key shelf areas have still not been of sufficient quality, or broad enough in their coverage, to resolve the number, form or flow of past glacial episodes. Hence the history and style of sub-Antarctic glaciation remains poorly known. Here we use a compilation of multibeam bathymetry and fisheries echo-sounding data to provide evidence for dynamic, widespread ice caps on sub-Antarctic South Georgia during past glacial periods. We present a hitherto unmapped record of sea-bed glacigenic structures, including end moraines and subglacial landforms, from which the flow and form of at least three major, entirely marine-terminating configurations is resolved. The largest glaciation covered the majority of the continental shelf, and included fast-flowing outlets, possible switching of internal flow, meltwater activity, warm-based ice erosion, and substantial marginal deposition during retreat: all features of dynamic ice-cap behaviour. Existing biological evidence suggests the largest glaciation likely pre-dated the Last Glacial Maximum, which may have been restricted in extent reaching to the island's fjord mouths, while a third mid-shelf limit appears partially recorded. Work on dating the relict landscape of ancient ice cap advance and retreat is ongoing, but our preliminary age model suggests that South Georgia's history is unique from the Antarctic polar glacial record, and may be more similar to that of past ice caps on Patagonia. The glacial configurations revealed by these data will provide the basis of new

  3. The study on an Antarctic sea ice identification algorithm of the HY-2A microwave scatterometer data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZOU Juhong; ZENG Tao; GUO Maohua; CUI Songxue

    2016-01-01

    An Antarctic sea ice identification algorithm on the HY-2A scatterometer (HSCAT) employs backscattering coefficient (σ0) and active polarization ratio (APR) for a preliminary sea ice identification. Then standard deviation (STD) filtering and space filtering are carried out. Finally, it is used to identify sea ice. A process uses aσ0, STD threshold and an APR as sea ice indicators. The sea ice identification results are verified using the sea ice distribution data of the ASMR2 released by the National Snow and Ice Data Center as a reference. The results show very good consistence of sea ice development trends, seasonal changes, area distribution, and sea ice edge distribution of the sea ice identification results obtained by this algorithm relative to the ASMR2 sea ice results. The accuracy of a sea ice coverage is 90.8% versus the ASMR2 sea ice results. This indicates that this algorithm is reliable.

  4. Multi-temporal satellite analysis of Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, and consequences for its stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rankl, Melanie; Fürst, Johannes; Helm, Veit; Humbert, Angelika; Braun, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    Antarctic Peninsula (AP) ice shelves have been affected by ice front retreat and surface lowering over the past decades. 12 major ice shelves have disintegrated or significantly retreated and have been affected by volume loss. Longterm ice shelf thinning is twice as high at western AP ice shelves than at eastern AP ice shelves. Wilkins Ice Shelf (WIS), located at the western AP, has undergone considerable ice front retreat since the 1990s. It lost ~ 5000 km² of its size since then. Surface lowering at WIS was found to be the largest at AP ice shelves between 1978 and 2008. Here, we analyze time-series of satellite data in order to assess dynamic changes of WIS following the ice front retreat between 1994 and 2010. We present multi-temporal changes in surface velocities and deduced products, such as strain rate and stress regimes. Surface flow was derived from SAR intensity offset tracking applied to ALOS PALSAR image pairs. In addition, we show variations in ice thickness between 2003 and 2012 derived from TanDEM-X satellite acquisitions and altimetry datasets (CryoSAT-2, ICESat). The bistatic TanDEM-X acquisitions are very suitable for interferometric processing due to highly coherent image pairs. The results showed surface velocity speed up during break-up of an ice bridge between two confining islands in 2006-2008, when an area of ~ 1800 km² broke off. A sharp transition between compressive and extensive in-flow strain rates evolved at the narrowest part of the ice bridge, which contributed to the formation of a crack and hence, failure of the ice bridge in April 2009. First principal stresses were estimated to amount to ~ 250 kPa in the vicinity of the crack formation. The imaging TanDEM-X radar geometry allowed for a comprehensive ice thickness mapping of the ice shelf in 2012 and resolved many details due to the high spatial resolution. The ice thickness at WIS was found to be very heterogeneous. Thickness changes between 2003 and 2012 revealed increased

  5. Comparing ice discharge through West Antarctic Gateways: Weddell vs. Amundsen Sea warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Martin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Future changes in Antarctic ice discharge will be largely controlled by the fate of the floating ice shelves, which exert a back-stress onto Antarctica's marine outlet glaciers. Ice loss in response to warming of the Amundsen Sea has been observed and investigated as a potential trigger for the marine ice-sheet instability. Recent observations and simulations suggest that the Amundsen Sea Sector might already be unstable which would have strong implications for global sea-level rise. At the same time, regional ocean projections show much stronger warm-water intrusion into ice-shelf cavities in the Weddell Sea compared to the observed Amundsen warming. Here we present results of numerical ice sheet modelling with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM which show that idealized, step-function type ocean warming in the Weddell Sea leads to more immediate ice discharge with a higher sensitivity to small warming levels than the same warming in the Amundsen Sea. This is consistent with the specific combination of bedrock and ice topography in the Weddell Sea Sector which results in an ice sheet close to floatation. In response to even slight ocean warming, ice loss increases rapidly, peaks and declines within one century. While the cumulative ice loss in the Amundsen Sea Sector is of similar magnitude after five centuries of continued warming, ice loss increases at a slower pace and only for significantly higher warming levels. Although there is more marine ice stored above sea level in close vicinity of the grounding line compared to the Weddell Sea Sector, the ice sheet is farther from floatation and the grounding line initially retreats more slowly.

  6. Divergent trajectories of Antarctic ice shelf surface melt under 21st century climate scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trusel, L. D.; Frey, K. E.; Das, S. B.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; van Meijgaard, E.

    2014-12-01

    Antarctic ice shelves represent a critical interface between continental ice masses and the surrounding ocean. Breakup events of several ice shelves in recent decades have been linked to an increase in intense surface melting, and have in turn lead to cascading effects including accelerated glacier discharge into the ocean. In this study, we utilized sophisticated regional and global climate models (GCMs) to assess potential future surface melt trajectories across Antarctica under two climate scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). RACMO2.1, a polar-adapted regional atmospheric climate model, was forced by the ERA-Interim reanalysis (1980-2010) and by two GCMs, EC-EARTH and HadGEM2-ES (2007-2100). Using RACMO2.1, we observed an exponential growth function well represents the relationship between ice shelf surface meltwater production and mean summer (DJF) 2-meter air temperature (t2m). We employed this melt-t2m relationship to project melt using t2m output from an ensemble of five CMIP5-based GCMs incorporating the NCAR Community Land Model 4 (CLM4), following spatial downscaling and bias correction using t2m from ERA-Interim-forced RACMO2.1. Our resulting GCM-derived melt projections provide an independent and methodologically unique perspective into potential future melt pathways, complementary to those derived from RACMO2.1. Most notably, both RACMO2.1 and the CMIP5 ensemble reveal divergent trajectories of meltwater production beyond 2050 under the two climate scenarios. For many ice shelves in RCP4.5, meltwater production through 2100 remains at levels comparable to present. Conversely, under RCP8.5 all methods indicate non-linear melt intensification, resulting in a four-fold increase in the Antarctic-wide meltwater volume by the end of the 21st century. For some ice shelves, including Larsen C and Wilkins (Antarctic Peninsula), and Shackleton and West (Wilkes Land), spatially averaged end-of-century meltwater production within RCP8.5 approaches or surpasses levels

  7. Firn structure of Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, from in-situ geophysical surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulessa, B.; Brisbourne, A.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Bevan, S. L.; Luckman, A. J.; Hubbard, B. P.; Ashmore, D.; Holland, P.; Jansen, D.; King, E. C.; O'Leary, M.; McGrath, D.

    2015-12-01

    Rising surface temperatures have been causing firn layers on Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves to compact, a process that is strongly implicated in ice shelf disintegration. Firn compaction is expected to warm the ice column and given sufficiently wet and compacted firn layers, to allow meltwater to penetrate into surface crevasses and thus enhance the potential for hydrofracture. On Larsen C Ice Shelf a compacting firn layer has previously been inferred from airborne radar and satellite data, with strongly reduced air contents in Larsen C's north and north-west. The hydrological processes governing firn compaction, and the detailed firn structures they produce, have so far remained uncertain however. Using integrated seismic refraction, MASW (Multi-Channel Analysis of Surface Waves), seismoelectric and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data, we reveal vertical and horizontal changes in firn structure across Larsen C Ice Shelf. Particular attention is paid to the spatial prevalence of refrozen meltwaters within firn, such as the massive subsurface ice layer discovered recently by the NERC-funded MIDAS project in Cabinet Inlet in Larsen C's extreme northwest. Such ice layers or lenses are particularly dramatic manifestations of increased ice shelf densities and temperatures, and contrast sharply with the relatively uncompacted firn layers present in the ice shelf's southeast. We consider our observations in the context of a one-dimensional firn model for Larsen C Ice Shelf that includes melt percolation and refreezing, and discuss temporal changes in firn layer structures due to surface melt and ponding.

  8. 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.

  9. RTOPO-1: A consistent dataset for Antarctic ice shelf topography and global ocean bathymetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmermann, Ralph

    2010-05-01

    Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry (i.e. ice-shelf draft and ocean bathymetry). Existing global or pan-Antarctic data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional fields into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-minute bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. Locations of the merging line have been carefully adjusted in order to get the best out of each data set. High-resolution gridded data for the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves and for Pine Island Glacier have been carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam ship 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 again carefully merged into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-minute data set contains consistent masks for open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, and bare land surface. The Ice Shelf Cavern Geometry Team: Anne Le Brocq, Tara Deen, Eugene Domack, Pierre Dutrieux, Ben Galton-Fenzi, Dorothea Graffe, Hartmut Hellmer, Angelika Humbert, Daniela Jansen, Adrian Jenkins, Astrid Lambrecht, Keith Makinson, Fred Niederjasper, Frank Nitsche, Ole Anders Nøst, Lars Henrik Smedsrud, and Walter Smith

  10. In Situ Thermal Imagery of Antarctic Meteorites and Their Stability on the Ice Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, R. P.; Righter, M.; Karner, J. M.; Hyneck, B.; Keller, L.; Meshik, A.; Mittlefehldt, D.; Radebaugh, J.; Rougeux, B.; Schutt, J.

    2017-01-01

    The mechanisms behind Antarctic meteorite concentrations remain enigmatic nearly 5 decades after the first recoveries, and much of the research in this direction has been based on anedcotal evidence. While these observations suggest many plausible processes that help explain Antarctic meteorite concentrations, the relative importance of these various processes (which can result in either an increase or decrease of specimens) is a critical component of any more robust model of how these concentrations form. During the 2016-2017 field season of the US Antarctic Search for Meteorites program we aquired in situ thermal imagery of meteorites specimens that provide semi-quantitative assesment of the relative temperature of these specimens and the ice. These provide insight into one hypothesized loss mechanism, the downward thermal tunnelling of meteorites warmed in the sun.

  11. Subsurface imaging reveals a confined aquifer beneath an ice-sealed Antarctic lake

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dugan, H. A.; Doran, P. T.; Tulaczyk, S.;

    2015-01-01

    Liquid water oases are rare under extreme cold desert conditions found in the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys. Here we report geophysical results that indicate that Lake Vida, one of the largest lakes in the region, is nearly frozen and underlain by widespread cryoconcentrated brine. A ground...... Geophysical survey finds low resistivities beneath a lake in Antarctic Dry Valleys Liquid brine abundant beneath Antarctic lake Aquifer provides microbial refugium in cold desert environment...... penetrating radar survey profiled 20 m into lake ice and facilitated bathymetric mapping of the upper lake basin. An airborne transient electromagnetic survey revealed a low-resistivity zone 30-100 m beneath the lake surface. Based on previous knowledge of brine chemistry and local geology, we interpret...

  12. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco; SMS Science Team; Acton, Gary; Askin, Rosemary; Atkins, Clifford; Bassett, Kari; Beu, Alan; Blackstone, Brian; Browne, Gregory; Ceregato, Alessandro; Cody, Rosemary; Cornamusini, Gianluca; Corrado, Sveva; DeConto, Robert; Del Carlo, Paola; Di Vincenzo, Gianfranco; Dunbar, Gavin; Falk, Candice; Field, Brad; Fielding, Christopher; Florindo, Fabio; Frank, Tracy; Giorgetti, Giovanna; Grelle, Thomas; Gui, Zi; Handwerger, David; Hannah, Michael; Harwood, David M.; Hauptvogel, Dan; Hayden, Travis; Henrys, Stuart; Hoffmann, Stefan; Iacoviello, Francesco; Ishman, Scott; Jarrard, Richard; Johnson, Katherine; Jovane, Luigi; Judge, Shelley; Kominz, Michelle; Konfirst, Matthew; Krissek, Lawrence; Kuhn, Gerhard; Lacy, Laura; Levy, Richard; Maffioli, Paola; Magens, Diana; Marcano, Maria C.; Millan, Cristina; Mohr, Barbara; Montone, Paola; Mukasa, Samuel; Naish, Timothy; Niessen, Frank; Ohneiser, Christian; Olney, Mathew; Panter, Kurt; Passchier, Sandra; Patterson, Molly; Paulsen, Timothy; Pekar, Stephen; Pierdominici, Simona; Pollard, David; Raine, Ian; Reed, Joshua; Reichelt, Lucia; Riesselman, Christina; Rocchi, Sergio; Sagnotti, Leonardo; Sandroni, Sonia; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Schmitt, Douglas; Speece, Marvin; Storey, Bryan; Strada, Eleonora; Talarico, Franco; Taviani, Marco; Tuzzi, Eva; Verosub, Kenneth; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Warny, Sophie; Wilson, Gary; Wilson, Terry; Wonik, Thomas; Zattin, Massimiliano

    2016-03-01

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23-14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3-4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (˜280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (˜500 ppm) atmospheric CO2. These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene.

  13. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco

    2016-03-29

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23-14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3-4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (∼280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (∼500 ppm) atmospheric CO2 These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene.

  14. Mixing at the fringes of a rapidly melting Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naveira Garabato, A.; Forryan, A.; Dutrieux, P.; Brannigan, L.; Biddle, L. C.; Heywood, K. J.; Jenkins, A.; Firing, Y. L.; Kimura, S.

    2016-02-01

    The processes regulating the physical exchanges across the front of the Pine Island Ice Shelf (one of the most rapidly melting Antarctic ice shelves) in the Amundsen Sea are investigated through the analysis of an extensive set of full-depth hydrographic, velocity and microstructure measurements, obtained as part of the ISTAR expedition in February 2014, and an idealised high-resolution numerical circulation model. The outflows of Ice Cavity Water (ICW), which contains elevated concentrations of meltwater from the ice shelf, are shown to be subject to very intense small-scale turbulent mixing within 5 kilometres of the ice front. The rates of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation and diapycnal mixing in the outflows are enhanced by up to four orders of magnitude relative to those in surrounding waters, which are characterised by turbulence levels typical of the open ocean. An investigation of the causes of the intensified turbulence reveals that it is sustained by centrifugal instability of the ICW outflows. The instability drives a secondary ageostrophic circulation that induces rapid lateral mixing between ICW and pycnocline waters offshore, thereby preventing the ICW outflows from reaching the upper-ocean mixed layer and directly influencing surface climate in the region. The significance of this process for the fate of meltwater outflows from other Antarctic ice shelves will be discussed.

  15. Modeling brine and nutrient dynamics in Antarctic sea ice: the case of dissolved silica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vancoppenolle, M.; Goosse, H.; de Montety, A.; Fichefet, T.; Tremblay, B.; Tison, J.

    2009-12-01

    Sea ice ecosystems are characterized by micro-algae living in brine inclusions. The growth rate of ice algae depends on light and nutrient supply. Here, the interactions between nutrients and brine dynamics under the influence of algae are investigated using a one-dimensional model. The model includes snow and ice thermodynamics with brine physics and an idealized sea ice biological component, characterized by one nutrient, namely dissolved silica (DSi). In the model, DSi follows brine motion and is consumed by ice algae. Depending on physical ice characteristics, the brine flow is either advective, diffusive or turbulent. The vertical profiles of ice salinity and DSi concentration are solutions of advection-diffusion equations. The model is configured to simulate the typical thermodynamic regimes of first-year Antarctic pack ice. The simulated vertical profiles of salinity and DSi qualitatively reproduce observations. Analysis of results highlights the role of convection in the lowermost 5-10 cm of ice. Convection mixes saline, nutrient-poor brine with comparatively fresh, nutrient-rich seawater. This implies a rejection of salt to the ocean and a flux of DSi to the ice. In presence of growing algae, the simulated ocean-to-ice DSi flux increases by 0-115% compared to an abiotic situation. In turn, primary production and brine convection act in synergy to form a nutrient pump. The other important processes are the flooding of the surface by seawater and the percolation of meltwater. The former refills nutrients near the ice surface in spring. The latter, if present, tends to expell nutrients from the ice in summer. Sketch of salt (left) and nutrient (right) exchanges at the ice-ocean interface proposed in this paper.

  16. Satellite Remote Sensing of Snow Depth on Antarctic Sea Ice: An Inter-Comparison of Two Empirical Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Stefan Kern; Burcu Ozsoy-Çiçek

    2016-01-01

    Snow on Antarctic sea ice plays a key role for sea ice physical processes and complicates retrieval of sea ice thickness using altimetry. Current methods of snow depth retrieval are based on satellite microwave radiometry, which perform best for dry, homogeneous snow packs on level sea ice. We introduce an alternative approach based on in-situ measurements of total (sea ice plus snow) freeboard and snow depth, which we use to compute snow depth on sea ice from Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation S...

  17. Antarctic Ice-Shelf Front Dynamics from ICESat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, John W.; Zwally, H. Jay; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2012-01-01

    Time variable elevation profiles from ICESat Laser Altimetry over the period 2003-2009 provide a means to quantitatively detect and track topographic features on polar ice surfaces. The results of this study provide a measure of the horizontal motion of ice-shelf fronts. We examine the time histories of elevation profiles crossing the ice fronts of the Ross, Ronne, Filchner, Riiser-Larson and Fimbul shelves. This provides a basis for estimating dynamics in two dimensions, i.e. in elevation and horizontally in the along-track direction. Ice front velocities, corrected for ground-track intersection angle, range from nearly static to 1.1 km/yr. In many examples, a decrease in elevation up to 1 m/yr near the shelf frontis also detectable. Examples of tabular calving along shelf fronts are seen in some elevation profiles and are confirmed by corresponding MODIS imagery.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, Hong; Roberts, Andrew P.; Dekkers, Mark J.; Liu, Xiaodong; Rohling, Eelco J.; Shi, Zhengguo; An, Zhisheng; Zhao, Xiang

    2016-06-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. The Roles of Sea-Ice, Light and Sedimentation in Structuring Shallow Antarctic Benthic Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Graeme F; Stark, Jonathan S; Palmer, Anne S; Riddle, Martin J; Johnston, Emma L

    2017-01-01

    On polar coasts, seasonal sea-ice duration strongly influences shallow marine environments by affecting environmental conditions, such as light, sedimentation, and physical disturbance. Sea-ice dynamics are changing in response to climate, but there is limited understanding of how this might affect shallow marine environments and benthos. Here we present a unique set of physical and biological data from a single region of Antarctic coast, and use it to gain insights into factors shaping polar benthic communities. At sites encompassing a gradient of sea-ice duration, we measured temporal and spatial variation in light and sedimentation and hard-substrate communities at different depths and substrate orientations. Biological trends were highly correlated with sea-ice duration, and appear to be driven by opposing gradients in light and sedimentation. As sea-ice duration decreased, there was increased light and reduced sedimentation, and concurrent shifts in community structure from invertebrate to algal dominance. Trends were strongest on shallower, horizontal surfaces, which are most exposed to light and sedimentation. Depth and substrate orientation appear to mediate exposure of benthos to these factors, thereby tempering effects of sea-ice and increasing biological heterogeneity. However, while light and sedimentation both varied spatially with sea-ice, their dynamics differed temporally. Light was sensitive to the site-specific date of sea-ice breakout, whereas sedimentation fluctuated at a regional scale coincident with the summer phytoplankton bloom. Sea-ice duration is clearly the overarching force structuring these shallow Antarctic benthic communities, but direct effects are imposed via light and sedimentation, and mediated by habitat characteristics.

  1. Paleo-ice flow directions of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet based upon a new synthesis of seabed imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Lavoie

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available We present a new seafloor map for the northern Antarctic Peninsula (AP, including swath multibeam data sets from five national programs. Our map allows for the examination and interpretation of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM paleo-ice sheet/stream flow directions developed upon the seafloor from the preservation of: mega-scale glacial lineations, drumlinized features, and selective linear erosion. We combine this with terrestrial observations of flow direction to place constraints on ice divides and accumulation centers (ice domes on the AP continental shelf. The results show a flow bifurcation as ice exits the Larsen-B embayment. Flow emanating off the Seal Nunataks (including Robertson Island is directed toward the southeast, then eastward as the flow transits toward the Robertson Trough. A second, stronger "streaming flow" is directed toward the southeast then southward, as ice overflowed the tip of the Jason Peninsula to reach the southern perimeter of the embayment. Our reconstruction also refines the extent of at least five other distinct paleo-ice stream systems which, in turn, serve to delineate seven broad regions where contemporaneous ice domes must have been centered on the continental shelf during the LGM time interval. Our reconstruction is more detailed than other recent compilations because we followed specific flow indicators and have kept tributary flow paths parallel.

  2. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 ka BP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Svensson

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 ka ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia, where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra and on accurately dated European stalagmites, the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland interstadials (GI 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP and Antarctic (EDML ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 ka BP before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM-19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. The bipolar linking gives no support for a long-term global cooling caused by the Toba eruption as Antarctica experiences a major warming shortly after the event. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place palaeo-environmental records other than ice cores into a

  3. Proxies and measurement techinques for mineral dust in antarctic ice cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruth..[], Urs; Bigler, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    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...

  4. A data-constrained model for compatibility check of remotely sensed basal melting with the hydrography in front of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olbers, D.; Hellmer, H. H.; Buck, F. F. J. H.

    2014-02-01

    The ice shelf caverns around Antarctica are sources of cold and fresh water which contributes to the formation of Antarctic bottom water and thus to the ventilation of the deep basins of the World Ocean. While a realistic simulation of the cavern circulation requires high resolution, because of the complicated bottom topography and ice shelf morphology, the physics of melting and freezing at the ice shelf base is relatively simple. We have developed an analytically solvable box model of the cavern thermohaline state, using the formulation of melting and freezing as in Olbers and Hellmer (2010). There is high resolution along the cavern's path of the overturning circulation whereas the cross-path resolution is fairly coarse. The circulation in the cavern is prescribed and used as a tuning parameter to constrain the solution by attempting to match observed ranges for outflow temperature and salinity at the ice shelf front as well as of the mean basal melt rate. The method, tested for six Antarctic ice shelves, can be used for a quick estimate of melt/freeze rates and the overturning rate in particular caverns, given the temperature and salinity of the inflow and the above mentioned constrains for outflow and melting. In turn, the model can also be used for testing the compatibility of remotely sensed basal mass loss with observed cavern inflow characteristics.

  5. MAGIC-DML: Mapping/Measuring/Modeling Antarctic Geomorphology & Ice Change in Dronning Maud Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogozhina, Irina; Bernales, Jorge; Newall, Jennifer; Stroeven, Arjen; Harbor, Jonathan; Glasser, Neil; Fredin, Ola; Fabel, Derek; Hättestrand, Class; Lifton, Nat

    2016-04-01

    Reconstructing and predicting the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate change is one of the major challenges facing the Earth Science community. There are critical gaps in our knowledge of past changes in ice elevation and extent in many regions of East Antarctica, including a large area of Dronning Maud Land. An international Swedish-UK-US-Norwegian-German project MAGIC-DML aims to reconstruct the timing and pattern of ice surface elevation (thus ice sheet volume) fluctuations since the mid-Pliocene warm period on the Dronning Maud Land margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. A combination of remotely sensed geomorphological mapping, field investigations, surface exposure dating and numerical modelling are being used in an iterative manner to produce a comprehensive reconstruction of the glacial history of Dronning Maud Land. Here we present the results from the first phase of this project, which involves high-resolution numerical simulations of the past glacial geometries and mapping of the field area using historic and recent aerial imagery together with a range of satellite acquired data.

  6. Magnitude and timing of orbitally paced Antarctic ice sheet variations through the Pliocene and Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deconto, R.; Pollard, D.; Kowalewski, D. E.; Scherer, R. P.; Naish, T.; Seth, A.

    2009-12-01

    A new 3-D ice sheet-shelf model, Global Climate Model (GCM) and nested Regional Climate Model (RCM) are applied to the Antarctic region, with simulations designed to span the full range of Pliocene to modern climatic forcing. The ice sheet model simulates a dynamic West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), with repeated, sudden retreats and readvances throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Simulated WAIS variability in the Pliocene is dominated by 40-kyr cyclicity. Major WAIS collapses are less frequent in the Pleistocene, but do occur during a number of apparent “super-interglacials”, including MIS 31. WAIS is shown to be most sensitive to changes in sub-ice oceanic melt, however changes in East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) volume driven by this mechanism are shown to be limited. Maximum equivalent sea level rise simulated by the model is ~7 m, most of which is contributed by WAIS retreat. This is significantly less than the amount required to match estimates of sea level during the Pliocene (~25-40 m) and some Pleistocene interglacials (e.g., MIS 11; 20+ m), even with an additional contribution from Greenland (~7 m). We use a nested, high resolution GCM-RCM to test the potential for an additional contribution to sea level rise via surface melt on the EAIS, but find that the combined forcing from elevated Pliocene CO2 (400 ppmv), increased oceanic heat flux and reduced sea ice, warm austral summer orbits, and the loss of WAIS do not provide enough additive warming to produce significant summer ablation on the flanks or interior of the EAIS. This important model-data discrepancy implies either that the ice sheet model is lacking some critical underlying physical processes, the climate model is undersensitive to greenhouse gas forcing, or the sea level estimates during these periods are unrealistically high. We conclude by exploring the potential for more EAIS variability in the ice model by considering alternative treatments of both the conditions at the bed of the ice

  7. Miocene to recent ice elevation variations from the interior of the West Antarctic ice sheet: Constraints from geologic observations, cosmogenic nuclides and ice sheet modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sujoy; Ackert, Robert P.; Pope, Allen E.; Pollard, David; DeConto, Robert M.

    2012-07-01

    Observations of long-term West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) behavior can be used to test and constrain dynamic ice sheet models. Long-term observational constraints are however, rare. Here we present the first constraints on long-term (Miocene-Holocene) WAIS elevation from the interior of the ice sheet near the WAIS divide. We use geologic observations and measurements of cosmogenic 21Ne and 10Be in bedrock surfaces to constrain WAIS elevation variations to WAIS elevations to have been similar to, or lower than present, since the beginning of the Pliocene warm period. We use a continental ice sheet model to simulate the history of ice cover at our sampling sites and thereby compute the expected concentration of the cosmogenic nuclides. The ice sheet model indicates that during the past 5 Ma interior WAIS elevations of >65 m above present-day ice levels at the Ohio Range occur only rarely during brief ice sheet highstands, consistent with the observed cosmogenic nuclide data. Furthermore, the model's prediction that highstand elevations have increased on average since the Pliocene is in good agreement with the cosmogenic nuclide data that indicate the highest ice elevation over the past 5 Ma was reached during the highstand at 11 ka. Since the simulated cosmogenic nuclide concentrations derived from the model's ice elevation history are in good agreement with our measurements, we suggest that the model's prediction of more frequent collapsed-WAIS states and smaller WAIS volumes during the Pliocene are also correct.

  8. Characteristics and primary productivity of East Antarctic pack ice during the winter-spring transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugalde, Sarah C.; Westwood, Karen J.; van den Enden, Rick; McMinn, Andrew; Meiners, Klaus M.

    2016-09-01

    Microbial communities have evolved mechanisms to allow them to survive within the challenging and changing pack ice environment. One such mechanism may be the exudation of photosynthetically-derived organic carbon into various extracellular pools. During the 2nd Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems eXperiment (SIPEX-2), East Antarctic pack ice productivity and subsequent carbon allocation were quantified, together with physico-biogeochemical characteristics (29 September-28 October, 2012). Mean ice thickness ranged between 0.80 and 2.16 m, and typically exhibited a warm ice interior with weak temperature gradients. All stations, with one exception, were layered with granular (mean: 78%), columnar (mean: 15%), and mixed granular/columnar (mean: 4%) ice. Highest ice brine-volume fractions were at the ice-water interface, but all ice had high brine-volume fractions conducive for brine percolation (mean: 15%). Dissolved inorganic nutrient concentrations in the brine were scattered around theoretical dilution lines (TDLs), with some values of nitrate and nitrite, ammonium and silicic acid falling below TDLs, indicating nutrient depletion. Bulk ice dissolved organic carbon was low (mean: 64 μmol kg-1), but most samples showed enrichment in relation to TDLs. Microbial biomass (bacterial and algal) was low, and generally showed maxima in the sea-ice interior. Bottom ice algal communities were dominated by pennate diatom species (mean: 86% of total cell abundance). 14C-total primary productivity (14C-TPP) ranged from mean: 61%), with the remaining proportion allocated to 14C-colloidal organic carbon. Production of 14C-extracellular polymeric substances was not detected at any station.

  9. Using paleoclimate data to improve models of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, M. A.; Phipps, S. J.; Roberts, J. L.; White, D.

    2016-12-01

    Ice sheet models are the most descriptive tools available to simulate the future evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS), including its contribution towards changes in global sea level. However, our knowledge of the dynamics of the coupled ice-ocean-lithosphere system is inevitably limited, in part due to a lack of observations. Furthemore, to build computationally efficient models that can be run for multiple millennia, it is necessary to use simplified descriptions of ice dynamics. Ice sheet modeling is therefore an inherently uncertain exercise. The past evolution of the AIS provides an opportunity to constrain the description of physical processes within ice sheet models and, therefore, to constrain our understanding of the role of the AIS in driving changes in global sea level. We use the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) to demonstrate how paleoclimate data can improve our ability to predict the future evolution of the AIS. A large, perturbed-physics ensemble is generated, spanning uncertainty in the parameterizations of four key physical processes within ice sheet models: ice rheology, ice shelf calving, and the stress balances within ice sheets and ice shelves. A Latin hypercube approach is used to optimally sample the range of uncertainty in parameter values. This perturbed-physics ensemble is used to simulate the evolution of the AIS from the Last Glacial Maximum ( 21,000 years ago) to present. Paleoclimate records are then used to determine which ensemble members are the most realistic. This allows us to use data on past climates to directly constrain our understanding of the past contribution of the AIS towards changes in global sea level. Critically, it also allows us to determine which ensemble members are likely to generate the most realistic projections of the future evolution of the AIS.

  10. Drifting snow climate of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, J.T.M.

    2013-01-01

    This study presents the drifting snow climate of the Earth's ice sheets, Antarctica and Greenland. For that purpose we use a regional atmospheric climate model, RACMO2. We included a routine that is able to calculate the drifting snow fluxes and accounts for the interaction between drifting snow on

  11. An Antarctic ice core recording both supernovae and solar cycles

    CERN Document Server

    Motizuki, Yuko; Makishima, Kazuo; Bamba, Aya; Nakai, Yoichi; Yano, Yasushige; Igarashi, Makoto; Motoyama, Hideaki; Kamiyama, Kokichi; Suzuki, Keisuke; Imamura, Takashi

    2009-01-01

    Ice cores are known to be rich in information regarding past climates, and the possibility that they record astronomical phenomena has also been discussed. Rood et al. were the first to suggest, in 1979, that nitrate ion (NO3-) concentration spikes observed in the depth profile of a South Pole ice core might correlate with the known historical supernovae (SNe), Tycho (AD 1572), Kepler (AD 1604), and SN 1181 (AD 1181). Their findings, however, were not supported by subsequent examinations by different groups using different ice cores, and the results have remained controversial and confusing. Here we present a precision analysis of an ice core drilled in 2001 at Dome Fuji station in Antarctica. It revealed highly significant three NO3- spikes dating from the 10th to the 11th century. Two of them are coincident with SN 1006 (AD 1006) and the Crab Nebula SN (AD 1054), within the uncertainty of our absolute dating based on known volcanic signals. Moreover, by applying time-series analyses to the measured NO3- con...

  12. Modelling snowdrift sublimation on an Antarctic ice shelf

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, J.T.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Déry, S. J.; König-Langlo, G.; Ettema, J.; Kuipers Munneke, P.

    2010-01-01

    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

  13. Drifting snow climate of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163

    2013-01-01

    This study presents the drifting snow climate of the Earth's ice sheets, Antarctica and Greenland. For that purpose we use a regional atmospheric climate model, RACMO2. We included a routine that is able to calculate the drifting snow fluxes and accounts for the interaction between drifting snow on

  14. 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.

  15. Dynamic response of Antarctic ice shelves to bedrock uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sun

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Bedrock geometry is an essential boundary condition in ice sheet modelling. The shape of the bedrock on fine scales can influences ice sheet evolution, for example through the formation of pinning points that alter grounding line dynamics. Here we test the sensitivity of the BISICLES adaptive mesh ice sheet model to small amplitude height fluctuations on different spatial scales in the bed rock topography provided by bedmap2 in the catchments of Pine Island Glacier, the Amery Ice Shelf, and a region of East Antarctica including the Denman and Totten Glaciers. We generate an ensemble of bedrock topographies by adding random noise to the bedmap2 data with amplitude determined by the accompanying estimates of bedrock uncertainty. Lower frequency coherent noise, which generates broad spatial scale (over 10s of km errors in topography with relatively gently slopes, while higher frequency noise has steeper slopes over smaller spatial scales. We find that the small amplitude fluctuations result in only minor changes in the way these glaciers evolve. However, lower frequency noise is more important than higher frequency noise even when the features have the same height amplitudes and the total noise power is maintained. This provides optimism for credible sea level rise estimates with presently achievable densities of thickness measurements. Pine Island Glacier appears to be the most sensitive to errors in bed topography, while Lambert–Amery is stable under the present day observational data uncertainty. Totten–Denman region may undergo a retreat around Totten ice shelf, where the bedrock is lower than the sea level, especially if basal melt rates increase.

  16. Present-day and future Antarctic ice sheet climate and surface mass balance in the Community Earth System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Vizcaino, Miren; Fyke, Jeremy; van Kampenhout, Leo; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2016-09-01

    We present climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) as simulated by the global, coupled ocean-atmosphere-land Community Earth System Model (CESM) with a horizontal resolution of {˜ }1° in the past, present and future (1850-2100). CESM correctly simulates present-day Antarctic sea ice extent, large-scale atmospheric circulation and near-surface climate, but fails to simulate the recent expansion of Antarctic sea ice. The present-day Antarctic ice sheet SMB equals 2280 ± 131 {Gt year^{-1}}, which concurs with existing independent estimates of AIS SMB. When forced by two CMIP5 climate change scenarios (high mitigation scenario RCP2.6 and high-emission scenario RCP8.5), CESM projects an increase of Antarctic ice sheet SMB of about 70 {Gt year^{-1}} per degree warming. This increase is driven by enhanced snowfall, which is partially counteracted by more surface melt and runoff along the ice sheet's edges. This intensifying hydrological cycle is predominantly driven by atmospheric warming, which increases (1) the moisture-carrying capacity of the atmosphere, (2) oceanic source region evaporation, and (3) summer AIS cloud liquid water content.

  17. Atmospheric influences on the 2016 anomaly in Antarctic seasonal sea ice decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosser, Elisabeth; Raphael, Marilyn; Divine, Dmitry

    2017-04-01

    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, the maximum Antarctic SIE was already reached in August, earlier than the normal maximum end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decay was particularly strong 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. The main area of reduced SIE is situated off the coast of Eastern Dronning Maud Land (approximately 30°-90°E) in the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean and in the Pacific sector (approx. 160°E-170°W). The southern retreat of the ice edge is largest north of Enderby Land. This loss is only partly counteracted by a positive anomaly in SIE off Mary Byrd Land, east of the Ross Sea (centred at approx. 130°W) and at the northern edge of the Weddell Sea. We use NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data (mainly 500hPa geopotential height, sea level pressure and surface winds, but also air temperature and sea surface temperature (SST)) to investigate possible atmospheric influences on the observed phenomena. While SST and air temperature anomalies do not explain the reduced sea ice extent, atmospheric flow patterns hint at a mainly dynamic explanation. Although the picture is not consistent over the entire melt period, taking into account Ekman transport, distinct regional positive and negative anomalies in SIE can be explained by atmospheric dynamics. However, SIE, by definition, only refers to the area with at least 15% sea ice concentration. Sea ice concentration showed positive anomalies in November 2016 in some, but not all of the areas south of the areas of ice loss. A better spatial and temporal coverage of reliable ice thickness data is needed to assess the change in ice mass rather than

  18. A glimpse into the deep of the Antarctic Polar Front - Diversity and abundance of abyssal molluscs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jörger, K. M.; Schrödl, M.; Schwabe, E.; Würzberg, L.

    2014-10-01

    Our knowledge of the biodiversity and distribution patterns of benthic deep-sea faunas is still limited, with large parts of the world's abyss unexplored, lacking α-taxonomic data across oceans basins and especially of biogeographic transition zones between oceans. The Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone has been discussed as major biogeographic barrier hindering faunal exchange between Subantarctic and Antarctic provinces and conserving high rates of endemism in the Southern Ocean benthos. In the present study we report first, exploratory α-taxonomy on the malacofauna sampled by means of an epibenthic sledge from four bathyal respectively abyssal stations (2732-4327 m depth) in the vicinity of the Antarctic Polar Front during the SYSTCO II expedition (SYSTem COupling in the Southern Ocean, RV Polarstern cruise ANT XXVIII/3). We identified 58 distinct molluscan taxa based on external morphology ('morphospecies'); of the 33 taxa successfully assigned to described species 94% were previously reported from the Southern Ocean, but 24% exhibit distribution ranges crossing the Polar Front. One North Atlantic scaphopod is reported for the first time in Antarctic waters. Our study supports that the Antarctic Polar Front does not serve as effective barrier preventing gene flow in deep-sea molluscs. The present dataset shows the general characteristics of deep-sea sampling: patchiness in distribution and a high degree of singletons. Overall molluscan abundances were generally low ranging between 3.60 and 24.65 ind./1000 m², but in comparison with equatorial and subtropic abyssal basins, gastropod species richness and abundance were reaching high values similar to high Antarctic stations. Comparison between high productivity and low productivity zones along the Polar Front suggests increased abundances and species richness in high productivity zones. Intensified sampling is needed, however, to outweigh stochastic errors and to evaluate the influence of carbon flux as driving

  19. 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.

  20. Where is the evidence of past collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutowski, G.

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise estimates from the Last Interglacial period suggest collapse of part of the Antarctic ice sheet. However, there is no direct evidence of this from the ice sheet itself. Englacial layers in ice sheets, sampled directly by ice core drilling and indirectly by ice-penetrating radar, reveal a significant amount about glacial change over time and may contain a signature of the last ice sheet collapse. We hypothesize there is evidence of ice sheet instability where the observed englacial record deviates from that expected for a steady state WAIS simulated using ice sheet models. However, discrepancies between modeled steady state and observed englacial layer geometry are confounded by uncertainties in model boundary conditions, observed layer ages, and model parameters. To know where the signal of collapse may be best preserved, we must account for the affect of these uncertainties on layer geometry. We present several tests quantifying the sensitivity of simulated layer geometry to changes in model boundary conditions. We look to areas where englacial geometry has low sensitivity to uncertain boundary conditions to provide the largest signal of ice sheet instability. Where simulated layer geometry is responding strongly to uncertain boundary conditions, we are unlikely to be able to discern a signal of past deglaciation. In the latter case, uncertainty in layer geometry may overwhelm the signal of past ice sheet collapse. We perform the simulations using the Variational Glacier Simulator (VarGlaS), an ice sheet model with the capacity to model the age of englacial isochrones (Figure 1). We use the latest boundary conditions for geothermal flux, basal topography, and surface mass balance to simulate the steady state behavior of englacial layers in the Thwaites Glacier catchment and the Marie Byrd Land dome. Ensembles of model runs sample the uncertainty in each of the boundary conditions, creating a distribution of simulated englacial layers which accounts

  1. Antifreeze protein-induced superheating of ice inside Antarctic notothenioid fishes inhibits melting during summer warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cziko, Paul A; DeVries, Arthur L; Evans, Clive W; Cheng, Chi-Hing Christina

    2014-10-07

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) of polar marine teleost fishes are widely recognized as an evolutionary innovation of vast adaptive value in that, by adsorbing to and inhibiting the growth of internalized environmental ice crystals, they prevent death by inoculative freezing. Paradoxically, systemic accumulation of AFP-stabilized ice could also be lethal. Whether or how fishes eliminate internal ice is unknown. To investigate if ice inside high-latitude Antarctic notothenioid fishes could melt seasonally, we measured its melting point and obtained a decadal temperature record from a shallow benthic fish habitat in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. We found that AFP-stabilized ice resists melting at temperatures above the expected equilibrium freezing/melting point (eqFMP), both in vitro and in vivo. Superheated ice was directly observed in notothenioid serum samples and in solutions of purified AFPs, and ice was found to persist inside live fishes at temperatures more than 1 °C above their eqFMP for at least 24 h, and at a lower temperature for at least several days. Field experiments confirmed that superheated ice occurs naturally inside wild fishes. Over the long-term record (1999-2012), seawater temperature surpassed the fish eqFMP in most summers, but never exceeded the highest temperature at which ice persisted inside experimental fishes. Thus, because of the effects of AFP-induced melting inhibition, summer warming may not reliably eliminate internal ice. Our results expose a potentially antagonistic pleiotropic effect of AFPs: beneficial freezing avoidance is accompanied by melting inhibition that may contribute to lifelong accumulation of detrimental internal ice crystals.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Acceleration of Mass Losses and Mass Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to Present

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. J.; Li, J.; Robbins, J. W.; Yi, D.

    2016-12-01

    A review of Antarctic mass balance that separated pre-2012 studies and 2012 studies (Hanna et al., 2013) showed the evolution toward results that are more-narrowly distributed between +100 Gt/yr and -100 Gt/yr, with the deletion of earlier more negative values except for a more negative IOM estimate. Subsequent analysis (Zwally et al., 2015) of ICESat data (2003-08) showed mass gains from snow accumulation exceeded discharge losses by 82 ± 25 Gt/yr, reducing global sea-level rise by 0.23 mm/yr, which was consistent with the gain of 112 ± 61 Gt/yr from ERS1/ERS2 (1992-2001). Gains of 136 Gt/yr in East Antarctica and 72 Gt/yr in four drainage systems in West Antarctic exceeded losses of 97 Gt/yr from three coastal DS and 29 Gt/yr from the Antarctic Peninsula. East Antarctic dynamic thickening of 147 Gt/yr was interpreted as a continuing long-term response to increased accumulation (>50%) beginning in the early Holocene. In this paper, we describe newly-constructed time-series (for 2003-2009) of the total mass changes, MT(t), the accumulation-driven component, Ma(t), and the dynamic-driven component, Md(t), by DS, regions, coastal, inland, and overall, as well as similar time-series for 1992-2001. These series are analyzed to characterize the linear and second orders changes, which characterize the time varying effects of accumulation/snowfall variations and the dynamic changes. Published time-series of GRACE mass changes are used to extend the analysis to 2016. Results show an acceleration of dynamic losses in West Antarctic and the Antarctic Peninsula that are partially offset by increases in snowfall. In East Antarctica, overall dynamic-driven changes are undetectable and accumulation-driven changes are small prior to 2009, followed by a significant accumulation-driven increase in the Queen Maud Land region. References:Hanna, E. and 11 others. (2013) Ice sheet mass balance and climate change, Nature 498, doi:10.1038/nature12238.Zwally, H. J., J. Li, J. W. Robbins

  5. Antarctic subglacial groundwater: measurement concept and potential influence on ice flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulessa, Bernd; Siegert, Martin; Bougamont, Marion; Christoffersen, Poul; Key, Kerry; Andersen, Kristoffer; Booth, Adam; Smith, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    Is groundwater abundant in Antarctica and does it modulate ice flow? Answering this question matters because ice streams flow by gliding over a wet substrate of till. Water fed to ice-stream beds thus influences ice-sheet dynamics and, potentially, sea-level rise. It is recognised that both till and the sedimentary basins from which it originates are porous and could host a reservoir of mobile groundwater that interacts with the subglacial interfacial system. According to recent numerical modelling up to half of all water available for basal lubrication, and time lags between hydrological forcing and ice-sheet response as long as millennia, may have been overlooked in models of ice flow. Here, we review evidence in support of Antarctic groundwater and propose how it can be measured to ascertain the extent to which it modulates ice flow. We present new seismoelectric soundings of subglacial till, and new magnetotelluric and transient electromagnetic forward models of subglacial groundwater reservoirs. We demonstrate that multi-facetted and integrated geophysical datasets can detect, delineate and quantify the groundwater contents of subglacial sedimentary basins and, potentially, monitor groundwater exchange rates between subglacial till layers. We thus describe a new area of glaciological investigation and how it should progress in future.

  6. Kinetics of conversion of air bubbles to air-hydrate crystals in antarctic ice

    CERN Document Server

    Price, P B

    1995-01-01

    The depth-dependence of bubble concentration at pressures above the transition to the air hydrate phase and the optical scattering length due to bubbles in deep ice at the South Pole are modeled using diffusion-growth data from the laboratory, taking into account the dependence of age and temperature on depth in the ice. The model fits the available data on bubbles in cores from Vostok and Byrd and on scattering length in deep ice at the South Pole. It explains why bubbles and air hydrate crystals co-exist in deep ice over a range of depths as great as 800 m and predicts that at depths below \\rm \\sim 1400 m the AMANDA neutrino observatory at the South Pole will operate unimpaired by light scattering from bubbles.

  7. The neglect of cliff instability can underestimate warming period melting in Antarctic ice sheet models

    CERN Document Server

    Ruckert, Kelsey L; Pollard, Dave; Guan, Yawen; Wong, Tony E; Forest, Chris E; Keller, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    The response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) to changing climate forcings is an important driver of sea-level changes. Anthropogenic climate changes may drive a sizeable AIS tipping point response with subsequent increases in coastal flooding risks. Many studies analyzing flood risks use simple models to project the future responses of AIS and its sea-level contributions. These analyses have provided important new insights, but they are often silent on the effects of potentially important processes such as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI) or Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI). These approximations can be well justified and result in more parsimonious and transparent model structures. This raises the question how this approximation impacts hindcasts and projections. Here, we calibrate a previously published AIS model, which neglects the effects of MICI, using a combination of observational constraints and a Bayesian inversion method. Specifically, we approximate the effects of missing MICI by comparing ou...

  8. Glacial geomorphology of the northwestern Weddell Sea, eastern Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf: Shifting ice flow patterns during deglaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campo, Jennifer M.; Wellner, Julia S.; Domack, Eugene; Lavoie, Caroline; Yoo, Kyu-Cheul

    2017-03-01

    During the Last Glacial Maximum, grounded ice from the expanded Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet extended across the continental shelf. Grounded and flowing ice created a distinctive array of glacial geomorphic features on the sea floor, which were then exposed as the ice sheet retreated. The recent disintegration of the northern parts of the Larsen Ice Shelf (Larsen A and B) have permitted acquisition of marine geophysical data in previously inaccessible and unmapped areas. We present a reconstruction of the evolving ice-flow path and ice sheet geometry of the eastern Antarctic Peninsula, with particular focus paid to newly surveyed areas that shed light on the dynamics of a marine-terminating glacial geomorphic environment, where ice shelves play a major role in grounding line stability. Shifting flow directions were mapped in several areas, including across the Seal Nunataks, which divide Larsen A and B, and offshore of Larsen C, indicating flow reorientation that reflects the changing ice sheet geometry as retreat neared the modern coastline. The measured flow indicators in this area reveal comparatively high elongation ratios (> 20), indicating rapid ice flow. Evidence of possible previous ice-shelf collapses are noted near the shelf break, further illustrating the critical, protective effect that ice shelves impart to marine-terminating glacial environments. Modern ice retreat is governed in part by reorganization of flow patterns accompanying grounding line movement; such reorganizations happened in the past and can aid understanding of modern processes.

  9. West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat from Pine Island Bay during the Holocene: New insights into forcing mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Smith, James; Kuhn, Gerhard; Poole, Chris; Hodell, David; Elderfield, Harry; Kender, Sev; Williams, Mark; Peck, Victoria; Larter, Robert; Klages, Johann; Graham, Alastair; Forwick, Matthias; Gohl, Karsten

    2013-04-01

    The Amundsen Sea sector of the largely marine-based and therefore conditionally unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) contains enough ice to raise global sea level by ca. 1.5 metres. At present, ice streams draining this sector into the Southern Ocean, especially glaciers flowing into Pine Island Bay in the eastern Amundsen Sea embayment, are undergoing considerable mass loss characterised by major thinning, flow acceleration and rapid grounding-line retreat. Sub-ice shelf melting by relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) upwelling onto the continental shelf is held responsible for these dynamical changes but atmospheric warming in West Antarctica may also have contributed to them. In contrast to the modern situation, the long-term history of the Amundsen Sea sector and the mechanisms forcing its deglaciation during the Holocene are only poorly constrained. We will present new palaeoenvironmenal data obtained from marine sediment cores collected in Pine Island Bay. The cores targeted shallow sites on the inner continental shelf and successfully recovered sedimentary sequences bearing calcareous microfossils. Radiocarbon ages on these microfossils demonstrate that the grounding line of the WAIS retreated to within ~100 km of its modern position before ca. 10 kyr BP (thousand years before present), which is consistent with an early WAIS retreat from near-coastal locations in the western Amundsen Sea embayment. Currently, there is no evidence that the grounding line had retreated landward of its modern position during the Holocene. Therefore, the chronological constraints may imply that during the last 10 kyr any episodes of fast grounding-line retreat similar to those observed today were short-lived and rare. Preliminary geochemical data from benthic and planktonic foraminifera tests in the cores from Pine Island Bay reveals that intense CDW upwelling coincided with and may have forced the deglaciation of the inner continental shelf. Furthermore, we observe

  10. The sea-level fingerprint of the Antarctic ice sheet: an ensemble GIA modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spada, Giorgio; Galassi, Gaia; Melini, Daniele

    2017-04-01

    During the last decade, Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) modelling has seen a considerable development, stimulated by the increasing number and quality of sea-level observations and of various geodetic constraints. The fundamental equation of GIA (the Sea Level Equation) accounts for a number of physical ingredients that make GIA modelling quite realistic, such as rotational effects on sea-level change, the migration of the shorelines, and the time-evolving topography in the presence of marine based ice. However, concerning the spatiotemporal distribution of the late-Pleistocene ice sheets, the GIA models published in the literature by different groups are characterised by significantly different features. These are the volumes of the ice sheets at the Last Glacial Maximum, the presence and the duration of abrupt melting episodes (meltwater pulses) and the timing of the end of deglaciation. These differences can be mainly attributed to the different sets of proxies employed to constrain the melting chronology and, sometimes, to different assumptions about the Earth's viscosity profile. One of most important sources of uncertainty is the melting chronology of the Antarctic ice sheet, which is poorly constrained by the limited amount of relative sea-level data available in the near field of the ice sheet. To test whether the GIA models developed so far for the deglaciation of Antarctic ice sheet are converging or not towards a unique solution, here we collectively consider the models of the melting history of Antarctica published in the literature so far and for each of them we solve the Sea Level Equation. Following a multi-model ensemble approach, we estimate the ensemble mean and its uncertainty, in terms of the geometry and of the time history of the sea-level fingerprints.

  11. Venom on ice: first insights into Antarctic octopus venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Undheim, E A B; Georgieva, D N; Thoen, H H; Norman, J A; Mork, J; Betzel, C; Fry, B G

    2010-11-01

    The venom of Antarctic octopus remains completely unstudied. Here, a preliminary investigation was conducted into the properties of posterior salivary gland (PSG) extracts from four Antarctica eledonine (Incirrata; Octopodidae) species (Adelieledone polymorpha, Megaleledone setebos, Pareledone aequipapillae, and Pareledone turqueti) collected from the coast off George V's Land, Antarctica. Specimens were assayed for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), proteolytic, phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)), and haemolytic activities. For comparison, stomach tissue from Cirroctopus sp. (Cirrata; Cirroctopodidae) was also assayed for ALP, AChE, proteolytic and haemolytic activities. Dietary and morphological data were collected from the literature to explore the ecological importance of venom, taking an adaptive evolutionary approach. Of the incirrate species, three showed activities in all assays, while P. turqueti did not exhibit any haemolytic activity. There was evidence for cold-adaptation of ALP in all incirrates, while proteolytic activity in all except P. turqueti. Cirroctopus sp. stomach tissue extract showed ALP, AChE and some proteolytic activity. It was concluded that the AChE activity seen in the PSG extracts was possibly due to a release of household proteins, and not one of the secreted salivary toxins. Although venom undoubtedly plays an important part in prey capture and processing by Antarctica eledonines, no obvious adaptations to differences in diet or morphology were apparent from the enzymatic and haemolytic assays. However, several morphological features including enlarged PSG, small buccal mass, and small beak suggest such adaptations are present. Future studies should be conducted on several levels: Venomic, providing more detailed information on the venom compositions as well as the venom components themselves; ecological, for example application of serological or genetic methods in identifying stomach contents; and behavioural

  12. Validation of the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge Basal Stress Boundary in the South Eastern Region of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, C. B.; King, K.

    2015-12-01

    The largest ice shelf in Antarctic, Ross Ice Shelf, was investigated over the years of (1970-2015). Near the basal stress boundary between the ice shelf and the West Antarctic ice sheet, ice velocity ranges from a few meters per year to several hundred meters per year in ice streams. Most of the drainage from West Antarctica into the Ross Ice Shelf flows down two major ice streams, each of which discharges more than 20 km3 of ice each year. Along with velocity changes, the warmest water below parts of the Ross Ice Shelf resides in the lowest portion of the water column because of its high salinity. Vertical mixing caused by tidal stirring can thus induce ablation by lifting the warm water into contact with the ice shelf. This process can cause melting over a period of time and eventually cause breakup of ice shelf. With changes occurring over many years a validation is needed for the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge (ASAID) basal stress boundary created in 2003. After the 2002 Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegration, nearby glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula accelerated up to eight times their original speed over the next 18 months. Similar losses of ice tongues in Greenland have caused speed-ups of two to three times the flow rates in just one year. Rapid changes occurring in regions surrounding Antarctica are causing concern in the polar science community to research changes occurring in coastal zones over time. During the research, the team completed study on the Ross Ice Shelf located on the south western coast of the Antarctic. The study included a validation of the ABSB vs. the natural basal stress boundary (NBSB) along the Ross Ice Shelf. The ASAID BSB was created in 2003 by a team of researchers headed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC), with an aim of studying coastal deviations as it pertains to the mass balance of the entire continent. The point data file was aimed at creating a replica of the

  13. The Development of a Sea Ice Edge Validation Proxy in the Antarctic with the Use of Nic Charts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, P. M.; Helfrich, S.; Geiger, C. A.

    2011-12-01

    Sea ice edge location data is an integral component of both climate models and forecast projections, as well as ice charting analysis for safe navigation. The National Ice Center (NIC) generates various products pertaining to sea ice conditions that aid in navigation, which includes records for ice edge location, sea ice concentration, thickness, and extent (http://www.natice.noaa.gov/products/). The NIC Antarctic archive dating from 1972 is relevant because it is the only continuous dataset available by any ice charting operational facility and could be used to provide a large-scale in situ dataset for remote-sensing validations of sea ice. However, some fundamental science questions develop as to what are the climatological value of these products. The NIC daily and weekly sea ice charts differ in how each represents the Antarctic sea ice edge. The daily charts are created to depict the warning zones along the sea ice edge, whereas the weekly charts consist of more detail and include information on sea ice concentration and sea ice types. Though the daily charts have a higher temporal resolution, the weekly charts contain a higher spatial resolution. To quantify this difference both charts were compared with the use of statistical analysis of area measurements and position data to identify their consistency to detect the Antarctic sea ice edge. Years 2004 - present were used to confirm which chart should be used as in situ data for large-scale monitoring in Antarctica and climatology purposes. Overall ice extent in the weekly charts differed approximately 1 x 106 km2 than that of the daily charts. The largest variation occurred during the melt season at approximately 2 x 106 km2, whereas there was less change at approximately between 0.5 x 106 km2 - 1 x 106 km2 throughout the rest of the year. A running standard deviation was performed to show the consistency of the Daily and Weekly products.

  14. Individual particle morphology, coatings, and impurities of black carbon aerosols in Antarctic ice and tropical rainfall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Aja; Edwards, Ross; Saunders, Martin; Chakrabarty, Rajan K.; Subramanian, R.; Timms, Nicholas E.; Riessen, Arie; Smith, Andrew M.; Lambrinidis, Dionisia; Nunes, Laurie J.; Vallelonga, Paul; Goodwin, Ian D.; Moy, Andrew D.; Curran, Mark A. J.; Ommen, Tas D.

    2016-11-01

    Black carbon (BC) aerosols are a large source of climate warming, impact atmospheric chemistry, and are implicated in large-scale changes in atmospheric circulation. Inventories of BC emissions suggest significant changes in the global BC aerosol distribution due to human activity. However, little is known regarding BC's atmospheric distribution or aged particle characteristics before the twentieth century. Here we investigate the prevalence and structural properties of BC particles in Antarctic ice cores from 1759, 1838, and 1930 Common Era (C.E.) using transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The study revealed an unexpected diversity in particle morphology, insoluble coatings, and association with metals. In addition to conventionally occurring BC aggregates, we observed single BC monomers, complex aggregates with internally, and externally mixed metal and mineral impurities, tar balls, and organonitrogen coatings. The results of the study show BC particles in the remote Antarctic atmosphere exhibit complexity that is unaccounted for in atmospheric models of BC.

  15. 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.)

  16. A Method for Continuous (239)Pu Determinations in Arctic and Antarctic Ice Cores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arienzo, M M; McConnell, J R; Chellman, N; Criscitiello, A S; Curran, M; Fritzsche, D; Kipfstuhl, S; Mulvaney, R; Nolan, M; Opel, T; Sigl, M; Steffensen, J P

    2016-07-05

    Atmospheric nuclear weapons testing (NWT) resulted in the injection of plutonium (Pu) into the atmosphere and subsequent global deposition. We present a new method for continuous semiquantitative measurement of (239)Pu in ice cores, which was used to develop annual records of fallout from NWT in ten ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. The (239)Pu was measured directly using an inductively coupled plasma-sector field mass spectrometer, thereby reducing analysis time and increasing depth-resolution with respect to previous methods. To validate this method, we compared our one year averaged results to published (239)Pu records and other records of NWT. The (239)Pu profiles from the Arctic ice cores reflected global trends in NWT and were in agreement with discrete Pu profiles from lower latitude ice cores. The (239)Pu measurements in the Antarctic ice cores tracked low latitude NWT, consistent with previously published discrete records from Antarctica. Advantages of the continuous (239)Pu measurement method are (1) reduced sample preparation and analysis time; (2) no requirement for additional ice samples for NWT fallout determinations; (3) measurements are exactly coregistered with all other chemical, elemental, isotopic, and gas measurements from the continuous analytical system; and (4) the long half-life means the (239)Pu record is stable through time.

  17. Sea-level feedback lowers projections of future Antarctic Ice-Sheet mass loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Natalya; Pollard, David; Holland, David

    2015-11-10

    The stability of marine sectors of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) in a warming climate has been identified as the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future sea-level rise. Sea-level fall near the grounding line of a retreating marine ice sheet has a stabilizing influence on the ice sheets, and previous studies have established the importance of this feedback on ice age AIS evolution. Here we use a coupled ice sheet-sea-level model to investigate the impact of the feedback mechanism on future AIS retreat over centennial and millennial timescales for a range of emission scenarios. We show that the combination of bedrock uplift and sea-surface drop associated with ice-sheet retreat significantly reduces AIS mass loss relative to a simulation without these effects included. Sensitivity analyses show that the stabilization tends to be greatest for lower emission scenarios and Earth models characterized by a thin elastic lithosphere and low-viscosity upper mantle, as is the case for West Antarctica.

  18. 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.

  19. Retrieving the antarctic sea-ice concentration based on AMSR-E 89 GHz data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Qinglong; WANG Hui; WAN Liying; BI Haibo

    2013-01-01

    Sea-ice concentration is a key item in global climate change research. Recent progress in remotely sensed sea-ice concentration product has been stimulated by the use of a new sensor, advanced microwave scan-ning radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E), which offers a spatial resolution of 6 km×4 km at 89GHz. A new inver-sion algorithm named LASI (linear ASI) using AMSR-E 89GHz data was proposed and applied in the antarc-tic sea areas. And then comparisons between the LASI ice concentration products and those retrieved by the other two standard algorithms, ASI (arctic radiation and turbulence interaction study sea-ice algorithm) and bootstrap, were made. Both the spatial and temporal variability patterns of ice concentration differ-ences, LASI minus ASI and LASI minus bootstrap, were investigated. Comparative data suggest a high result consistency, especially between LASI and ASI. On the other hand, in order to estimate the LASI ice concen-tration errors introduced by the tie-points uncertainties, a sensitivity analysis was carried out. Additionally an LASI algorithm error estimation based on the field measurements was also completed. The errors suggest that the moderate to high ice concentration areas (>70%) are less affected (never exceeding 10%) than those in the low ice concentration. LASI and ASI consume 75 and 112 s respectively when processing the same AMSR-E time series thourghout the year 2010. To conclude, by using the LASI algorithm, not only the sea-ice concentration can be retrieved with at least an equal quality as that of the two extensively demonstrated operational algorithms, ASI and bootstrap, but also in a more efficient way than ASI.

  20. Using palaeoclimate data to improve models of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, Steven; King, Matt; Roberts, Jason; White, Duanne

    2017-04-01

    Ice sheet models are the most descriptive tools available to simulate the future evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS), including its contribution towards changes in global sea level. However, our knowledge of the dynamics of the coupled ice-ocean-lithosphere system is inevitably limited, in part due to a lack of observations. Furthemore, to build computationally efficient models that can be run for multiple millennia, it is necessary to use simplified descriptions of ice dynamics. Ice sheet modelling is therefore an inherently uncertain exercise. The past evolution of the AIS provides an opportunity to constrain the description of physical processes within ice sheet models and, therefore, to constrain our understanding of the role of the AIS in driving changes in global sea level. We use the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) to demonstrate how palaeoclimate data can improve our ability to predict the future evolution of the AIS. A 50-member perturbed-physics ensemble is generated, spanning uncertainty in the parameterisations of three key physical processes within the model: (i) the stress balance within the ice sheet, (ii) basal sliding and (iii) calving of ice shelves. A Latin hypercube approach is used to optimally sample the range of uncertainty in parameter values. This perturbed-physics ensemble is used to simulate the evolution of the AIS from the Last Glacial Maximum ( 21,000 years ago) to present. Palaeoclimate records are then used to determine which ensemble members are the most realistic. This allows us to use data on past climates to directly constrain our understanding of the past contribution of the AIS towards changes in global sea level. Critically, it also allows us to determine which ensemble members are likely to generate the most realistic projections of the future evolution of the AIS.

  1. Antarctic sea-ice expansion between 2000 and 2014 driven by tropical Pacific decadal climate variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehl, Gerald A.; Arblaster, Julie M.; Bitz, Cecilia M.; Chung, Christine T. Y.; Teng, Haiyan

    2016-08-01

    Antarctic sea-ice extent has been slowly increasing in the satellite record that began in 1979. Since the late 1990s, the increase has accelerated, but the average of all climate models shows a decline. Meanwhile, the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, an internally generated mode of climate variability, transitioned from positive to negative, with an average cooling of tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, a slowdown of the global warming trend and a deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low near Antarctica that has contributed to regional circulation changes in the Ross Sea region and expansion of sea ice. Here we show that the negative phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation in global coupled climate models is characterized by anomalies similar to the observed sea-level pressure and near-surface 850 hPa wind changes near Antarctica since 2000 that are conducive to expanding Antarctic sea-ice extent, particularly in the Ross Sea region in all seasons, involving a deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low. These atmospheric circulation changes are shown to be mainly driven by precipitation and convective heating anomalies related to the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation in the equatorial eastern Pacific, with additional contributions from convective heating anomalies in the South Pacific convergence zone and tropical Atlantic regions.

  2. Inter-annual variability and potential for selectivity in the diets of deep-water Antarctic echinoderms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigham, B. D.; Galley, E. A.; Smith, C. R.; Tyler, P. A.

    2008-11-01

    The continental shelf of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is a highly productive region but also unusually deep as a result of isostatic depression by the polar ice cap. The close coupling of surface processes with those of the benthos would be expected in such a seasonally variable environment; however, the cold, deep conditions of the WAP shelf may allow for the persistence of organic material in the sediments as a "food bank". Chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments were determined from the gut contents of seven species of echinoderm and from the surficial sediment on the bathyal continental shelf. Samples were collected as part of the FOODBANCS programme during successive cruises in austral spring (October 2000) and austral autumn (March 2001). Pigments were identified and quantified using reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). A lack of qualitative selectivity was observed among species, compared to that observed for deep-water assemblages at temperate latitudes, supporting the theory of a persistent "food bank". However, significant quantitative differences were observed among species and between years and sampling location on the shelf. Species differences were marked between those we classified as "true" deposit feeders and those species whose diet also may be supplemented by scavenging and/or grazing.

  3. ISOTOPIC REGIME OF SUBGLACIAL LAKE VOSTOK ON EVIDENCE FROM DEEP ICE CORE STUDIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Ekaykin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available On the 5th of February 2012 the long-lasting project of deep ice drilling at Russian Antarctic station of Vostok was completed by the penetration to the subglacial lake at the depth of 3769.3 m. The study of the ice core representing the frozen lake water and obtained as a result of the drilling, has allowed to make preliminary conclusions on the lake hydrological regime before its direct studies. In this work we present the new isotopic data (dD and d18O from the 5G-2 ice core from the depth interval 3600–3720 m. The measurements were performed in the recently established Climate and Environment Research Laboratory of Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (St. Petersburg,Russia. The comparison of the new isotope profile with the previously published 5G-1 data (3540–3650 m demonstrates a good reproducibility, which means a satisfying quality of the measurements. The analysis of the whole available lake ice thickness isotope profile (3540–3720 m has allowed to obtain a new information on theLakeVostok’s hydrological regime. Based on the isotopic behavior, the lake ice core is divided into three sections. The first (3540–3619 m corresponds to the so-called «lake ice 1», the ice containing visible mineral inclusions that was formed close to the western lake shore. The isotopic variability in this section was formed due to the changing conditions and mechanisms of the ice formation (ice accretion rate, concentrations of the frazil ice crystals and frozen water pockets. The second (3619–3647 m is characterized by a weak correlation between deuterium and oxygen 18, which is interpreted as an influence of the hydrothermal activity on the lake’s isotopic regime. In the third section (3647–3720 m, formed over the deep basin in the southern part of the lake, the isotopic variability is reduced due to the relatively stable steady-state conditions of the ice formation. At the same time, the signature of the lake water isotopic

  4. Geochemical characteristics and zones of surface snow on east Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KANG Jiancheng; LIU Leibao; QIN Dahe; WANG Dali; WEN Jiahong; TAN Dejun; LI Zhongqin; LI Jun; ZHANG Xiaowei

    2004-01-01

    The surface-snow geochemical characteristics are discussed on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, depending on the stable isotopes ratios of oxygen and hydrogen, concentration of impurities (soluble-ions and insoluble micro-particle) in surface snow collected on the ice sheet. The purpose is to study geochemical zones on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and to research sources and transportation route of the water vapor and the impurities in surface snow. It has been found that the ratio coefficients, as S1, d1 in the equation δD = S1δ18O + d1, are changed near the elevation 2000 m on the ice sheet. The weight ratio of Cl(-)/Na+ at the area below the elevation of 2000 m is close to the ratio in the sea salt; but it is about 2 times that of the sea salt, at the inland area up to the elevation of 2000 m. The concentrations of non-sea-salt Ca2+ ion (nssCa2+) and fine-particle increase at the interior up to the elevation 2000 m. At the region below the elevation of 2000 m, the impurity concentration is decreasing with the elevation increasing. Near coastal region, the surface snow has a high concentration of impurity, where the elevation is below 800 m. Combining the translating processes of water-vapor and impurities, it suggests that the region up to the elevation 2000 m is affected by large-scale circulation with longitude-direction, and that water-vapor and impurities in surface snow come from long sources. The region below the elevation 2000 m is affected by some strong cyclones acting at peripheral region of the ice sheet, and the sources of water and impurities could be at high latitude sea and coast. The area below elevation 800 m is affected by local coastal cyclones.

  5. West Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics recorded in Plio-Pleistocene strata of the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loth, A. S.; Bartek, L. R.; Luyendyk, B. P.; Wilson, D. S.

    2008-12-01

    Within the 100,000 square kilometer Eastern Basin of the Ross Sea, a 290 km section, oriented parallel to depostional dip along with 10 intersecting seismic sections that are oriented parallel to depositional strike were analyzed. Using Single-Channel Seismic (SCS) data from three different seismic surveys (NBP 0306, PD9022, and NBP 9308) 36 Plio-Pleistocene sequences were correlated across the basin from the modern ice shelf edge to the contemporary shelf break. Few of the sequences are continuous across the shelf, the majority of the sequences are of limited lateral extent. The facies within the sequences were analyzed to determine ice sheet behavior at the time of deposition. Three distinct depositional environments were interpreted based upon variations in the reflection attributes within the seismic data. Subglacial facies have a spectrum of reflection attributes from reflection-free to parallel, low-amplitude, discontinuous facies. The Grounding Line Zone facies are characterized by high amplitude, mildly discontinuous reflections. Proglacial environments are distinguished by parallel, high amplitude, continuous reflection packages. The facies distribution within many of the sequences consists of Subglacial facies in updip locales, Grounding Line Zone facies widely distributed across the shelf, and Proglacial facies present at downdip sites. The facies distribution within the sequences provides a record of the variation of the extent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) throughout the Plio-Pleistocene. Not all sequences have a consecutive facies relationship, which may have resulted from several causes: 1) changes in the flow of the WAIS, 2) interplay between the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) with the WAIS, or 3) additional grounding of the WAIS on paleobasin highs. Understanding the short-lived glacial events, whether they are a function of non-deposition or cannibalization of previous deposits, provides insight into the dynamics of marine based ice

  6. Measurement of neutrino oscillations in atmospheric neutrinos with the IceCube DeepCore detector

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yanez Garza, Juan Pablo

    2014-06-02

    The study of neutrino oscillations is an active field of research. During the last couple of decades many experiments have measured the effects of oscillations, pushing the field from the discovery stage towards an era of precision and deeper understanding of the phenomenon. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, with its low energy subarray, DeepCore, has the possibility of contributing to this field. IceCube is a 1 km{sup 3} ice Cherenkov neutrino telescope buried deep in the Antarctic glacier. DeepCore, a region of denser instrumentation in the lower center of IceCube, permits the detection of neutrinos with energies as low as 10 GeV. Every year, thousands of atmospheric neutrinos around these energies leave a strong signature in DeepCore. Due to their energy and the distance they travel before being detected, these neutrinos can be used to measure the phenomenon of oscillations. This work starts with a study of the potential of IceCube DeepCore to measure neutrino oscillations in different channels, from which the disappearance of ν{sub μ} is chosen to move forward. It continues by describing a novel method for identifying Cherenkov photons that traveled without being scattered until detected direct photons. These photons are used to reconstruct the incoming zenith angle of muon neutrinos. The total energy of the interacting neutrino is also estimated. In data taken in 343 days during 2011-2012, 1487 neutrino candidates with an energy between 7 GeV and 100 GeV are found inside the DeepCore volume. Compared to the expectation from the atmospheric neutrino flux without oscillations, this corresponds to a deficit of about 500 muon neutrino events. The oscillation parameters that describe the data best are sin{sup 2}(2θ{sub 23})=1(>0.94 at 68 % C.L.) and vertical stroke Δm{sup 2}{sub 32} vertical stroke =2.4{sub -0.4}{sup +0.6}.10{sup -3} eV{sup 2}, which are in agreement with the results reported by other experiments. The simulation follows the data closely

  7. Late Neogene shift from polythermal to cold polar conditions of the Antarctic ice sheet indicated by glacial stratigraphy and sea-ice history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harwood, D.; Hambrey, M.; McKelvey, B.; Webb, P.; Whitehead, J.

    2003-04-01

    Discussions on the Neogene history of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet center on the age of the switch from a 'dynamic' mode (polythermal) to the modern, 'stable' mode (cold-polar) of Antarctic glaciation. Interpretations derived from landscape evolution, ash deposits and polar desert pavements in the Dry Valley region support a persistent cold-polar climate by middle Miocene time. In contrast, interpretations based on glacigene strata of the Sirius Group in the Transantarctic Mts. and Pagodroma Group of the Prince Charles Mts. support the persistence of a dynamic, polythermal ice sheet until the late Pliocene. Marine sediments on the continental shelf preserve a record of sea-ice history, as indicated by sea-ice diatom assemblages, that bears on the timing of the switch in glacial regime. Through most of the Late Neogene and into the late Pliocene, the sea-ice diatom flora was weakly developed to absent. The reduced influence of sea-ice during the Late Neogene would impact the terrestrial glacial regime by lowered albedo of the ocean surface and higher ocean to atmospheric heat and moisture transfer, both of which would result in prolonged regional warming and polythermal ice. This paper will review the history of Neogene sea-ice and present stratigraphic evidence on characteristics of glacigene deposition in terrestrial and glacimarine environments during the Miocene and Pliocene, which suggest deposition by an ice sheet of quite different character than the present ice sheet, and a glacial regime of significant erosion and deposition. In situ marine fossils of the Pagodroma Group indicate that this warmer than present climate and polythermal character of the East Antarctic ice sheet continued into the Pliocene. The floating ice margin retreated up the Lambert Valley by as much as 300 km south of the present limit, where distal glacimarine facies deposited diatomaceous mud. The grounding zone of the paleo-Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf system fluctuated across a

  8. 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.

  9. Air fractionation in plate-like inclusions within the EPICA-DML deep ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedelcu, A.; Faria, S. H.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Schmidt, B.; Kuhs, W. F.

    2009-04-01

    On ice samples from the ice core recovered in the frame of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica at the deep drilling site in Dronning Maud Land (75°00S; 00°04E) micro-Raman spectrochemical analysis was applied to typical relaxation features appearing after the extraction of an ice core. Essentially, these relaxation microinclusions are little planar polygonal cavities possessing hexagonal symmetry i.e. thin negative crystals lying on the basal plane of the hosting ice crystallite. Usually named plate-like inclusions, PLIs, they tend to change their aspect ratio becoming in general rounder, thicker or thinner depending on the equilibrium established between the structure-composition of the ice and the minute environmental temperature-pressure conditions around a specific PLI, but still preserving a very large aspect ratio (typically 20:1). Muguruma and others (1966) and Mae (1968) have reported studies on plate hexagonal voids, i.e. PLIs, produced (only) in tensile deformation tests of natural and artificial single ice crystals while the first report of PLIs in Antarctic ice cores was presented by Gow (1971). In spite of these early studies and the abundance of PLIs in stored ice core samples, extended investigations of these relaxation features are scarce. We present the results of the first successful study of the chemical composition of PLIs using microfocus Raman spectroscopy (Nedelcu and others, in press). We observe that the relaxation features contain mainly O2 and N2 in their interior, with N2/O2 ratios smaller than 3.7 (the nowadays atmospheric air N2/O2 ratio), indicating a general oxygen enrichment that is not so different from O2 enrichments reported in other investigations on polar ice samples (Nakahara and others, 1988, Ikeda and others, 1999). These results seem to lend support to the current hypothesis that O2 diffuses faster than N2 through the ice matrix (Ikeda-Fukazawa and others, 2001, 2005; Severinghaus and Battle, 2006). More

  10. Tectonics, Microbes and Ice: Subglacial volcanism as a generator for microbial habitat beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, M. L.; Blankenship, D. D.; Carter, S. P.

    2010-12-01

    Glaciological processes under ice masses, including ice sheets provide sustainable habitat for microbes, forming an aquatic environment through basal melting and providing nutrients and energy from bedrock comminution. In all subglacial settings investigated to date, viable microbes have been documented. Tectonic activity beneath ice masses, including volcanism is associated with an elevated heat flux, leading to enhanced basal ice melt and may also be accompanied by hydrothermal fluids, often rich in reduced metals including Fe and gases such as CO2, H2 and H2S that are potential chemical energy sources for microbes. However, the importance of subglacial volcanism beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) in terms of increasing both water and chemical energy fluxes remains unknown despite evidence for subglacial volcanic features and enhanced heat flux. The role of subglacial volcanism in supporting subglacial microbial communities has been documented in Icelandic caldera lake systems, indicating crustal carbon and energy sources, could support a microbial ecosystem independent of photosynthetic carbon. Further, phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences from WAIS subglacial sediments suggests that organisms with Fe and S oxidizing metabolisms may be important members of the microbial community in these environments. Given the abundance and interconnectivity of water beneath the WAIS, the distribution of volcanism relative to the subglacial hydrologic catchments could have a significant role in contributing to the water and chemical energy fluxes for downstream environments. Therefore, tectonics may modulate the critical hydrologic and geochemical balance that determines subglacial microbial habitat distribution. We will present potential biological implications of an updated geophysical and hydrological context for West Antarctica’s Whillans and Kamb ice streams with an emphasis on selecting targets for further characterization.

  11. 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.

  12. High geothermal heat flux measured below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Andrew T; Mankoff, Kenneth D; Tulaczyk, Slawek M; Tyler, Scott W; Foley, Neil

    2015-07-01

    The geothermal heat flux is a critical thermal boundary condition that influences the melting, flow, and mass balance of ice sheets, but measurements of this parameter are difficult to make in ice-covered regions. We report the first direct measurement of geothermal heat flux into the base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), below Subglacial Lake Whillans, determined from the thermal gradient and the thermal conductivity of sediment under the lake. The heat flux at this site is 285 ± 80 mW/m(2), significantly higher than the continental and regional averages estimated for this site using regional geophysical and glaciological models. Independent temperature measurements in the ice indicate an upward heat flux through the WAIS of 105 ± 13 mW/m(2). The difference between these heat flux values could contribute to basal melting and/or be advected from Subglacial Lake Whillans by flowing water. The high geothermal heat flux may help to explain why ice streams and subglacial lakes are so abundant and dynamic in this region.

  13. Mass Balance of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula and its Ongoing Response to Ice Shelf Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambos, T. A.; Berthier, E.; Haran, T. M.; Shuman, C. A.; Cook, A. J.; Bohlander, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    An assessment of the most rapidly changing areas of the Antarctic Peninsula (north of 66°S) shows that ice mass loss for the region is dominated by areas affected by eastern-Peninsula ice shelf losses in the past 20 years. Little if any of the mass loss is compensated by increased snowfall in the northwestern or far northern areas. We combined satellite stereo-image DEM differencing and ICESat-derived along-track elevation changes to measure ice mass loss for the Antarctic Peninsula north of 66°S between 2001-2010, focusing on the ICESat-1 period of operation (2003-2009). This mapping includes all ice drainages affected by recent ice shelf loss in the northeastern Peninsula (Prince Gustav, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, and Larsen B) as well as James Ross Island, Vega Island, Anvers Island, Brabant Island and the adjacent west-flowing glaciers. Polaris Glacier (feeding the Larsen Inlet, which collapsed in 1986) is an exception, and may have stabilized. Our method uses ASTER and SPOT-5 stereo-image DEMs to determine dh/dt for elevations below 800 m; at higher elevations ICESat along-track elevation differencing is used. To adjust along-track path offsets between its 2003-2009 campaigns, we use a recent DEM of the Peninsula to establish and correct for cross-track slope (Cook et al., 2012, doi:10.5194/essdd-5-365-2012; http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0516.html) . We reduce the effect of possible seasonal variations in elevation by using only integer-year repeats of the ICESat tracks for comparison. Mass losses are dominated by the major glaciers that had flowed into the Prince Gustav (Boydell, Sjorgren, Röhss), Larsen A (Edgeworth, Bombardier, Dinsmoor, Drygalski), and Larsen B (Hektoria, Jorum, and Crane) embayments. The pattern of mass loss emphasizes the significant and multi-decadal response to ice shelf loss. Areas with shelf losses occurring 30 to 100s of years ago seem to be relatively stable or losing mass only slowly (western glaciers, northernmost areas). The

  14. Past and future ice age initiation: the role of an intrinsic deep-ocean millennial oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, R. G.

    2014-05-01

    This paper offers three interdependent contributions to studies of climate variation: (1) the recognition and analysis of an intrinsic millennial oceanic oscillation that affects both Northern and Southern high latitude climates, (2) The recognition of an oceanographic switch to ice-free seas west of Greenland that explains the initiation of the Last Ice Age, and (3) an analysis of the effect of increasing salinity in the seas east of Greenland that suggests the possibility of the initiation of an ice age threshold climate in the near future. In the first contribution the millennial oscillation in the flow of the North Atlantic Drift reported by Bond et al. (1997) is proposed to be part of a 1500 yr intrinsic deep ocean oscillation. This oscillation involves the exchange of North Atlantic intermediate-level deep water (NADW) formed in the seas east of Greenland with Antarctic Bottom Water formed in a shallow-water zone at the edge of the Antarctic continent. The concept of NADW formation is already well known, with details of the sinking water flowing out of the Greenland Sea observed by Smethie et al. (2000) using chlorofluorocarbon tracers. The concept of Antarctic Bottom Water formation is also already well established. However, its modulation by the changing fraction of NADW in the Southern Ocean, which I infer from the analysis of Weyl (1968), has not been previously discussed. The modulated lower-salinity Antarctic Bottom Water that reaches the northern North Atlantic then provides negative feedback for the cyclic variation of NADW formation as proposed here. This causes the 1500 yr bipolar oscillation. The feedback suggests the possible sinusoidal character of the proposed oscillation model. The model is consistent with the cooling of the Little Ice Age (Lamb, 1972, 1995), and it also correctly predicts NASA's observation of today's record maximum area of winter sea ice on the Southern Ocean and the present observed record low rate of Antarctic Bottom Water

  15. Increase of the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is highly significant only in the Ross Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Naiming; Ding, Minghu; Ludescher, Josef; Bunde, Armin

    2017-01-01

    In the context of global warming, the question of why Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) has increased is one of the most fundamental unsolved mysteries. Although many mechanisms have been proposed, it is still unclear whether the increasing trend is anthropogenically originated or only caused by internal natural variability. In this study, we employ a new method where the underlying natural persistence in the Antarctic SIE can be correctly accounted for. We find that the Antarctic SIE is not simply short-term persistent as assumed in the standard significance analysis, but actually characterized by a combination of both short- and long-term persistence. By generating surrogate data with the same persistence properties, the SIE trends over Antarctica (as well as five sub-regions) are evaluated using Monte-Carlo simulations. It is found that the SIE trends over most sub-regions of Antarctica are not statistically significant. Only the SIE over Ross Sea has experienced a highly significant increasing trend (p = 0.008) which cannot be explained by natural variability. Influenced by the positive SIE trend over Ross Sea, the SIE over the entire Antarctica also increased over the past decades, but the trend is only at the edge of being significant (p = 0.034).

  16. 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.

  17. Antarctic Ice Sheet variability in the Plio-Pleistocene, its impact on the Southern Ocean and teleconnections to distant latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, R.; Pollard, D.; Naish, T.

    2012-12-01

    In recent years, geological records and numerical modeling have begun to paint a picture of a highly dynamic West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) through the Pliocene and during some Pleistocene interglacials. However, the primary mechanisms driving that variability remain poorly constrained, as does the impact of substantial changes in Antarctic ice volume on global climate and the evolution of the Northern Hemispheric cryosphere over the last ~3.5 million years. Here, we take an integrated data-model view of the past variability of WAIS and the potential for substantial changes in East Antarctic Ice Sheet volume over the last ~5 million years, using a newly improved ice sheet-shelf model coupled to atmospheric and ocean model components. Recent findings support 1) the notion of a dynamic WAIS over the last 5 million years, highly sensitive to modest changes in sub-ice shelf ocean temperatures but relatively insensitive to changes in surface mass balance, 2) the potential for substantial WAIS retreat as recently as Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 7 and the last interglacial, 3) a relatively stable EAIS through the Pliocene and Pleistocene, making some estimates of past sea level (particularly in the Pliocene) difficult to justify without invoking some unknown ice sheet dynamical processes and/or exceptional climate sensitivity and polar amplification of warming. Correlations between new Antarctic and Arctic climate records spanning the last several million years imply strong interhemispheric connectivity operating on a range of timescales,from sub-millennial to orbital. Possible teleconnection mechanisms are discussed here in the context of new climate model simulations that test the potential for Antarctic ice sheet variability to impact the global system from the warm Pliocene to present.

  18. Antarctic ozone depletion chemistry - Reactions of N2O5 with H2O and HCl on ice surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolbert, Margaret A.; Rossi, Michel J.; Golden, David M.

    1988-01-01

    In a study concerning Antarctic ozone depletion, reactions of dinitrogen pentoxide with water and hydrochloric acid were studied on ice surfaces in a Knudsen cell flow reactor. The N2O5 reacted on ice at 185 K to form condensed-phase nitric acid (HNO3). This reaction may provide a sink for odd nitrogen, NO(x), during the polar winter, a requirement in nearly all models of Antarctic ozone depletion. The reaction of N2O5 on HCl-ice surfaces at 185 K produced gaseous nitryl chloride (ClNO2) and condensed-phase HNO3 and proceeded until all of the HCl within the ice was depleted. The ClNO2 which did not react or condense on ice at 185 K, can be readily photolyzed in the Antarctic spring to form atomic chlorine for catalytic ozone destruction cycles. The other photolysis product, gaseous nitrogen dioxide may be important in the partitioning of NO(x) between gaseous and condensed phases in the Antarctic winter.

  19. On the interpretation of stable isotopes in Antarctic precipitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helsen, M.M.

    2006-01-01

    Polar ice caps contain valuable information about the earth's climate. This thesis investigates the extent to which meteorological data are stored in the composition of snow in order to improve the interpretation of deep ice cores from the Antarctic ice cap. It is demonstrated that annual temperatur

  20. On the interpretation of stable isotopes in Antarctic precipitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helsen, M.M.

    2006-01-01

    Polar ice caps contain valuable information about the earth's climate. This thesis investigates the extent to which meteorological data are stored in the composition of snow in order to improve the interpretation of deep ice cores from the Antarctic ice cap. It is demonstrated that annual temperatur

  1. Modelled ocean changes at the Plio-Pleistocene transition driven by Antarctic ice advance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Daniel J.; Bolton, Kevin P.; Haywood, Alan M.

    2017-01-01

    The Earth underwent a major transition from the warm climates of the Pliocene to the Pleistocene ice ages between 3.2 and 2.6 million years ago. The intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation is the most obvious result of the Plio-Pleistocene transition. However, recent data show that the ocean also underwent a significant change, with the convergence of deep water mass properties in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean. Here we show that the lack of coastal ice in the Pacific sector of Antarctica leads to major reductions in Pacific Ocean overturning and the loss of the modern North Pacific Deep Water (NPDW) mass in climate models of the warmest periods of the Pliocene. These results potentially explain the convergence of global deep water mass properties at the Plio-Pleistocene transition, as Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) became the common source. PMID:28252023

  2. 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.

  3. Past temperature reconstructions from deep ice cores: relevance for future climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Masson-Delmotte

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Ice cores provide unique archives of past climate and environmental changes based only on physical processes. Quantitative temperature reconstructions are essential for the comparison between ice core records and climate models. We give an overview of the methods that have been developed to reconstruct past local temperatures from deep ice cores and highlight several points that are relevant for future climate change. We first analyse the long term fluctuations of temperature as depicted in the long Antarctic record from EPICA Dome C. The long term imprint of obliquity changes in the EPICA Dome C record is highlighted and compared to simulations conducted with the ECBILT-CLIO intermediate complexity climate model. We discuss the comparison between the current interglacial period and the long interglacial corresponding to marine isotopic stage 11, ~400 kyr BP. Previous studies had focused on the role of precession and the thresholds required to induce glacial inceptions. We suggest that, due to the low eccentricity configuration of MIS 11 and the Holocene, the effect of precession on the incoming solar radiation is damped and that changes in obliquity must be taken into account. The EPICA Dome C alignment of terminations I and VI published in 2004 corresponds to a phasing of the obliquity signals. A conjunction of low obliquity and minimum northern hemisphere summer insolation is not found in the next tens of thousand years, supporting the idea of an unusually long interglacial ahead. As a second point relevant for future climate change, we discuss the magnitude and rate of change of past temperatures reconstructed from Greenland (NorthGRIP and Antarctic (Dome C ice cores. Past episodes of temperatures above the present-day values by up to 5°C are recorded at both locations during the penultimate interglacial period. The rate of polar warming simulated by coupled climate models forced by a CO2 increase of 1% per year is compared to ice

  4. 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 (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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Phase-sensitive radar on thick Antarctic ice - how well does it work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Tobias; Eisen, Olaf; Helm, Veit; Humbert, Angelika; Steinhage, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    Phase-sensitive radar (pRES) has become one of the mostly used tools to determine basal melt rates as well as vertical strain in ice sheets. Whereas most applications are performed on ice shelves, only few experiments were conducted on thick ice in Greenland or Antarctica. The technical constrains on an ice shelf to deduce basal melt rates are less demanding than on inland ice of more than 2 km thickness. First, the ice itself is usually only several 100s of meters thick; and, second, the reflection coefficient at the basal interface between sea water and ice is the second strongest one possible. Although the presence of marine ice with higher conductivities might increase attenuation in the lower parts, most experiments on shelves were successful. To transfer this technology to inland regions, either for the investigation of basal melt rates of subglacial hydrological networks or for determining vertical strain rates in basal regions, a reliable estimate of the current system performance is necessary. To this end we conducted an experiment at and in the vicinity of the EPICA deep ice core drill site EDML in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. That site has been explored in extraordinary detail with different geophysical methods and provides an already well-studied ice core and borehole, in particular with respect to physical properties like crystal orientation fabric, dielectric properties and matching of internal radar horizons with conductivity signals. We present data from a commercially available pRES system initially recorded in January 2015 and repeated measurements in January 2016. The pRES data are matched to existing and already depth-calibrated airborne radar data. Apart from identifying prominent internal layers, e.g. the one originating from the deposits of the Toba eruption at around 75 ka, we put special focus on the identification of the basal reflection at multiple polarizations. We discuss the potential uncertainty estimates and requirements to

  8. Neutrino oscillation studies with IceCube-DeepCore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aartsen, M. G.; Abraham, K.; Ackermann, M.; Adams, J.; Aguilar, J. A.; Ahlers, M.; Ahrens, M.; Altmann, D.; Anderson, T.; Ansseau, I.; Archinger, M.; Arguelles, C.; Arlen, T. C.; Auffenberg, J.; Bai, X.; Barwick, S. W.; Baum, V.; Bay, R.; Beatty, J. J.; Becker Tjus, J.; Becker, K.-H.; Beiser, E.; Berghaus, P.; Berley, D.; Bernardini, E.; Bernhard, A.; Besson, D. Z.; Binder, G.; Bindig, D.; Bissok, M.; Blaufuss, E.; Blumenthal, J.; Boersma, D. J.; Bohm, C.; Börner, M.; Bos, F.; Bose, D.; Böser, S.; Botner, O.; Braun, J.; Brayeur, L.; Bretz, H.-P.; Buzinsky, N.; Casey, J.; Casier, M.; Cheung, E.; Chirkin, D.; Christov, A.; Clark, K.; Classen, L.; Coenders, S.; Collin, G. H.; Conrad, J. M.; Cowen, D. F.; Cruz Silva, A. H.; Daughhetee, J.; Davis, J. C.; Day, M.; de André, J. P. A. M.; De Clercq, C.; del Pino Rosendo, E.; Dembinski, H.; De Ridder, S.; Desiati, P.; de Vries, K. D.; de Wasseige, G.; de With, M.; DeYoung, T.; Díaz-Vélez, J. C.; di Lorenzo, V.; Dumm, J. P.; Dunkman, M.; Eberhardt, B.; Ehrhardt, T.; Eichmann, B.; Euler, S.; Evenson, P. A.; Fahey, S.; Fazely, A. R.; Feintzeig, J.; Felde, J.; Filimonov, K.; Finley, C.; Flis, S.; Fösig, C.-C.; Fuchs, T.; Gaisser, T. K.; Gaior, R.; Gallagher, J.; Gerhardt, L.; Ghorbani, K.; Gier, D.; Gladstone, L.; Glagla, M.; Glüsenkamp, T.; Goldschmidt, A.; Golup, G.; Gonzalez, J. G.; Góra, D.; Grant, D.; Griffith, Z.; Groß, A.; Ha, C.; Haack, C.; Haj Ismail, A.; Hallgren, A.; Halzen, F.; Hansen, E.; Hansmann, B.; Hanson, K.; Hebecker, D.; Heereman, D.; Helbing, K.; Hellauer, R.; Hickford, S.; Hignight, J.; Hill, G. C.; Hoffman, K. D.; Hoffmann, R.; Holzapfel, K.; Homeier, A.; Hoshina, K.; Huang, F.; Huber, M.; Huelsnitz, W.; Hulth, P. O.; Hultqvist, K.; In, S.; Ishihara, A.; Jacobi, E.; Japaridze, G. S.; Jeong, M.; Jero, K.; Jones, B. J. P.; Jurkovic, M.; Kappes, A.; Karg, T.; Karle, A.; Kauer, M.; Keivani, A.; Kelley, J. L.; Kemp, J.; Kheirandish, A.; Kiryluk, J.; Klein, S. R.; Kohnen, G.; Koirala, R.; Kolanoski, H.; Konietz, R.; Köpke, L.; Kopper, C.; Kopper, S.; Koskinen, D. J.; Kowalski, M.; Krings, K.; Kroll, G.; Kroll, M.; Krückl, G.; Kunnen, J.; Kurahashi, N.; Kuwabara, T.; Labare, M.; Lanfranchi, J. L.; Larson, M. J.; Lesiak-Bzdak, M.; Leuermann, M.; Leuner, J.; Lu, L.; Lünemann, J.; Madsen, J.; Maggi, G.; Mahn, K. B. M.; Mandelartz, M.; Maruyama, R.; Mase, K.; Matis, H. S.; Maunu, R.; McNally, F.; Meagher, K.; Medici, M.; Meli, A.; Menne, T.; Merino, G.; Meures, T.; Miarecki, S.; Middell, E.; Mohrmann, L.; Montaruli, T.; Morse, R.; Nahnhauer, R.; Naumann, U.; Neer, G.; Niederhausen, H.; Nowicki, S. C.; Nygren, D. R.; Obertacke Pollmann, A.; Olivas, A.; Omairat, A.; O'Murchadha, A.; Palczewski, T.; Pandya, H.; Pankova, D. V.; Paul, L.; Pepper, J. A.; Pérez de los Heros, C.; Pfendner, C.; Pieloth, D.; Pinat, E.; Posselt, J.; Price, P. B.; Przybylski, G. T.; Quinnan, M.; Raab, C.; Rädel, L.; Rameez, M.; Rawlins, K.; Reimann, R.; Relich, M.; Resconi, E.; Rhode, W.; Richman, M.; Richter, S.; Riedel, B.; Robertson, S.; Rongen, M.; Rott, C.; Ruhe, T.; Ryckbosch, D.; Sabbatini, L.; Sander, H.-G.; Sandrock, A.; Sandroos, J.; Sarkar, S.; Schatto, K.; Schimp, M.; Schmidt, T.; Schoenen, S.; Schöneberg, S.; Schönwald, A.; Schulte, L.; Schumacher, L.; Seckel, D.; Seunarine, S.; Soldin, D.; Song, M.; Spiczak, G. M.; Spiering, C.; Stahlberg, M.; Stamatikos, M.; Stanev, T.; Stasik, A.; Steuer, A.; Stezelberger, T.; Stokstad, R. G.; Stößl, A.; Ström, R.; Strotjohann, N. L.; Sullivan, G. W.; Sutherland, M.; Taavola, H.; Taboada, I.; Tatar, J.; Ter-Antonyan, S.; Terliuk, A.; Tešić, G.; Tilav, S.; Toale, P. A.; Tobin, M. N.; Toscano, S.; Tosi, D.; Tselengidou, M.; Turcati, A.; Unger, E.; Usner, M.; Vallecorsa, S.; Vandenbroucke, J.; van Eijndhoven, N.; Vanheule, S.; van Santen, J.; Veenkamp, J.; Vehring, M.; Voge, M.; Vraeghe, M.; Walck, C.; Wallace, A.; Wallraff, M.; Wandkowsky, N.; Weaver, Ch.; Wendt, C.; Westerhoff, S.; Whelan, B. J.; Wiebe, K.; Wiebusch, C. H.; Wille, L.; Williams, D. R.; Wills, L.; Wissing, H.; Wolf, M.; Wood, T. R.; Woschnagg, K.; Xu, D. L.; Xu, X. W.; Xu, Y.; Yanez, J. P.; Yodh, G.; Yoshida, S.; Zoll, M.

    2016-07-01

    IceCube, a gigaton-scale neutrino detector located at the South Pole, was primarily designed to search for astrophysical neutrinos with energies of PeV and higher. This goal has been achieved with the detection of the highest energy neutrinos to date. At the other end of the energy spectrum, the DeepCore extension lowers the energy threshold of the detector to approximately 10 GeV and opens the door for oscillation studies using atmospheric neutrinos. An analysis of the disappearance of these neutrinos has been completed, with the results produced being complementary with dedicated oscillation experiments. Following a review of the detector principle and performance, the method used to make these calculations, as well as the results, is detailed. Finally, the future prospects of IceCube-DeepCore and the next generation of neutrino experiments at the South Pole (IceCube-Gen2, specifically the PINGU sub-detector) are briefly discussed.

  9. Neutrino oscillation studies with IceCube-DeepCore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aartsen, M.G. [Department of Physics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, 5005 (Australia); Abraham, K. [Technische Universität München, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Ackermann, M. [DESY, D-15735 Zeuthen (Germany); Adams, J. [Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch (New Zealand); Aguilar, J.A. [Université Libre de Bruxelles, Science Faculty CP230, B-1050 Brussels (Belgium); Ahlers, M. [Dept. of Physics and Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); Ahrens, M. [Oskar Klein Centre and Dept. of Physics, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm (Sweden); Altmann, D. [Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, D-91058 Erlangen (Germany); Anderson, T. [Dept. of Physics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Ansseau, I. [Université Libre de Bruxelles, Science Faculty CP230, B-1050 Brussels (Belgium); Archinger, M. [Institute of Physics, University of Mainz, Staudinger Weg 7, D-55099 Mainz (Germany); Arguelles, C. [Dept. of Physics and Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); Arlen, T.C. [Dept. of Physics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Auffenberg, J. [III. Physikalisches Institut, RWTH Aachen University, D-52056 Aachen (Germany); Bai, X. [Physics Department, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD 57701 (United States); Barwick, S.W. [Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697 (United States); Baum, V. [Institute of Physics, University of Mainz, Staudinger Weg 7, D-55099 Mainz (Germany); and others

    2016-07-15

    IceCube, a gigaton-scale neutrino detector located at the South Pole, was primarily designed to search for astrophysical neutrinos with energies of PeV and higher. This goal has been achieved with the detection of the highest energy neutrinos to date. At the other end of the energy spectrum, the DeepCore extension lowers the energy threshold of the detector to approximately 10 GeV and opens the door for oscillation studies using atmospheric neutrinos. An analysis of the disappearance of these neutrinos has been completed, with the results produced being complementary with dedicated oscillation experiments. Following a review of the detector principle and performance, the method used to make these calculations, as well as the results, is detailed. Finally, the future prospects of IceCube-DeepCore and the next generation of neutrino experiments at the South Pole (IceCube-Gen2, specifically the PINGU sub-detector) are briefly discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. Ocean sea-ice modelling in the Southern Ocean around Indian Antarctic stations

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Anurag Kumar; Suneet Dwivedi; D Ram Rajak

    2017-07-01

    An eddy-resolving coupled ocean sea-ice modelling is carried out in the Southern Ocean region (9∘–78∘E; 51∘–71∘S) using the MITgcm. The model domain incorporates the Indian Antarctic stations, Maitri (11.7∘E; 70.7∘S) and Bharati (76.1∘E; 69.4∘S). The realistic simulation of the surface variables, namely, sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface salinity (SSS), surface currents, sea ice concentration (SIC) and sea ice thickness (SIT) is presented for the period of 1997–2012. The horizontal resolution of the model varies between 6 and 10 km. The highest vertical resolution of 5 m is taken near the surface, which gradually increases with increasing depths. The seasonal variability of the SST, SSS, SIC and currents is compared with the available observations in the region of study. It is found that the SIC of the model domain is increasing at a rate of 0.09% per month (nearly 1% per year), whereas, the SIC near Maitri and Bharati regions is increasing at a rate of 0.14 and 0.03% per month, respectively. The variability of the drift of the sea-ice is also estimated over the period of simulation. It is also found that the sea ice volume of the region increases at the rate of 0.0004 km3 per month (nearly 0.005 km3 per year). Further, it is revealed that the accumulation of sea ice around Bharati station is more as compared to Maitri station.

  12. Phase relationships between orbital forcing and the composition of air trapped in Antarctic ice cores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Bazin

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Orbital tuning is central for ice core chronologies beyond annual layer counting, available back to 60 ka (i.e. thousand of years before 1950 for Greenland ice cores. While several complementary orbital tuning tools have recently been developed using δ18Oatm, δO2/N2 and air content with different orbital targets, quantifying their uncertainties remains a challenge. Indeed, the exact processes linking variations of these parameters, measured in the air trapped in ice, to their orbital targets are not yet fully understood. Here, we provide new series of δO2/N2 and δ18Oatm data encompassing Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS 5 (between 100–160 ka and the oldest part (380–800 ka of the East Antarctic EPICA Dome C (EDC ice core. For the first time, the measurements over MIS 5 allow an inter-comparison of δO2/N2 and δ18Oatm records from three East Antarctic ice core sites (EDC, Vostok and Dome F. This comparison highlights a site-specific relationship between δO2/N2 and its local summer solstice insolation. Such a relationship increases the uncertainty associated with the use of δO2/N2 as a tool for orbital tuning. Combining records of δ18Oatm and δO2/N2 from Vostok and EDC, we evidence a loss of orbital signature for these two parameters during periods of minimum eccentricity (∼400, ∼720–800 ka. Our dataset reveals a time-varying lag between δO2/N2 and δ18Oatm over the last 800 ka that we interpret as variations of the lag between δ18Oatm and precession. Large lags of ∼5 ka are identified during Terminations I and II, associated with strong Heinrich events. On the opposite, minimal lags (∼1–2 ka are identified during four periods characterized by high eccentricity, intermediate ice volume and no Heinrich events (MIS 6–7, the end of MIS 9, MIS 15 and MIS 17. We therefore suggest that the occurrence of Heinrich events influences the response of δ18Oatm to precession.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. The Antarctic ice core chronology (AICC2012: an optimized multi-parameter and multi-site dating approach for the last 120 thousand years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Veres

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The deep polar ice cores provide reference records commonly employed in global correlation of past climate events. However, temporal divergences reaching up to several thousand years (ka exist between ice cores over the last climatic cycle. In this context, we are hereby introducing the Antarctic Ice Core Chronology 2012 (AICC2012, a new and coherent timescale developed for four Antarctic ice cores, namely Vostok, EPICA Dome C (EDC, EPICA Dronning Maud Land (EDML and Talos Dome (TALDICE, alongside the Greenlandic NGRIP record. The AICC2012 time scale has been constructed using the Bayesian tool Datice (Lemieux-Dudon et al., 2010 that combines glaciological inputs and data constraints, including a wide range of relative and absolute gas and ice stratigraphic markers. We focus here on the last 120 ka, whereas the companion paper by Bazin et al., (2012 focuses on the interval 120–800 ka.

    Compared to previous timescales, AICC2012 presents an improved timing for the last glacial inception respecting the glaciological constraints of all analyzed records. Moreover, with the addition of numerous new stratigraphic markers and improved calculation of the lock-in depth (LID based on δ15N data employed as the Datice background scenario, the AICC2012 presents a new timing for the bipolar sequence of events over Marine Isotope Stage 3 associated with the see-saw mechanism, with maximum differences of about 500 yr with respect to the previous Datice-derived chronology of Lemieux-Dudon et al. (2010, hereafter denoted LD2010. Our improved scenario confirms the regional differences for the millennial scale variability over the last glacial period: while the EDC isotopic record (events of triangular shape displays peaks roughly at the same time as the NGRIP abrupt isotopic increases, the EDML isotopic record (events characterized by broader peaks or even extended periods of high isotope values reached the isotopic maximum several centuries

  15. Empirical estimation of present-day Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment and ice mass change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. C. Gunter

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This study explores an approach that simultaneously estimates Antarctic mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA through the combination of satellite gravity and altimetry data sets. The results improve upon previous efforts by incorporating reprocessed data sets over a longer period of time, and now include a firn densification model to account for firn compaction and surface processes. A range of different GRACE gravity models were evaluated, as well as a new ICESat surface height trend map computed using an overlapping footprint approach. When the GIA models created from the combination approach were compared to in-situ GPS ground station displacements, the vertical rates estimated showed consistently better agreement than existing GIA models. In addition, the new empirically derived GIA rates suggest the presence of strong uplift in the Amundsen Sea and Philippi/Denman sectors, as well as subsidence in large parts of East Antarctica. The total GIA mass change estimates for the entire Antarctic ice sheet ranged from 53 to 100 Gt yr−1, depending on the GRACE solution used, and with an estimated uncertainty of ±40 Gt yr−1. Over the time frame February 2003–October 2009, the corresponding ice mass change showed an average value of −100 ± 44 Gt yr−1 (EA: 5 ± 38, WA: −105 ± 22, consistent with other recent estimates in the literature, with the mass loss mostly concentrated in West Antarctica. The refined approach presented in this study shows the contribution that such data combinations can make towards improving estimates of present day GIA and ice mass change, particularly with respect to determining more reliable uncertainties.

  16. Periodic fluctuations in deep water formation due to sea ice

    CERN Document Server

    Saha, Raj

    2015-01-01

    During the last ice age several quasi-periodic abrupt warming events took place. Known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events their effects were felt globally, although the North Atlantic experienced the largest temperature anomalies. Paleoclimate data shows that the fluctuations often occurred right after massive glacial meltwater releases in the North Atlantic and in bursts of three or four with progressively decreasing strengths. In this study a simple dynamical model of an overturning circulation and sea ice is developed with the goal of understanding the fundamental mechanisms that could have caused the DO events. Interaction between sea ice and the overturning circulation in the model produces self-sustained oscillations. Analysis and numerical experiments reveal that the insulating effect of sea ice causes the ocean to periodically vent out accumulated heat in the deep ocean into the atmosphere. Subjecting the model to idealized freshwater forcing mimicking Heinrich events causes modulation of the natural p...

  17. The effects of climate uncertainty on the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Pliocene warm period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernales, Jorge; Häfliger, Tonio; Rogozhina, Irina; Thomas, Maik

    2015-04-01

    The mid-Pliocene (3.15 to 2.85 million years before present) is the most recent period in Earth's history when temperatures and CO2 concentrations were sustainedly higher than pre-industrial values [1], representing an ideal interval for studying the climate system under conditions similar to those projected for the end of this century. In these projections, the response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) remains uncertain, including areas generally considered stable under a warming climate. Therefore, a better understanding of AIS's behaviour during periods like the mid-Pliocene will provide valuable information on the potential vulnerability of the composite parts of the AIS in the future. For this purpose, we have designed numerical experiments of the AIS dynamics during the mid-Pliocene warm period using the continental-scale ice sheet-shelf model SICOPOLIS [2]. To account for the uncertainties in the configuration of the AIS and climate conditions prior to this period, we employ a wide range of initial ice sheet configurations and climatologies, including modern observations, the results from the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP) climate experiments [3], and perturbations to single climatic fields, allowing us to assess the vulnerability of different AIS sectors to specific forcing mechanisms. Our simulations show that the West Antarctic ice sheet remains largely ice-free under the chosen range of climate conditions, except for small portions grounded above sea level. On the contrary, the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) shows no signs of potential collapse, with an ice loss over a few peripheral sectors largely compensated by an increase in ice volume over the interior due to increased precipitation rates and surface temperatures remaining well below the freezing point. Furthermore, our results contrast with existing hypotheses that cast doubt on the stability of the EAIS during the mid-Pliocene warm period. References [1] Cook, C. P., et al

  18. Heterotrophic potential of Atribacteria from deep marine Antarctic sediment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, S. A.; Orcutt, B.; Mandernack, K. W.; Spear, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    Bacteria belonging to the newly classified candidate phylum "Atribacteria" (formerly referred to as "OP9" and "JS1") are common in anoxic methane-rich sediments. However, the metabolic functions and biogeochemical role of these microorganisms in the subsurface remains unrealized due to the lack of pure culture representatives. This study observed a steady increase of Atribacteria-related sequences with increasing sediment depth throughout the methane-rich zone of the Adélie Basin, Antarctica (according to a 16S rRNA gene survey). To explore the functional potential of Atribacteria in this basin, samples from various depths (14, 25 and 97 meters below seafloor), were subjected to metagenomic sequencing. Additionally, individual cells were separated from frozen, unpreserved sediment for whole genome amplification. The successful isolation and sequencing of a single-amplified Atribacteria genome from these unpreserved sediments demonstrates a future use of single cell techniques with previously collected and frozen sediments. Our resulting single-cell amplified genome, combined with metagenomic interpretations, provides our first insights to the functional potential of Atribacteria in deep subsurface settings. As observed for non-marine Atribacteria, genomic analyses suggest a heterotrophic metabolism, with Atribacteria potentially producing fermentation products such as acetate, ethanol and CO2. These products may in turn support methanogens within the sediment microbial community and explain the frequent occurrence of Atribacteria in anoxic methane-rich sediments.

  19. Physical analysis of an Antarctic ice core-towards an integration of micro- and macrodynamics of polar ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weikusat, Ilka; Jansen, Daniela; Binder, Tobias; Eichler, Jan; Faria, Sérgio H; Wilhelms, Frank; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Sheldon, Simon; Miller, Heinrich; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Kleiner, Thomas

    2017-02-13

    Microstructures from deep ice cores reflect the dynamic conditions of the drill location as well as the thermodynamic history of the drill site and catchment area in great detail. Ice core parameters (crystal lattice-preferred orientation (LPO), grain size, grain shape), mesostructures (visual stratigraphy) as well as borehole deformation were measured in a deep ice core drilled at Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land (DML), Antarctica. These observations are used to characterize the local dynamic setting and its rheological as well as microstructural effects at the EDML ice core drilling site (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica in DML). The results suggest a division of the core into five distinct sections, interpreted as the effects of changing deformation boundary conditions from triaxial deformation with horizontal extension to bedrock-parallel shear. Region 1 (uppermost approx. 450 m depth) with still small macroscopic strain is dominated by compression of bubbles and strong strain and recrystallization localization. Region 2 (approx. 450-1700 m depth) shows a girdle-type LPO with the girdle plane being perpendicular to grain elongations, which indicates triaxial deformation with dominating horizontal extension. In this region (approx. 1000 m depth), the first subtle traces of shear deformation are observed in the shape-preferred orientation (SPO) by inclination of the grain elongation. Region 3 (approx. 1700-2030 m depth) represents a transitional regime between triaxial deformation and dominance of shear, which becomes apparent in the progression of the girdle to a single maximum LPO and increasing obliqueness of grain elongations. The fully developed single maximum LPO in region 4 (approx. 2030-2385 m depth) is an indicator of shear dominance. Region 5 (below approx. 2385 m depth) is marked by signs of strong shear, such as strong SPO values of grain elongation and strong kink folding of visual layers. The details of structural

  20. Physical analysis of an Antarctic ice core-towards an integration of micro- and macrodynamics of polar ice*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weikusat, Ilka; Jansen, Daniela; Binder, Tobias; Eichler, Jan; Faria, Sérgio H.; Wilhelms, Frank; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Sheldon, Simon; Miller, Heinrich; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Kleiner, Thomas

    2017-02-01

    Microstructures from deep ice cores reflect the dynamic conditions of the drill location as well as the thermodynamic history of the drill site and catchment area in great detail. Ice core parameters (crystal lattice-preferred orientation (LPO), grain size, grain shape), mesostructures (visual stratigraphy) as well as borehole deformation were measured in a deep ice core drilled at Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land (DML), Antarctica. These observations are used to characterize the local dynamic setting and its rheological as well as microstructural effects at the EDML ice core drilling site (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica in DML). The results suggest a division of the core into five distinct sections, interpreted as the effects of changing deformation boundary conditions from triaxial deformation with horizontal extension to bedrock-parallel shear. Region 1 (uppermost approx. 450 m depth) with still small macroscopic strain is dominated by compression of bubbles and strong strain and recrystallization localization. Region 2 (approx. 450-1700 m depth) shows a girdle-type LPO with the girdle plane being perpendicular to grain elongations, which indicates triaxial deformation with dominating horizontal extension. In this region (approx. 1000 m depth), the first subtle traces of shear deformation are observed in the shape-preferred orientation (SPO) by inclination of the grain elongation. Region 3 (approx. 1700-2030 m depth) represents a transitional regime between triaxial deformation and dominance of shear, which becomes apparent in the progression of the girdle to a single maximum LPO and increasing obliqueness of grain elongations. The fully developed single maximum LPO in region 4 (approx. 2030-2385 m depth) is an indicator of shear dominance. Region 5 (below approx. 2385 m depth) is marked by signs of strong shear, such as strong SPO values of grain elongation and strong kink folding of visual layers. The details of structural observations are

  1. Holocene climate variations in the western Antarctic Peninsula: evidence for sea ice extent predominantly controlled by insolation and ENSO variability changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Etourneau

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The West Antarctic ice sheet is particularly sensitive to global warming and its evolution and impact on global climate over the next few decades remains difficult to predict. In this context, investigating past sea ice conditions around Antarctica is of primary importance. Here, we document changes in sea ice presence, upper water column temperatures (0–200 m and primary productivity over the last 9000 yr BP (before present in the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP margin from a sedimentary core collected in the Palmer Deep basin. Employing a multi-proxy approach, we derived new Holocene records of sea ice conditions and upper water column temperatures, based on the combination of two biomarkers proxies (highly branched isoprenoid (HBI alkenes for sea ice and TEXL86 for temperature and micropaleontological data (diatom assemblages. The early Holocene (9000–7000 yr BP was characterized by a cooling phase with a short sea ice season. During the mid-Holocene (~ 7000–3000 yr BP, local climate evolved towards slightly colder conditions and a prominent extension of the sea ice season occurred, promoting a favorable environment for intensive diatom growth. The late Holocene (the last ~ 3000 yr was characterized by more variable temperatures and increased sea ice presence, accompanied by reduced local primary productivity likely in response to a shorter growing season compared to the early or mid-Holocene. The stepwise increase in annual sea ice duration over the last 7000 yr might have been influenced by decreasing mean annual and spring insolation despite an increasing summer insolation. We postulate that in addition to precessional changes in insolation, seasonal variability, via changes in the strength of the circumpolar Westerlies and upwelling activity, was further amplified by the increasing frequency/amplitude of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO. However, between 4000 and 2100 yr BP, the lack of correlation between

  2. Controls on the movement and composition of firn air at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. O. Battle

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available We sampled interstitial air from the perennial snowpack (firn at a site near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS-D and analyzed the air samples for a wide variety of gas species and their isotopes. We find limited convective influence (1.4–5.2 m, depending on detection method in the shallow firn, gravitational enrichment of heavy species throughout the diffusive column in general agreement with theoretical expectations, a ~10 m thick lock-in zone beginning at ~67 m, and a total firn thickness consistent with predictions of Kaspers et al. (2004. Our modeling work shows that the air has an age spread (spectral width of 4.8 yr for CO2 at the firn-ice transition. We also find that advection of firn air due to the 22 cm yr−1 ice-equivalent accumulation rate has a minor impact on firn air composition, causing changes that are comparable to other modeling uncertainties and intrinsic sample variability. Furthermore, estimates of Δage (the gas age/ice age difference at WAIS-D appear to be largely unaffected by bubble closure above the lock-in zone. Within the lock-in zone, small gas species and their isotopes show evidence of size-dependent fractionation due to permeation through the ice lattice with a size threshold of 0.36 nm, as at other sites. We also see an unequivocal and unprecedented signal of oxygen isotope fractionation within the lock-in zone, which we interpret as the mass-dependent expression of a size-dependent fractionation process.

  3. Thirty years of elevation change on Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves from multimission satellite radar altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricker, Helen Amanda; Padman, Laurie

    2012-02-01

    We use data acquired between 1978 and 2008 by four satellite radar altimeter missions (Seasat, ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat) to determine multidecadal elevation change rates (dhi/dt) for six major Antarctic Peninsula (AP) ice shelves. In areas covered by the Seasat orbit (to 72.16°S), regional-averaged 30-year trends were negative (surface lowering), with rates between -0.03 and -0.16 m a-1. Surface lowering preceded the start of near-continuous radar altimeter operations that began with ERS-1 in 1992. The average rate of lowering for the first 14 years of the period was typically smaller than the 30-year average; the exception was the southern Wilkins Ice Shelf, which experienced negligible lowering between 2000 and 2008, when a series of large calving events began. Analyses of the continuous ERS/Envisat time series (to 81.5°) for 1992-2008 reveal a period of strong negative dhi/dt on most ice shelves between 1992 and 1995. Based on prior studies of regional atmospheric and oceanic conditions, we hypothesize that the observed elevation changes on Larsen C Ice Shelf are driven primarily by firn compaction while the western AP ice shelves are responding to changes in both surface mass balance and basal melt rates. Our time series also show that large changes in dhi/dt can occur on interannual time scales, reinforcing the importance of long time series altimetry to separate long-term trends associated with climate change from interannual to interdecadal natural variability.

  4. Antarctic climate and ice-sheet configuration during the early Pliocene interglacial at 4.23 Ma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. R. Golledge

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The geometry of Antarctic ice sheets during warm periods of the geological past is difficult to determine from geological evidence, but is important to know because such reconstructions enable a more complete understanding of how the ice-sheet system responds to changes in climate. Here we investigate how Antarctica evolved under orbital and greenhouse gas conditions representative of an interglacial in the early Pliocene at 4.23 Ma, when Southern Hemisphere insolation reached a maximum. Using offline-coupled climate and ice-sheet models, together with a new synthesis of high-latitude palaeoenvironmental proxy data to define a likely climate envelope, we simulate a range of ice-sheet geometries and calculate their likely contribution to sea level. In addition, we use these simulations to investigate the processes by which the West and East Antarctic ice sheets respond to environmental forcings and the timescales over which these behaviours manifest. We conclude that the Antarctic ice sheet contributed 8.6 ± 2.8 m to global sea level at this time, under an atmospheric CO2 concentration identical to present (400 ppm. Warmer-than-present ocean temperatures led to the collapse of West Antarctica over centuries, whereas higher air temperatures initiated surface melting in parts of East Antarctica that over one to two millennia led to lowering of the ice-sheet surface, flotation of grounded margins in some areas, and retreat of the ice sheet into the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. The results show that regional variations in climate, ice-sheet geometry, and topography produce long-term sea-level contributions that are non-linear with respect to the applied forcings, and which under certain conditions exhibit threshold behaviour associated with behavioural tipping points.

  5. Antarctic climate and ice-sheet configuration during the early Pliocene interglacial at 4.23 Ma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, Nicholas R.; Thomas, Zoë A.; Levy, Richard H.; Gasson, Edward G. W.; Naish, Timothy R.; McKay, Robert M.; Kowalewski, Douglas E.; Fogwill, Christopher J.

    2017-07-01

    The geometry of Antarctic ice sheets during warm periods of the geological past is difficult to determine from geological evidence, but is important to know because such reconstructions enable a more complete understanding of how the ice-sheet system responds to changes in climate. Here we investigate how Antarctica evolved under orbital and greenhouse gas conditions representative of an interglacial in the early Pliocene at 4.23 Ma, when Southern Hemisphere insolation reached a maximum. Using offline-coupled climate and ice-sheet models, together with a new synthesis of high-latitude palaeoenvironmental proxy data to define a likely climate envelope, we simulate a range of ice-sheet geometries and calculate their likely contribution to sea level. In addition, we use these simulations to investigate the processes by which the West and East Antarctic ice sheets respond to environmental forcings and the timescales over which these behaviours manifest. We conclude that the Antarctic ice sheet contributed 8.6 ± 2.8 m to global sea level at this time, under an atmospheric CO2 concentration identical to present (400 ppm). Warmer-than-present ocean temperatures led to the collapse of West Antarctica over centuries, whereas higher air temperatures initiated surface melting in parts of East Antarctica that over one to two millennia led to lowering of the ice-sheet surface, flotation of grounded margins in some areas, and retreat of the ice sheet into the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. The results show that regional variations in climate, ice-sheet geometry, and topography produce long-term sea-level contributions that are non-linear with respect to the applied forcings, and which under certain conditions exhibit threshold behaviour associated with behavioural tipping points.

  6. Recent climate tendencies on an East Antarctic ice shelf inferred from a shallow firn core network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosser, E; Anschütz, H; Divine, D; Martma, T; Sinisalo, A; Altnau, S; Isaksson, E

    2014-01-01

    Nearly three decades of stable isotope ratios and surface mass balance (SMB) data from eight shallow firn cores retrieved at Fimbul Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, in the Austral summers 2009–2011 have been investigated. An additional longer core drilled in 2000/2001 extends the series back to the early eighteenth century. Isotope ratios and SMB from the stacked record of all cores were also related to instrumental temperature data from Neumayer Station on Ekström Ice Shelf. Since the second half of the twentieth century, the SMB shows a statistically significant negative trend, whereas the δ18O of the cores shows a significant positive trend. No trend is found in air temperature at the nearest suitable weather station, Neumayer (available since 1981). This does not correspond to the statistically significant positive trend in Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index, which is usually associated with a cooling of East Antarctica. SAM index and SMB are negatively correlated, which might be explained by a decrease in meridional exchange of energy and moisture leading to lower precipitation amounts. Future monitoring of climate change on the sensitive Antarctic ice shelves is necessary to assess its consequences for sea level change. Key Points Mass balance and stable oxygen isotope ratios from shallow firn cores Decreasing trend in surface mass balance, no trend in stable isotopes Negative correlation between SAM and SMB PMID:25821663

  7. 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.

  8. Cascading water underneath Wilkes Land, East Antarctic Ice Sheet, observed using altimetry and digital elevation models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Flament

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We describe a major subglacial lake drainage close to the ice divide in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica, and the subsequent cascading of water underneath the ice sheet toward the coast. To analyze the event, we combined altimetry data from several sources and bedrock data. We estimated the total volume of water that drained from Lake CookE2 by differencing digital elevation models (DEM derived from ASTER and SPOT5 stereo-imagery. With 5.2 ± 0.5 km3, this is the largest single subglacial drainage event reported so far in Antarctica. Elevation differences between ICESat laser altimetry and the SPOT5 DEM indicate that the discharge lasted approximately 2 yr. A 13-m uplift of the surface, corresponding to a refilling of about 0.64 ± 0.32 km3, was observed between the end of the discharge in October 2008 and February 2012. Using Envisat radar altimetry, with its high 35-day temporal resolution, we monitored the subsequent filling and drainage of connected subglacial lakes located downstream. In particular, a transient temporal signal can be detected within the theoretical 500-km long flow paths computed with the BEDMAP2 data set. The volume of water traveling in this wave is in agreement with the volume that drained from Lake CookE2. These observations contribute to a better understanding of the water transport beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet.

  9. Recent climate tendencies on an East Antarctic ice shelf inferred from a shallow firn core network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosser, E; Anschütz, H; Divine, D; Martma, T; Sinisalo, A; Altnau, S; Isaksson, E

    2014-06-16

    Nearly three decades of stable isotope ratios and surface mass balance (SMB) data from eight shallow firn cores retrieved at Fimbul Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, in the Austral summers 2009-2011 have been investigated. An additional longer core drilled in 2000/2001 extends the series back to the early eighteenth century. Isotope ratios and SMB from the stacked record of all cores were also related to instrumental temperature data from Neumayer Station on Ekström Ice Shelf. Since the second half of the twentieth century, the SMB shows a statistically significant negative trend, whereas the δ(18)O of the cores shows a significant positive trend. No trend is found in air temperature at the nearest suitable weather station, Neumayer (available since 1981). This does not correspond to the statistically significant positive trend in Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index, which is usually associated with a cooling of East Antarctica. SAM index and SMB are negatively correlated, which might be explained by a decrease in meridional exchange of energy and moisture leading to lower precipitation amounts. Future monitoring of climate change on the sensitive Antarctic ice shelves is necessary to assess its consequences for sea level change.

  10. A two-layer flow model to represent ice-ocean interactions beneath Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, V.; Payne, A. J.; Gregory, J. M.

    2011-01-01

    We develop a two-dimensional two-layer flow model that can calculate melt rates beneath ice shelves from ocean temperature and salinity fields at the shelf front. The cavity motion is split into two layers where the upper plume layer represents buoyant meltwater-rich water rising along the underside of the ice to the shelf front, while the lower layer represents the ambient water connected to the open ocean circulating beneath the plume. Conservation of momentum has been reduced to a frictional geostrophic balance, which when linearized provides algebraic equations for the plume velocity. The turbulent exchange of heat and salt between the two layers is modelled through an entrainment rate which is directed into the faster flowing layer. The numerical model is tested using an idealized geometry based on the dimensions of Pine Island Ice Shelf. We find that the spatial distribution of melt rates is fairly robust. The rates are at least 2.5 times higher than the mean in fast flowing regions corresponding to the steepest section of the underside of the ice shelf close to the grounding line and to the converged geostrophic flow along the rigid lateral boundary. Precise values depend on a combination of entrainment and plume drag coefficients. The flow of the ambient is slow and the spread of ocean scalar properties is dominated by diffusion.

  11. A two-layer flow model to represent ice-ocean interactions beneath Antarctic ice shelves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Lee

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We develop a two-dimensional two-layer flow model that can calculate melt rates beneath ice shelves from ocean temperature and salinity fields at the shelf front. The cavity motion is split into two layers where the upper plume layer represents buoyant meltwater-rich water rising along the underside of the ice to the shelf front, while the lower layer represents the ambient water connected to the open ocean circulating beneath the plume. Conservation of momentum has been reduced to a frictional geostrophic balance, which when linearized provides algebraic equations for the plume velocity. The turbulent exchange of heat and salt between the two layers is modelled through an entrainment rate which is directed into the faster flowing layer.

    The numerical model is tested using an idealized geometry based on the dimensions of Pine Island Ice Shelf. We find that the spatial distribution of melt rates is fairly robust. The rates are at least 2.5 times higher than the mean in fast flowing regions corresponding to the steepest section of the underside of the ice shelf close to the grounding line and to the converged geostrophic flow along the rigid lateral boundary. Precise values depend on a combination of entrainment and plume drag coefficients. The flow of the ambient is slow and the spread of ocean scalar properties is dominated by diffusion.

  12. Refinement of the ice absorption spectrum in the visible using radiance profile measurements in Antarctic snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picard, Ghislain; Libois, Quentin; Arnaud, Laurent

    2016-11-01

    Ice is a highly transparent material in the visible. According to the most widely used database (IA2008; Warren and Brandt, 2008), the ice absorption coefficient reaches values lower than 10-3 m-1 around 400 nm. These values were obtained from a vertical profile of spectral radiance measured in a single snow layer at Dome C in Antarctica. We reproduced this experiment using an optical fiber inserted in the snow to record 56 profiles from which 70 homogeneous layers were identified. Applying the same estimation method on every layer yields 70 ice absorption spectra. They present a significant variability but absorption coefficients are overall larger than IA2008 by 1 order of magnitude at 400-450 nm. We devised another estimation method based on Bayesian inference that treats all the profiles simultaneously. It reduces the statistical variability and confirms the higher absorption, around 2 × 10-2 m-1 near the minimum at 440 nm. We explore potential instrumental artifacts by developing a 3-D radiative transfer model able to explicitly account for the presence of the fiber in the snow. The simulation shows that the radiance profile is indeed perturbed by the fiber intrusion, but the error on the ice absorption estimate is not larger than a factor of 2. This is insufficient to explain the difference between our new estimate and IA2008. The same conclusion applies regarding the plausible contamination by black carbon or dust, concentrations reported in the literature are insufficient. Considering the large number of profiles acquired for this study and other estimates from the Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA), we nevertheless estimate that ice absorption values around 10-2 m-1 at the minimum are more likely than under 10-3 m-1. A new estimate in the range 400-600 nm is provided for future modeling of snow, cloud, and sea-ice optical properties. Most importantly, we recommend that modeling studies take into account the large uncertainty of the ice

  13. Could a new ice core offer an insight into the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last interglacial?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulvaney, R.; Hindmarsh, R. C.

    2013-12-01

    Vaughan et al., in their 2011 paper 'Potential Seaways across West Antarctica' (Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 12, Q10004, doi:10.1029/2011GC003688), offer the intriguing prospect that substantial ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the previous interglacial period might have resulted in the opening of a seaway between the Weddell Sea and the Amundsen Sea. One of their potential seaways passes between the south western corner of the present Ronne Ice Shelf and the Pine Island Bay, through what is currently the course of the Rutford Ice Stream, between the Ellsworth Mountains and the Fletcher Promontory. To investigate whether this seaway could have existed (and to recover a paleoclimate and ice sheet history from the Weddell Sea), a team from the British Antarctic Survey and the Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement drilled an ice core from a close to a topographic dome in the ice surface on the Fletcher Promontory in January 2012, reaching the bedrock at 654.3m depth from the surface. The site was selected to penetrate directly through the centre of a Raymond cupola observed in internal radar reflections from the ice sheet, with the intention that this would ensure we obtained the oldest ice available from the Fletcher Promontory. The basal ice sheet temperature measured was -18°C, implying the oldest ice would not have melted away from the base, while the configuration of the Raymond cupola in the radar horizons suggested stability in the ice dome topography during the majority of the Holocene. Our hypothesis is that chemical analysis of the ice core will reveal whether the site was ever relatively close to open sea water or ice shelf in the Rutford channel 20 km distant, rather than the current 700 km distance to sea ice/open water in either the Weddell Sea or the Amundsen Sea. While we do not yet have the chemistry data to test this hypothesis, in this poster we will discuss whether there is in reality any potential local

  14. Future sea-level rise from tidewater and ice-shelf tributary glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schannwell, Clemens; Barrand, Nicholas E.; Radić, Valentina

    2016-11-01

    Iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers contribute significant amounts to global sea-level rise (SLR) from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). Owing to ongoing ice dynamical changes (collapse of buttressing ice shelves), these contributions have accelerated in recent years. As the AP is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, further ice dynamical adjustment (increased ice discharge) is expected over the next two centuries. In this paper, the first regional SLR projection of the AP from both iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers in response to ice-shelf collapse is presented. An ice-sheet model forced by temperature output from 13 global climate models (GCMs), in response to the high greenhouse gas emission scenario (RCP8.5), projects AP contribution to SLR of 28 ± 16 to 32 ± 16 mm by 2300, partitioned approximately equally between contributions from tidewater glaciers and ice-shelf tributary glaciers. In the RCP4.5 scenario, sea-level rise projections to 2300 are dominated by tidewater glaciers (∼8-18 mm). In this cooler scenario, 2.4 ± 1 mm is added to global sea levels from ice-shelf tributary drainage basins as fewer ice-shelves are projected to collapse. Sea-level projections from ice-shelf tributary glaciers are dominated by drainage basins feeding George VI Ice Shelf, accounting for ∼70% of simulated SLR. Combined total ice dynamical SLR projections to 2300 from the AP vary between 11 ± 2 and 32 ± 16 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE), depending on the emission scenario used. These simulations suggest that omission of tidewater glaciers could lead to a substantial underestimation of the ice-sheet's contribution to regional SLR.

  15. Physical analysis of an Antarctic ice core—towards an integration of micro- and macrodynamics of polar ice*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Daniela; Binder, Tobias; Eichler, Jan; Faria, Sérgio H.; Wilhelms, Frank; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Sheldon, Simon; Miller, Heinrich; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Kleiner, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Microstructures from deep ice cores reflect the dynamic conditions of the drill location as well as the thermodynamic history of the drill site and catchment area in great detail. Ice core parameters (crystal lattice-preferred orientation (LPO), grain size, grain shape), mesostructures (visual stratigraphy) as well as borehole deformation were measured in a deep ice core drilled at Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land (DML), Antarctica. These observations are used to characterize the local dynamic setting and its rheological as well as microstructural effects at the EDML ice core drilling site (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica in DML). The results suggest a division of the core into five distinct sections, interpreted as the effects of changing deformation boundary conditions from triaxial deformation with horizontal extension to bedrock-parallel shear. Region 1 (uppermost approx. 450 m depth) with still small macroscopic strain is dominated by compression of bubbles and strong strain and recrystallization localization. Region 2 (approx. 450–1700 m depth) shows a girdle-type LPO with the girdle plane being perpendicular to grain elongations, which indicates triaxial deformation with dominating horizontal extension. In this region (approx. 1000 m depth), the first subtle traces of shear deformation are observed in the shape-preferred orientation (SPO) by inclination of the grain elongation. Region 3 (approx. 1700–2030 m depth) represents a transitional regime between triaxial deformation and dominance of shear, which becomes apparent in the progression of the girdle to a single maximum LPO and increasing obliqueness of grain elongations. The fully developed single maximum LPO in region 4 (approx. 2030–2385 m depth) is an indicator of shear dominance. Region 5 (below approx. 2385 m depth) is marked by signs of strong shear, such as strong SPO values of grain elongation and strong kink folding of visual layers. The details of structural

  16. Origin and sources of dissolved organic matter in snow on the East Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antony, Runa; Grannas, Amanda M; Willoughby, Amanda S; Sleighter, Rachel L; Thamban, Meloth; Hatcher, Patrick G

    2014-06-03

    Polar ice sheets hold a significant pool of the world's carbon reserve and are an integral component of the global carbon cycle. Yet, organic carbon composition and cycling in these systems is least understood. Here, we use ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry to elucidate, at an unprecedented level, molecular details of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in Antarctic snow. Tens of thousands of distinct molecular species are identified, providing clues to the nature and sources of organic carbon in Antarctica. We show that many of the identified supraglacial organic matter formulas are consistent with material from microbial sources, and terrestrial inputs of vascular plant-derived materials are likely more important sources of organic carbon to Antarctica than previously thought. Black carbon-like material apparently originating from biomass burning in South America is also present, while a smaller fraction originated from soil humics and appears to be photochemically or microbially modified. In addition to remote continental sources, we document signals of oceanic emissions of primary aerosols and secondary organic aerosol precursors. The new insights on the diversity of organic species in Antarctic snowpack reinforce the importance of studying organic carbon associated with the Earth's polar regions in the face of changing climate.

  17. 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.

  18. Dynamic response of Sjögren Inlet glaciers, Antarctic Peninsula, to ice shelf breakup derived from multi-mission remote sensing time series.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seehaus, T.C.; Marinsek, S.; Skvarca, P.; van Wessem, J.M.; Reijmer, C.H.; Seco, J.L.; Braun, M.

    2016-01-01

    The substantial retreat or disintegration of numerous ice shelves has been observed on the Antarctic Peninsula. The ice shelf in the Prince Gustav Channel has retreated gradually since the late 1980s and broke up in 1995. Tributary glaciers reacted with speed-up, surface lowering and increased ice d

  19. Accumulation in coastal West Antarctic ice core records and the role of cyclone activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosking, J. Scott; Fogt, Ryan; Thomas, Elizabeth R.; Moosavi, Vahid; Phillips, Tony; Coggins, Jack; Reusch, David

    2017-09-01

    Cyclones are an important component of Antarctic climate variability, yet quantifying their impact on the polar environment is challenging. We assess how cyclones which pass through the Bellingshausen Sea affect accumulation over Ellsworth Land, West Antarctica, where we have two ice core records. We use self-organizing maps (SOMs), an unsupervised machine learning technique, to group cyclones into nine SOM nodes differing by their trajectories (1980-2015). The annual frequency of cyclones associated with the first SOM node (SOM1, which generally originate from lower latitudes over the South Pacific Ocean) is significantly (p 0.001) correlated with annual accumulation, with the highest seasonal correlations (p 0.001) found during autumn. While significant (p cyclones, we find no indication that this has led to an increase in moisture advection into, nor accumulation over, Ellsworth Land over this short time period.

  20. A collection of diverse micrometeorites recovered from 100 tonnes of Antarctic blue ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurette, M.; Olinger, C.; Michel-Levy, M. C.; Kurat, G.; Pourchet, M.

    1991-01-01

    A new type of meteoritic material, intermediate in size between meteorites and interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), is described. Melting and filtering of about 100 tons of blue ice near Cap Prudhomme, Antarctica, yielded 7500 or more irregular, friable particles and about 1500 melted spherules, about 100 microns in size, both showing a 'chondritic' composition suggestive of an extraterrestrial origin. Analyzed irregular particles appear to be unmelted and have similarities with the fine-grained matrix of primitive carbonaceous chondrites, but are extremely diverse in composition. Isotopic analysis of trapped neon confirms an extraterrestrial origin for 16 of 47 irregular particles and 2 of 19 spherules studied and strongly suggests that they were exposed in space as micrometeoroids. These large Antarctic micrometeorites constitute a new family, or at least a new population, of solar system objects, in a mass range corresponding to the bulk of extraterrestrial material accreted by the earth today.

  1. Titanium carbide and titania phases on Antarctic ice particles of probable extraterrrestrial origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M. E.; Pun, A.; Thomas, K. L.

    1989-01-01

    Two unique titania-rich particles, found within ancient Antarctic ice have been discovered and characterized, and are believed to be of extraterrestrial origin. Both particles contain abundant submicron-sized crystals of Magneli phases (Ti(n)O(2n-1). In addition, one particle contains a core of TiC. Whereas the Magneli phases would have been stable in the early solar nebula, and so probably formed there, the TiC is more likely to have condensed in the cool, dusty, carbon-rich outer shell of a red giant star. It is suggested that both particles are interplanetary dust particles whose Magneli phases carry a record of the PO2-T conditions of the early solar nebula. It is further suggested that the TiC grain in particle 705 is remnant interstellar dust.

  2. Study on changes of plasmalemma permeability and some primary inorganic ions of Antarctic ice microalgae (Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L) in the low-temperature stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zheng Zhou; Miao Jinlai; Chen Hao; Zhang Botao; Li Guangyou

    2006-01-01

    The changes of plasrnalemma permeability and some primary inorganic ions of Antarctic ice microalgae (Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L) in the low-temperature stress were examined. The plasmalemma of ICE-L could maintain the stability at the freezing condition of -6℃. That signifies that it could maintain the proper function of plasmalemma and stability of the intracellular environment during sea ice formation. The function of inorganic ions on low-temperature adaptation of ICE-L was investigated by using the X-ray microanalysis method. Low temperature (0~-6℃) induces Ca2 + concentration increment of cytoplasm, but after 24 h the content decrease quickly to normal value. As a matter of fact, Ca2 + plays an important role as the second messenger in the low temperature adaptation of ICE-L. In addition, low temperature also influences on the other primary inorganic ions transfer and the cell maintains activity by keeping ratio balance among different ions. Above all, it is necessary for Antarctic ice microalgae to survive and breed by maintaining the stability of K + content and the balance of Na +/Cl-.

  3. Uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains and the bedrock beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Brink, U.S.; Hackney, R.I.; Bannister, S.; Stern, T.A.; Makovsky, Y.

    1997-01-01

    In recent years the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), the largest noncontractional mountain belt in the world, have become the focus of modelers who explained their uplift by a variety of isostatic and thermal mechanisms. A problem with these models is a lack of available data to compare with model predictions. We report here the results of a 312-km-long geophysical traverse conducted in 1993/1994 in the hinterland of the TAM. Using detailed subglacial topography and gravity measurements, we confirm the origin of the TAM as a flexural uplift of the edge of East Antarctica. Using an elastic model with a free edge, we can jointly fit the topography and the gravity with a plate having an elastic thickness of 85 ?? 15 km and a preuplift elevation of 700 ?? 50 m for East Antarctica. Using a variety of evidence, we argue that the uplift is coincident with a relatively minor tectonic event of transtensional motion between East and West Antarctica during the Eocene rather than the Late Cretaceous rifting event that created the Ross Embayment. We suggest that this transtensional motion caused the continuous plate to break, which created an escarpment that significantly increased the rates of erosion and exhumation. Results from the geophysical traverse also extend our knowledge of the bedrock geology from the exposures within the TAM to the ice covered interior. Our interpretation suggests that the Ferrar flood basalts extend at least 100 km westward under the ice. The Beacon Supergroup of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments thins gradually under the ice and its reconstructed thickness is reminiscent of profiles of foreland basins. Finally, there is no indication in the gravity field for an incomplete rebound due to significant melting of the East Antarctic ice sheet since the last glacial period.

  4. Instrumentation for the PICO deep ice coring drill

    OpenAIRE

    1994-01-01

    An electronic data collection and control system has been developed for the PICO 13.2cm deep ice coring drill. It monitors a variety of drilling parameters including inclination, depth, temperature, pressure, RPM, weight and others. It also displays this data for the drill operator and allows the operator to control speed and direction of the drill motor. The display program allows setting limits on all parameters so an alarm sounds if anything goes wrong. This instrumentation package will be...

  5. Antarctic climate, Southern Ocean circulation patterns, and deep water formation during the Eocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huck, Claire E.; van de Flierdt, Tina; Bohaty, Steven M.; Hammond, Samantha J.

    2017-07-01

    We assess early-to-middle Eocene seawater neodymium (Nd) isotope records from seven Southern Ocean deep-sea drill sites to evaluate the role of Southern Ocean circulation in long-term Cenozoic climate change. Our study sites are strategically located on either side of the Tasman Gateway and are positioned at a range of shallow (chemistry toward the composition of bulk sediments at these sites. This erosional event coincides with the termination of peak global warmth following the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum and is associated with documented cooling across the study region and increased export of Antarctic deep waters, highlighting the complexity and importance of Southern Ocean circulation in the greenhouse climate of the Eocene.

  6. Some Recent Progress of Antarctic Ice Sheet Research%南极冰盖研究最新进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    唐学远; 孙波; 李院生; 崔祥斌; 李鑫

    2009-01-01

    南极冰盖是地球系统的重要组成部分,在全球气候系统中扮演着重要角色.通过对南极冰盖的研究将有助于了解其在全球气候系统中的作用,并为探讨全球气候过去、现在以及未来的演化提供支撑.总结分析了近年来南极冰盖研究的一些重要进展,并在此基础上对南极冰盖研究领域的一些主要结果、观测事实以及未来变化展开讨论,重点介绍南极物质平衡、冰芯研究、冰下水系统、冰盖数值模拟方面最近的进展,评述未来可能的研究方向和应该关注的问题.%Antarctic ice sheet , as an important part of the Earth system, plays a critical role in the global climate change. The understanding of the Antarctic ice sheet will help in making sense of the global climate system, and support exploring the evolution of the global climate in the past, present and the future. By analysing the significant progress of Antarctic ice sheet research in recent years, on the basis of these major findings, observations, as well as the fact that future changes in the discussions, some recent progress is focused, including mass balance, ice cores, subglacial lakes and water system, numerical model of Antarctic ice sheet. Review of the possible future research directions should also be of concern.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  8. Non-climatic signal in ice core records: lessons from Antarctic mega-dunes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ekaykin

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We present the results of glaciological investigations in the mega-dune area located 30 km to the east from Vostok Station (central East Antarctica implemented during the 58th, 59th and 60th Russian Antarctic Expedition (January 2013–January 2015. Snow accumulation rate and isotope content (δD, δ18O and δ17O were measured along the 2 km profile across the mega-dune ridge accompanied by precise GPS altitude measurements and GPR survey. It is shown that the spatial variability of snow accumulation and isotope content covaries with the surface slope. The accumulation rate regularly changes by one order of magnitude within the distance −1. The full cycle of the dune drift is thus about 410 years. Since the spatial anomalies of snow accumulation and isotopic composition are supposed to drift with the dune, an ice core drilled in the mega-dune area would exhibit the non-climatic 410 year cycle of these two parameters. We simulated a vertical profile of snow isotopic composition with such a non-climatic variability, using the data on the dune size and velocity. This artificial profile is then compared with the real vertical profile of snow isotopic composition obtained from a core drilled in the mega-dune area. We note that the two profiles are very similar. The obtained results are discussed in terms of interpretation of data obtained from ice cores drilled beyond the mega-dune areas.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Pre-glacial, Early Glacial, and Ice Sheet Stratigraphy Cored During NBP1402, Sabrina Coast, East Antarctic Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domack, E. W.; Gulick, S. P. S.; Fernandez-Vasquez, R. A.; Frederick, B.; Lavoie, C.; Leventer, A.; Shevenell, A.; Saustrup, S., Sr.; Bohaty, S. M.; Sangiorgi, F.

    2014-12-01

    Western Wilkes Land provides an unusual setting with regard to passive margin subsidence and exposure of Cenozoic sedimentary units across the continental shelf, due to the unique rift to drift history off of the Australian-Antarctic Discordance and subsequent deep glacial erosion of the evolved continental shelf. The first factor has provided extensive accommodation space for the preservation of stratigraphic sequences that in turn represent critical periods in the climate evolution of Antarctica. Glacial erosion has then provided access to this stratigraphy that is usually inaccessible to all but deep drilling programs. Such stratigraphies are well exposed to within cm of the seafloor off the Sabrina Coast. Cruise NBP1402 investigated this region via a combination of multi-channel seismic imaging and innovative, strategic coring. The geophysical data imaged the geologic evolution of the margin, which exhibits a continuum from non-glacial, partly glaciated, to fully glaciated depo- and erosional systems. Based on the seismic stratigraphy, we collected dredges and one barrel Jumbo Piston Cores (JPCs) across areas of outcropping strata imaged seismically, a unique strategy that allowed us to identify and sample specific reflectors. The stratigraphically deepest coring targeted sections for which the seismic character suggested a pre-glacial context, with non-glaciated continental margin sequences including deltas. Coring recovered dark organic rich siltstones and sandy mudstones, and a large concretion whose center contained a cm-sized plant fossil. In addition, the sediments contain a fossil snail. These fossils provide a glimpse into the pre-glacial terrestrial environment in Antarctica. Overlying this section, coring recovered similar dark siltstones with a 20 cm thick horizon with abundant large angular clasts of variable lithology, interpreted to be ice-rafted debris and indicative of early glacial ice in Antarctica. Finally, JPCs targeting a younger part of

  12. Assessing the Impact of Retreat Mechanisms in a Simple Antarctic Ice Sheet Model Using Bayesian Calibration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruckert, Kelsey L; Shaffer, Gary; Pollard, David; Guan, Yawen; Wong, Tony E; Forest, Chris E; Keller, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    The response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) to changing climate forcings is an important driver of sea-level changes. Anthropogenic climate change may drive a sizeable AIS tipping point response with subsequent increases in coastal flooding risks. Many studies analyzing flood risks use simple models to project the future responses of AIS and its sea-level contributions. These analyses have provided important new insights, but they are often silent on the effects of potentially important processes such as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI) or Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI). These approximations can be well justified and result in more parsimonious and transparent model structures. This raises the question of how this approximation impacts hindcasts and projections. Here, we calibrate a previously published and relatively simple AIS model, which neglects the effects of MICI and regional characteristics, using a combination of observational constraints and a Bayesian inversion method. Specifically, we approximate the effects of missing MICI by comparing our results to those from expert assessments with more realistic models and quantify the bias during the last interglacial when MICI may have been triggered. Our results suggest that the model can approximate the process of MISI and reproduce the projected median melt from some previous expert assessments in the year 2100. Yet, our mean hindcast is roughly 3/4 of the observed data during the last interglacial period and our mean projection is roughly 1/6 and 1/10 of the mean from a model accounting for MICI in the year 2100. These results suggest that missing MICI and/or regional characteristics can lead to a low-bias during warming period AIS melting and hence a potential low-bias in projected sea levels and flood risks.

  13. Assessing the Impact of Retreat Mechanisms in a Simple Antarctic Ice Sheet Model Using Bayesian Calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Gary; Pollard, David; Guan, Yawen; Wong, Tony E.; Forest, Chris E.; Keller, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    The response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) to changing climate forcings is an important driver of sea-level changes. Anthropogenic climate change may drive a sizeable AIS tipping point response with subsequent increases in coastal flooding risks. Many studies analyzing flood risks use simple models to project the future responses of AIS and its sea-level contributions. These analyses have provided important new insights, but they are often silent on the effects of potentially important processes such as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI) or Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI). These approximations can be well justified and result in more parsimonious and transparent model structures. This raises the question of how this approximation impacts hindcasts and projections. Here, we calibrate a previously published and relatively simple AIS model, which neglects the effects of MICI and regional characteristics, using a combination of observational constraints and a Bayesian inversion method. Specifically, we approximate the effects of missing MICI by comparing our results to those from expert assessments with more realistic models and quantify the bias during the last interglacial when MICI may have been triggered. Our results suggest that the model can approximate the process of MISI and reproduce the projected median melt from some previous expert assessments in the year 2100. Yet, our mean hindcast is roughly 3/4 of the observed data during the last interglacial period and our mean projection is roughly 1/6 and 1/10 of the mean from a model accounting for MICI in the year 2100. These results suggest that missing MICI and/or regional characteristics can lead to a low-bias during warming period AIS melting and hence a potential low-bias in projected sea levels and flood risks. PMID:28081273

  14. Comparison of hybrid schemes for the combination of shallow approximations in numerical simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernales, Jorge; Rogozhina, Irina; Greve, Ralf; Thomas, Maik

    2017-01-01

    The shallow ice approximation (SIA) is commonly used in ice-sheet models to simplify the force balance equations within the ice. However, the SIA cannot adequately reproduce the dynamics of the fast flowing ice streams usually found at the margins of ice sheets. To overcome this limitation, recent studies have introduced heuristic hybrid combinations of the SIA and the shelfy stream approximation. Here, we implement four different hybrid schemes into a model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in order to compare their performance under present-day conditions. For each scheme, the model is calibrated using an iterative technique to infer the spatial variability in basal sliding parameters. Model results are validated against topographic and velocity data. Our analysis shows that the iterative technique compensates for the differences between the schemes, producing similar ice-sheet configurations through quantitatively different results of the sliding coefficient calibration. Despite this we observe a robust agreement in the reconstructed patterns of basal sliding parameters. We exchange the calibrated sliding parameter distributions between the schemes to demonstrate that the results of the model calibration cannot be straightforwardly transferred to models based on different approximations of ice dynamics. However, easily adaptable calibration techniques for the potential distribution of basal sliding coefficients can be implemented into ice models to overcome such incompatibility, as shown in this study.

  15. Rapid Ice Unloading in the Southern Antarctic Peninsula and its Effect on Bedrock Uplift Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C.; King, M. A.; Watson, C.; Barletta, V. R.; Bordoni, A.; Dell, M.; Whitehouse, P. L.

    2016-12-01

    The Wordie Ice Shelf, lying off the Antarctic Peninsula's (AP) west coast, has undergone a long-term disintegration since the 1960s with a substantial calving event occurring around 1989, followed by a steady retreat and its almost-complete disappearance. The dynamic response of the upstream glaciers to the ice shelf collapse, and the response of the solid Earth to the associated mass loss, are not fully understood. To quantify the mass loss from the system, we generated a digital elevation model (DEM) using airborne vertical and oblique imagery from 1966 and compared it to a DEM from 2008 SPOT data. This analysis reveals lowering over that time of approximately 60 m at the front of Fleming Glacier. Using IceBridge and ICESat-2/GLAS data during 2002-2014 we show a higher mean elevation change rate post-2008 than pre-2008. We use these load change data as a basis for simulation of viscoelastic solid Earth deformation. We subtract modelled elastic deformation rates, and a suite of modelled viscous rates, from GPS-derived three-dimensional bedrock velocities at sites to the south of Fleming Glacier. Assuming the pre-breakup bedrock uplift was positive due to post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice retreat, our viscoelastic-corrected GPS uplift rates suggest upper mantle viscosities are >2×1019 Pa s in this region, about an order of magnitude greater than previously found for the northern AP. The horizontal velocities at the site nearest to the Fleming Glacier, after elastic and plate tectonic corrections, point away from Marguerite Bay rather than the present glacier front, suggesting that the horizontal motion is dominated by signal from the earlier retreat of the glacier system following the LGM, compatible with a relatively strong mantle in this region. These findings are in accord with those of an earlier study of southern Palmer Land that inferred present-day uplift associated with late Holocene loading changes south of this region, and highlights the need for

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Influence of temperature on glutathione level and glutathione-related enzyme activities of Antarctic ice microalgae Chlamydomonas sp.ICE-L

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    GSH system plays a role in the control of the redox balance state, anti-oxidation and protecting life from injury of ROS (reactive oxygen species).In present paper, the possible GSH system of Chlamydomonas sp.ICE-L has been investigated by evaluating GSH and GSH-related enzymatic responses at different temperatures using speetrophotometer methods.The results showed that the GSH system is correlated positively to low temperature, and other factors but GR are correlated negatively to high temperature.So GSH and GSH-related enzymes play an important role in the adaptation of Antarctic ice microulgae to low temperature.

  19. Determination of Antarctic Ice Sheet stability over the last ˜500 ka through a study of iceberg-rafted debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teitler, Lora; Warnke, Detlef A.; Venz, Kathryn A.; Hodell, David A.; Becquey, Sabine; Gersonde, Rainer; Teitler, Winston

    2010-01-01

    We have analyzed ice-rafted debris (IRD) from the South Atlantic Ocean (˜43°S, 9°E) in order to investigate Antarctic Ice Sheet history during the late Pleistocene; the cores examined for this study include piston core TN057-6-PC4 and Ocean Drilling Program Leg 177 drill core Site 1090 (177-1090). Over the last 500 ka at this distal location, IRD arrived during both glacials and interglacials. IRD is present even during warmer intervals, is greatest during colder intervals, and is absent only during terminations and a few other brief intervals. Four different methods are used to normalize the IRD counts, which are then compared to support our interpretation. Several other high-quality climate proxies from this location also aid our interpretations. We conclude that sea surface temperatures are the primary control on the delivery of IRD to this site. During cold times more icebergs survived to reach this distal location. During warm times only a few of the largest icebergs could travel this far. Garnets found in these sediments suggest a likely East Antarctic origin for the IRD; the presence of garnets even during warm intervals further strongly supports that the iceberg source must be the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Therefore, the EAIS must have continued to reach the ocean at least in some part of its margin throughout the last 500 ka. On the other hand, we cannot specifically trace any IRD to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), so WAIS persistence cannot be tested. A particular radiolarian, identified as Dictyocoryne profunda (Ehrenberg) (sensu Boltovskoy (1998)), shows up in the examined size fraction generally only during warm phases. We suggest that D. profunda is a sensitive indicator of warm water temperatures and that it deserves further study.

  20. Changes of proteins in the Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. cultured under UV-B radiation stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KAN Guangfeng; MIAO Jinlai; SHI Cuijuan; LI Guangyou

    2006-01-01

    Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. can thrive undisturbed under high UV radiation in the Antarctic ice layer. However, it is unknown that the initial adaptation mechanisms in protein level occurring in response to high UV radiation. Global-expression profiling of proteins in response to stress was analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and image analysis. In the 2-DE analysis,protein preparation is the key step. Three different protein extract methods were compared, and the results showed that the trichloroacetic acid (TCA)-acetone fractional precipitation method was the fittest one. At the same time, the proteins in Chlamydomonas sp. were compared in 2-DE way, and the synthesis of seven protein spots was found disappeared and 18 decreased after exposed to UV-B radiation. In addition, 14 protein spots were enhanced or induced, among which two new peptides (20 and 21 kDa) appeared whose isoelectric point (pI) was 7.05 and 4.60 respectively. These changed proteins might act as key role in the acclimation of Antarctic ice microalga to UV-B radiation

  1. State dependence of climatic instability over the past 720,000 years from Antarctic ice cores and climate modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamura, Kenji; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Motoyama, Hideaki; Ageta, Yutaka; Aoki, Shuji; Azuma, Nobuhiko; Fujii, Yoshiyuki; Fujita, Koji; Fujita, Shuji; Fukui, Kotaro; Furukawa, Teruo; Furusaki, Atsushi; Goto-Azuma, Kumiko; Greve, Ralf; Hirabayashi, Motohiro; Hondoh, Takeo; Hori, Akira; Horikawa, Shinichiro; Horiuchi, Kazuho; Igarashi, Makoto; Iizuka, Yoshinori; Kameda, Takao; Kanda, Hiroshi; Kohno, Mika; Kuramoto, Takayuki; Matsushi, Yuki; Miyahara, Morihiro; Miyake, Takayuki; Miyamoto, Atsushi; Nagashima, Yasuo; Nakayama, Yoshiki; Nakazawa, Takakiyo; Nakazawa, Fumio; Nishio, Fumihiko; Obinata, Ichio; Ohgaito, Rumi; Oka, Akira; Okuno, Jun’ichi; Okuyama, Junichi; Oyabu, Ikumi; Parrenin, Frédéric; Pattyn, Frank; Saito, Fuyuki; Saito, Takashi; Saito, Takeshi; Sakurai, Toshimitsu; Sasa, Kimikazu; Seddik, Hakime; Shibata, Yasuyuki; Shinbori, Kunio; Suzuki, Keisuke; Suzuki, Toshitaka; Takahashi, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Kunio; Takahashi, Shuhei; Takata, Morimasa; Tanaka, Yoichi; Uemura, Ryu; Watanabe, Genta; Watanabe, Okitsugu; Yamasaki, Tetsuhide; Yokoyama, Kotaro; Yoshimori, Masakazu; Yoshimoto, Takayasu

    2017-01-01

    Climatic variabilities on millennial and longer time scales with a bipolar seesaw pattern have been documented in paleoclimatic records, but their frequencies, relationships with mean climatic state, and mechanisms remain unclear. Understanding the processes and sensitivities that underlie these changes will underpin better understanding of the climate system and projections of its future change. We investigate the long-term characteristics of climatic variability using a new ice-core record from Dome Fuji, East Antarctica, combined with an existing long record from the Dome C ice core. Antarctic warming events over the past 720,000 years are most frequent when the Antarctic temperature is slightly below average on orbital time scales, equivalent to an intermediate climate during glacial periods, whereas interglacial and fully glaciated climates are unfavourable for a millennial-scale bipolar seesaw. Numerical experiments using a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model with freshwater hosing in the northern North Atlantic showed that climate becomes most unstable in intermediate glacial conditions associated with large changes in sea ice and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Model sensitivity experiments suggest that the prerequisite for the most frequent climate instability with bipolar seesaw pattern during the late Pleistocene era is associated with reduced atmospheric CO2 concentration via global cooling and sea ice formation in the North Atlantic, in addition to extended Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. PMID:28246631

  2. Evidence for the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet divide for 1.4 million years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Andrew S.; Woodward, John; Marrero, Shasta M.; Dunning, Stuart A.; Steig, Eric J.; Freeman, Stewart P. H. T.; Stuart, Finlay M.; Winter, Kate; Westoby, Matthew J.; Sugden, David E.

    2016-02-01

    Past fluctuations of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) are of fundamental interest because of the possibility of WAIS collapse in the future and a consequent rise in global sea level. However, the configuration and stability of the ice sheet during past interglacial periods remains uncertain. Here we present geomorphological evidence and multiple cosmogenic nuclide data from the southern Ellsworth Mountains to suggest that the divide of the WAIS has fluctuated only modestly in location and thickness for at least the last 1.4 million years. Fluctuations during glacial-interglacial cycles appear superimposed on a long-term trajectory of ice-surface lowering relative to the mountains. This implies that as a minimum, a regional ice sheet centred on the Ellsworth-Whitmore uplands may have survived Pleistocene warm periods. If so, it constrains the WAIS contribution to global sea level rise during interglacials to about 3.3 m above present.

  3. Preliminary research on the transmission path of nssSO2-4- and NO-3 in Antarctic ice sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    The main sources of nssSO24- and NO-3 were summarized in this paper. By analyzing the spatial distribution features of major ions in Antarctic ice sheet and studying on the different time of the same volcanic event recorded by different ice cores from different regions in Antarctica, this paper intends to study the transmission path of nssSO24- and NO-3. Results show that nssSO24- and NO-3 are transmitted to the ice sheet through long distance and high altitude. The procedure of the transmission is that nssSO24- and NO-2 are transmitted to the level between the top of troposphere and the bottom of stratosphere, then subsided to the ice sheet surface and spread to other regions.

  4. A one-dimensional heat transfer model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and modeling of snow temperatures at Dome A, the summit of Antarctic Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    A vertical one-dimensional numerical model for heat transferring within the near-surface snow layer of the Antarctic Ice Sheet was developed based on simplified parameterizations of associated physical processes for the atmosphere, radiation, and snow/ice systems. Using the meteorological data of an automatic weather station (AWS) at Dome A (80°22′S, 70°22′E), we applied the model to simulate the seasonal temperature variation within a depth of 20 m. Comparison of modeled results with observed snow temperatures at 4 measurement depths (0.1, 1, 3, 10 m) shows good agreement and consistent seasonal variations. The model results reveal the vertical temperature structure within the near-surface snow layer and its seasonal variance with more details than those by limited measurements. Analyses on the model outputs of the surface energy fluxes show that: 1) the surface energy balance at Dome A is characterized by the compensation between negative net radiation and the positive sensible fluxes, and 2) the sensible heat is on average transported from the atmosphere to the snow, and has an evident increase in spring. The results are considered well representative for the highest interior Antarctic Plateau.

  5. DNA barcoding uncovers cryptic diversity in 50% of deep-sea Antarctic polychaetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasier, Madeleine J; Wiklund, Helena; Neal, Lenka; Jeffreys, Rachel; Linse, Katrin; Ruhl, Henry; Glover, Adrian G

    2016-11-01

    The Antarctic marine environment is a diverse ecosystem currently experiencing some of the fastest rates of climatic change. The documentation and management of these changes requires accurate estimates of species diversity. Recently, there has been an increased recognition of the abundance and importance of cryptic species, i.e. those that are morphologically identical but genetically distinct. This article presents the largest genetic investigation into the prevalence of cryptic polychaete species within the deep Antarctic benthos to date. We uncover cryptic diversity in 50% of the 15 morphospecies targeted through the comparison of mitochondrial DNA sequences, as well as 10 previously overlooked morphospecies, increasing the total species richness in the sample by 233%. Our ability to describe universal rules for the detection of cryptic species within polychaetes, or normalization to expected number of species based on genetic data is prevented by taxon-specific differences in phylogenetic outputs and genetic variation between and within potential cryptic species. These data provide the foundation for biogeographic and functional analysis that will provide insight into the drivers of species diversity and its role in ecosystem function.

  6. Centennial-millennial scale variations in Western Antarctic Ice Sheet discharge and their relationship to climate and ocean changes during the late Holocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snilstveit Hoem, Frida; Ninnemann, Ulysses S.; Kleiven, Helga (Kikki) F.; Irvali, Nil

    2017-04-01

    The Western Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may be highly sensitive to future warming and to ocean driven changes in subsurface melting. Understanding this sensitivity is critical as WAIS dynamics are a major source of uncertainty in sea level rise and regional climate projections. Although there is increasing evidence that WAIS discharge has varied on centennial to multi-millennial timescales since the last glacial period much less is known about its most recent (late Holocene) behavior. This period is particularly important as a baseline for delineating natural and anthropogenic influences and understanding potential coupling between climate, ocean circulation, and WAIS discharge. Here we present high-resolution records of WAIS discharge together with co-registered signals of surface and deep ocean physical property changes in a multicore taken from the southern flank of the North Scotia Sea Ridge (53˚ 31.813 S; 44˚ 42.143 W at 2750m water depth) spanning the past 4000 years. The site is situated just south/east of the polar front beyond the reach of seasonal sea ice and its potentially confounding influence on the ice-rafted debris (IRD) signal but still influenced by icebergs mostly originating from the WAIS. Our record of IRD from core GS08-151-02MC provides a centennially resolved record of iceberg supply from which we infer Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics and variability, while we use the oxygen and carbon isotopic composition of benthic (U. peregrina) and planktonic (N. pachyderma (s)) foraminifera to give (regional) information on past polar deep water and surface water temperatures, circulation and nutrients. Our results show higher amount of IRD between 4200-1800 cal yr B.P. This is in agreement with paleoclimate records reconstructing the onset of the neoglacial, sea ice expansion at about 5000 cal yr B.P. in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, and glaciers advancing in South America. The strongest IRD peak of the past millennium, which is otherwise a

  7. 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.

  8. Holocene climate variations in the western Antarctic Peninsula: evidence for sea ice extent predominantly controlled by changes in insolation and ENSO variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Etourneau, J.; Collins, L.G.; Willmott, V.; Barbara, L.; Leventer, A.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Bianchini, A.; Klein, V.; Crosta, X.; Massé, G.

    2013-01-01

    The West Antarctic ice sheet is particularly sensitive to global warming and its evolution and impact on global climate over the next few decades remains difficult to predict. In this context, investigating past sea ice conditions around Antarctica is of primary importance. Here, we document changes

  9. Sounding and Imaging of Ice Sheets Over Chinese Kunlun Station and Grove Mountains From East Antarctica as a Part of Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Shinan; LIu, Xiaojun; Zhao, Bo; Fang, Guangyou; Wu, Qiang

    2017-04-01

    The ice thickness, fine resolution internal reflecting horizons (IRHs) and distinct bottom topography measurements are essential information for improving the next generation ice sheet models. Radars for sounding the Antarctic inland glaciers should have high sensitivity to overcome large attenuation losses and appropriate operation frequency and bandwidth along with moderate focused synthetic aperture radar (SAR) algorithm to improve radar sensitivity and reduce along-track surface clutter. We developed a progressively improved ice-sounding radar system, currently known as the High-resolution Ice-sounding Radar (HRISR), for sounding ice sheets both on long- and short-range vehicle-mounted survey, as a part of Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE). We have sounded many key areas from the East Antarctic Ice Sheets (EAIS), including two major transects over Chinese Kunlun Station and Grove Mountains. We developed two focused SAR algorithm named the modified range migration algorithm using curvelets and the modified nonlinear Chirp Scaling (CS) algorithm to effectively reduce along-track surface clutter from collected data. In this paper, we describe the radar system and algorithms, and provide sample results to demonstrate the successful sounding of the ice sheet over the Antarctic ice sheets.

  10. Dynamics of the late Plio-Pleistocene West Antarctic Ice Sheet documented in subglacial diamictites, AND-1B drill core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Ellen A.; Christoffersen, Poul; Powell, Ross D.; Talarico, Franco M.

    2014-08-01

    Geologic studies of sediment deposited by glaciers can provide crucial insights into the subglacial environment. We studied muddy diamictites in the ANtarctic geological DRILLing (ANDRILL) AND-1B drill core, acquired from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf in McMurdo Sound, with the aim of identifying paleo-ice stream activity in the Plio-Pleistocene. Glacial advances were identified from glacial surfaces of erosion (GSEs) and subglacial diamictites within three complete sequences were investigated using lithofacies associations, micromorphology, and quartz sand grain microtextures. Whereas conditions in the Late Pliocene resemble the modern Greenland Ice Sheet where fast flowing glaciers lubricated by surface meltwater terminate directly in the sea (interval 201-212 mbsl) conditions in the Late Pleistocene are similar to modern West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice streams (38-49 mbsl). We identify the latter from ductile deformation and high pore-water pressure, which resulted in pervasive rotation and formation of till pellets and low relief, rounded sand grains dominated by abrasion. In the transitional period during the Mid-Pleistocene (55-68 mbsf), a slow moving inland ice sheet deposited tills with brittle deformation, producing lineations and bi-masepic and unistrial plasma fabric, along with high relief, conchoidally fractured quartz grains. Changes in the provenance of gravel to cobble-size clasts support a distant source area of Byrd Glacier for fast-flowing paleo-ice streams and a proximal area between Darwin and Skelton Glaciers for the slow-moving inland ice sheet. This difference in till provenance documents a shift in direction of glacial flow at the core site, which indirectly reflects changes in the size and thickness of the WAIS. Hence, we found that fast ice streaming motion is a consequence of a thicker WAIS pushing flow lines to the west and introducing clasts from the Byrd Glacier source area to the drill site. The detailed analysis of diamictites in

  11. Global deep-sea extinctions during the Pleistocene ice ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Bruce W.

    2001-07-01

    The dark, near-freezing environment of the deep oceans is regarded as one of the most stable habitats on Earth, and this stability is generally reflected in the slow turnover rates (extinctions and appearances) of the organisms that live there. By far the best fossil record of deep-sea organisms is provided by the shells of benthic foraminifera (Protista). A little-known global extinction of deep-sea benthic foraminifera occurred during the Pleistocene ice ages. In the southwest Pacific, it caused the disappearance of at least two families, 15 genera, and 48 species (˜15% 25% of the fauna) of dominantly uniserial, elongate foraminifera with distinctive apertural modifications. These forms progressively died back and became extinct during glacial periods in the late Pliocene to middle Pleistocene (ca. 2.5 0.6 Ma); most extinctions occurred between 1.0 and 0.6 Ma, at the time of the middle Pleistocene climatic revolution. This first high-resolution study of this extinction event indicates that it was far more significant for deep-sea diversity loss than previously reported (10 species). The middle Pleistocene extinction was the most dramatic last phase of a worldwide decline in the abundance of these elongate forms, a phase that began during cooling near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary and continued during the middle Miocene. Clearly these taxa declined when the world cooled, but the reason is yet to be resolved.

  12. Signals of Antarctic Circum-polar Wave over the Southern Indian Ocean as recorded in an Antarctica ice core

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIAO Cunde; CHENG Yanjie; REN Jiawen; LU Longhua; LI Zhongqin; QIN Dahe; ZHOU Xiuji

    2005-01-01

    Oxygen stable isotopic and ionic records, covering a period of 1745-1996, are recovered in DT001 ice core drilled in Princess Elizabeth Land, East Antarctica. Using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of the annually resolved glaciochemical time series, we find the first EOF (EOF1) represents sea-salt aerosols and is the proxy of sea level pressure (SLP) over a quasi-stationary low in the Southern Indian Ocean (SIO).δ18O represents the sea surface temperature (SST) of the same ocean area. In the past two decades, four climatic waves as represented by SLP and SST proxies are found in the DT001 ice core, which in coincident with four Antarctic Circum-polar Waves (ACW) as revealed by NCEP/NCAR reanalysis. The phase difference between SST and SLP in the ice core is also coincident with that in ACW. Both ice-core record and reanalysis suggest that there were no signals of ACW during 1958-1980, none during the overall recording period between 1745-1996, as there is no regular phase difference between SST and SLP. The ACW signal after early 1980s is probably attributable to the climate shift occurring over Antarctic Peninsula-Drake Passage region.

  13. Antarctic climate and ice sheet changes and their relationship to global scale climate change over the last 2000 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steig, E. J.

    2012-12-01

    It is well known that the Antarctic ice sheet is changing rapidly and is probably now out of balance; at least in West Antarctica, it is now contributing significantly to sea level rise. Yet Antarctica is often thought of as being immune to the influence of anthropogenic climate trends affecting the rest of the planet. This view is based largely on the record of instrumental observations, which is both very short and largely exclusive of regions in West Antarctica that are undergoing rapid change (1). Data from ice cores (2) and boreholes (3) from across the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Peninsula (4), coupled with new instrumental reconstructions (5, 6) paint a very different picture. The two newest long records from Antarctica --- at WAIS Divide (2) and at James Ross Island on the Antarctic Peninsula (4) -- show that over the last 2000 years, the temporal pattern of temperature change is similar to that for the Arctic: slow decline attributable to Milankovitch orbital forcing, interrupted by recent warming. The century-scale warming trend began early in the 20th century, coincident with strong warming trends across the Southern Hemisphere, and well before the advent of the ozone hole, to which Antarctic climate trends are frequently attributed (e.g. 7). Decadal temperature variability in Antarctica also follows averaged Southern Hemisphere variations: all the major decadal anomalies in the ~150-year instrumental climate record of the Southern Hemisphere appear in West Antarctica. Similar to the rest of the planet, the warmest period since at least 1850 C.E. in the Antarctic was the most recent two decades (1990s and 2000s), and the most recent warming in West Antarctica (including but not limited to the Peninsula) has been as rapid as anywhere else on Earth. The decadal to century-scale variations in West Antarctic temperature reflect by the strong dynamical link between the tropical Pacific and the southern high latitudes described by the Pacific

  14. LGM-extent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet offshore from the Hobbs Coast, based on paleo-ice stream bed observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klages, J.; Kuhn, G.; Hillenbrand, C.; Graham, A. G.; Smith, J.; Larter, R. D.; Gohl, K.

    2012-12-01

    Paleo-ice stream beds that are exposed today on the West Antarctic continental shelf provide unique archives of conditions at the base of the past ice sheet, that are difficult to assess beneath its modern, extant counterpart. During the last decade, several of these paleo-ice stream beds have been studied in detail to reconstruct the extent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the patterns of ice drainage, and the timing of grounding-line retreat during the last deglaciation. However, despite significant advances, such information still remains poorly constrained in numerous drainage sectors of the WAIS. In particular, the maximum extent of ice at the LGM remains ambiguous for key drainage basins of the ice sheet. Whether the WAIS extended to the shelf break around the continent, or advanced only partially across its sea bed, is a crucial piece of information required for reconstructing and modeling patterns of ice-sheet change from past to present. Here we present marine geological and geophysical data that we collected on R/V "Polarstern" expedition ANT-XXVI/3 in early 2010 to investigate the extent, flow, and retreat of the WAIS, from an especially poorly studied part of the West Antarctic shelf, offshore from the Hobbs Coast in the western Amundsen Sea. Here, a landward deepening paleo-ice stream trough is incised into the shelf. The seafloor within the western-central part of the trough is characterized by a large trough-wide grounding zone wedge, ~70 m thick and ~17 km long, which overlies a high of seaward dipping sedimentary strata. The back-slope of the GZW is characterized by highly elongate streamlined bedforms suggesting fast paleo-ice flow towards NW. The crest of the wedge has been cross-cutted by iceberg keels. In contrast, the outer shelf seafloor offshore the GZW is predominantly smooth and featureless, although there is some evidence locally for iceberg scouring. A radiocarbon age from calcareous microfossils

  15. Formation and metamorphism of stratified firn at sites located under spatial variations of accumulation rate and wind speed on the East Antarctic ice divide near Dome Fuji

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Fujita

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The initial stage of postdepositional metamorphism in polar firn was investigated at sites located under spatial variations of accumulation rate and wind speed along the East Antarctic ice divide near Dome Fuji. A better understanding of this process is important for interpreting local insolation proxies used for astronomical dating of deep ice cores. Three 2–4 m deep pits were excavated and physical properties, including density ρ, grain size D, reflectance R of near infrared light and microwave dielectric anisotropy Δε, were investigated at high spatial resolution. We found that Δε ranges between 0.028 and 0.067 and that such high values occur in the surface ~0.1 m. In addition, short scale variations of ρ are correlated with those of Δε, and inversely correlated with those of D, confirming contrasting development of initially higher density layers and initially lower density layers. Moreover, postdepositional metamorphism makes these contrasts more distinct with increasing depths. Both the contrasts and Δε for given values of ρ are higher under lower accumulation rate conditions and under less windy conditions. Insolation efficiently causes evolution of strata of firn at the ice sheet surface under such conditions. Under more windy conditions, the strata contain more wind-driven hard layers with higher ρ and Δε and thus have larger fluctuations of ρ and Δε. We suggest that the initial variability of ρ at the surface and the duration of exposure to diurnal and seasonal temperature gradients play sequential roles in determining the physical/mechanical properties of firn, which is retained throughout the densification process.

  16. An Improved Method for Modeling Spatial Distribution of δD in Surface Snow over Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Yetang; HOU Shugui; Bjorn GRIGHOLM; SONG Linlin

    2009-01-01

    Using the recent compilation of the isotopic composition data of surface snow of Antarctic ice sheet, we proposed an improved interpolation method of δD, which utilizes geographical factors (i.e., latitude and altitude) as the primary predictors and incorporates inverse distance weighting (IDW) technique. The method was applied to a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) to produce a grid map of multi-year mean δD values with 1km spatial resolution for Antarctic& The mean absolute deviation between observed and estimated data in the map is about 5.4‰, and the standard deviation is 9‰. The resulting δD pattern resembles well known characteristics such as the depletion of the heavy isotopes with increasing latitude and distance from coast line, but also reveals the complex topographic effects.

  17. Rapid ice unloading in the Fleming Glacier region, southern Antarctic Peninsula, and its effect on bedrock uplift rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chen; King, Matt A.; Watson, Christopher S.; Barletta, Valentina R.; Bordoni, Andrea; Dell, Matthew; Whitehouse, Pippa L.

    2017-09-01

    Rapid regional warming in the Antarctic Peninsula has led to the significant retreat and eventual collapse of several major ice shelves since the 1970s, triggering the subsequent acceleration and thinning of their feeding glaciers. The Wordie Ice Shelf, lying off the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, has undergone long-term disintegration since the 1960s with a substantial calving event occurring around 1989, followed by continuous steady retreat and its almost-complete disappearance. The dynamic response of the upstream glaciers to the ice shelf collapse and the response of the solid Earth to the associated mass loss are not fully understood. To quantify the mass loss from the system, we generated a digital elevation model (DEM) using airborne vertical and oblique imagery from 1966 and compared it to a DEM derived from 2008 SPOT data. This analysis reveals lowering over that time of approximately 60 m at the front of Fleming Glacier. Using IceBridge and ICESat-2/GLAS data spanning 2002-2014, we show an increased rate of mean ice-surface lowering, with rates post-2008 more than twice those of 2002-2008. We use these load change data as a basis for the simulation of viscoelastic solid Earth deformation. We subtract modeled elastic deformation rates, and a suite of modeled viscous rates, from GPS-derived three-dimensional bedrock velocities at sites to the south of Fleming Glacier to infer properties of Earth rheology. Assuming the pre-breakup bedrock uplift was positive due to post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice retreat, our viscoelastic-corrected GPS uplift rates suggest upper mantle viscosities are > 2 ×1019 Pas and likely > 1 ×1020 Pas in this region, 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than previously found for the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Horizontal velocities at the GPS site nearest 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

  18. The Role of the Tropics in Last Glacial Abrupt Climate Change from a West Antarctic Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, T. R.; White, J. W. C.; Steig, E. J.; Cuffey, K. M.; Vaughn, B. H.; Morris, V. A.; Vasileios, G.; Markle, B. R.; Schoenemann, S. W.

    2014-12-01

    Debate exists as to whether last glacial abrupt climate changes in Greenland, and associated changes in Antarctica, had a high-latitude or tropical trigger. An ultra high-resolution water isotope record from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS Divide) Ice Core Project has been developed with three key water isotope parameters that offer insight into this debate: δD, δ18O, and deuterium excess (dxs). δD and δ18O are a proxy for local temperature and regional atmospheric circulation, while dxs is primarily a proxy for sea surface temperature at the ice core's moisture source(s) (relative humidity and wind speed also play a role). We build on past studies that show West Antarctic climate is modulated by El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnection mechanisms, which originate in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, to infer how past ENSO changes may have influenced abrupt climate change. Using frequency analysis of the water isotope data, we can reconstruct the amplitude of ENSO-scale climate oscillations in the 2-15 year range within temporal windows as low as 100 years. Our analysis uses a back diffusion model that estimates initial amplitudes before decay in the firn column. We combine δD, δ18O, and dxs frequency analysis to evaluate how climate variability at WAIS Divide is influenced by tropical climate forcing. Our results should ultimately offer insight into the role of the tropics in abrupt climate change.

  19. Non-climatic signal in ice core records: lessons from Antarctic megadunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekaykin, Alexey; Eberlein, Lutz; Lipenkov, Vladimir; Popov, Sergey; Scheinert, Mirko; Schröder, Ludwig; Turkeev, Alexey

    2016-06-01

    We present the results of glaciological investigations in the megadune area located 30 km to the east of Vostok Station (central East Antarctica) implemented during the 58th, 59th and 60th Russian Antarctic Expedition (January 2013-2015). Snow accumulation rate and isotope content (δD, δ18O and δ17O) were measured along the 2 km profile across the megadune ridge accompanied by precise GPS altitude measurements and ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey. It is shown that the spatial variability of snow accumulation and isotope content covaries with the surface slope. The accumulation rate regularly changes by 1 order of magnitude within the distance negative correlation with the snow accumulation. Analysing dxs / δD and 17O-excess / δD slopes (where dxs = δD - 8 ṡ δ18O and 17O-excess = ln(δ17O / 1000 + 1) -0.528 ṡ ln (δ18O / 1000 + 1)), we conclude that the spatial variability of the snow isotopic composition in the megadune area could be explained by post-depositional snow modifications. Using the GPR data, we estimated the apparent dune drift velocity (4.6 ± 1.1 m yr-1). The full cycle of the dune drift is thus about 410 years. Since the spatial anomalies of snow accumulation and isotopic composition are supposed to drift with the dune, a core drilled in the megadune area would exhibit the non-climatic 410-year cycle of these two parameters. We simulated a vertical profile of snow isotopic composition with such a non-climatic variability, using the data on the dune size and velocity. This artificial profile is then compared with the real vertical profile of snow isotopic composition obtained from a core drilled in the megadune area. We note that the two profiles are very similar. The obtained results are discussed in terms of interpretation of data obtained from ice cores drilled beyond the megadune areas.

  20. Influence of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its collapse on the wind and precipitation regimes of the Ross Embayment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seles, D.; Kowalewski, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    Marine Isotope Stage 31 (MIS 31) is a key analogue for current warming trends yet the extent of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) during this interglacial remains unresolved. Inconsistencies persist between offshore records (suggesting the instability of WAIS) and McMurdo Dry Valley (MDV) terrestrial datasets (indicating long-term ice sheet stability). Here we use a high-resolution regional scale climate model (RegCM3_Polar) to reconstruct paleoclimate during MIS 31 (warm orbit, 400 ppm CO2) and assess changes in precipitation and winds (including katabatic) with WAIS present versus WAIS absent. The MIS 31 scenario with WAIS present resulted in minimal changes in wind magnitude compared with current climate conditions. With WAIS absent, the model predicts a decrease in coastal and highland monthly mean average wind velocities. The greatest rates of snowfall remain along the coast but shift towards higher latitudes with the interior continent remaining dry when WAIS is removed. Focusing on the Ross Embayment, this decreased monthly mean wind velocity and shift of winds to the east indicate a greater influence of offshore winds from the Ross Sea, enabling the increase of precipitation southward along the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) (i.e. MDV). The apparent decrease of katabatic winds with no WAIS implies that offshore winds may be responsible for bringing the warmer, wetter air into the TAM. The change in wind and precipitation in the Ross Embayment and specifically the MDV highlights the impact of WAIS on Antarctic climate and its subsequent influence on the mass balance of peripheral EAIS domes (i.e. Taylor Dome). Modeling suggests that if WAIS was absent during MIS 31, we would expect (1) greater accumulation at such domes and (2) MDV terrestrial records that reflect a wetter climate, and (3) weaker winds suggesting possibly lower ablation/erosion rates compared to if WAIS was present.

  1. Spring Melt and the Redistribution of Organochlorine Pesticides in the Sea-Ice Environment: A Comparative Study between Arctic and Antarctic Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigot, Marie; Hawker, Darryl W; Cropp, Roger; Muir, Derek Cg; Jensen, Bjarne; Bossi, Rossana; Bengtson Nash, Susan M

    2017-08-15

    Complementary sampling of air, snow, sea-ice, and seawater for a range of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) was undertaken through the early stages of respective spring sea-ice melting at coastal sites in northeast Greenland and eastern Antarctica to investigate OCP concentrations and redistribution during this time. Mean concentrations in seawater, sea-ice and snow were generally greater at the Arctic site. For example, α-HCH was found to have the largest concentrations of all analytes in Arctic seawater and sea-ice meltwater samples (224-253 and 34.7-48.2 pg·L(-1) respectively compared to 1.0-1.3 and <0.63 pg·L(-1) respectively for Antarctic samples). Differences in atmospheric samples were generally not as pronounced however. Findings suggest that sea-ice OCP burdens originate from both snow and seawater. The distribution profile between seawater and sea-ice showed a compound-dependency for Arctic samples not evident with those from the Antarctic, possibly due to full submersion of sea-ice at the former. Seasonal sea-ice melt processes may alter the exchange rates of selected OCPs between air and seawater, but are not expected to reverse their direction, which fugacity modeling indicates is volatilisation in the Arctic and net deposition in the Antarctic. These predictions are consistent with the limited current observations.

  2. 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.

  3. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Mid-Pliocene using the Adaptive Mesh Resolution Model, BISICLES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, A. T.; Cornford, S. L.; Lunt, D. J.; Payne, A. J.

    2016-12-01

    Paleo ice sheet models provide valuable tools to test our understanding of the cryosphere-ocean-climate system and how it might respond under warm conditions. However, the long time scales and uncertainty in boundary conditions required for paleo simulations usually necessitates the use of highly parameterised and simplified model techniques, and not the use of state-of-the-art models. One such state-of-the-art model which has been used for the present day is BISICLES which, due to its adaptive mesh refinement capabilities, can explicitly model highly localised and dynamic features such as grounding line migration and ice streams. We will show results testing the suitability of using such a model for a paleo application, including the model's sensitivity to uncertainty in the ice volume, bedrock properties and climatic/oceanic forcing. We will also show preliminary results of modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet state at the Mid-Pliocene, a period when the ice sheet is expected to have contributed many metres worth of global mean sea level increase. We will highlight the range of ice mass loss under different parameterisation and forcing schemes and the level of agreement with previous data and modelling studies, e.g. Miller et al (2012) and DeConto & Pollard (2016). It remains too computationally expensive to run BISICLES for a full glacial-interglacial cycle for example, but this model could still prove valuable for assessing the role of highly dynamic features in past ice sheets. This work will help bridge a gap in understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the simpler models used in paleo ice sheet modelling compared to the state-of-the-art models used for present day and future prediction.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. When a habitat freezes solid: Microorganisms over-winter within the ice column of a coastal Antarctic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foreman, C.M.; Dieser, M.; Greenwood, M.; Cory, R.M.; Laybourn-Parry, J.; Lisle, J.T.; Jaros, C.; Miller, P.L.; Chin, Y.-P.; McKnight, Diane M.

    2011-01-01

    A major impediment to understanding the biology of microorganisms inhabiting Antarctic environments is the logistical constraint of conducting field work primarily during the summer season. However, organisms that persist throughout the year encounter severe environmental changes between seasons. In an attempt to bridge this gap, we collected ice core samples from Pony Lake in early November 2004 when the lake was frozen solid to its base, providing an archive for the biological and chemical processes that occurred during winter freezeup. The ice contained bacteria and virus-like particles, while flagellated algae and ciliates over-wintered in the form of inactive cysts and spores. Both bacteria and algae were metabolically active in the ice core melt water. Bacterial production ranged from 1.8 to 37.9??gCL-1day-1. Upon encountering favorable growth conditions in the melt water, primary production ranged from 51 to 931??gCL-1day-1. Because of the strong H2S odor and the presence of closely related anaerobic organisms assigned to Pony Lake bacterial 16S rRNA gene clones, we hypothesize that the microbial assemblage was strongly affected by oxygen gradients, which ultimately restricted the majority of phylotypes to distinct strata within the ice column. This study provides evidence that the microbial community over-winters in the ice column of Pony Lake and returns to a highly active metabolic state when spring melt is initiated. ?? 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  7. When a habitat freezes solid: microorganisms over-winter within the ice column of a coastal Antarctic lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foreman, Christine M; Dieser, Markus; Greenwood, Mark; Cory, Rose M; Laybourn-Parry, Johanna; Lisle, John T; Jaros, Christopher; Miller, Penney L; Chin, Yu-Ping; McKnight, Diane M

    2011-06-01

    A major impediment to understanding the biology of microorganisms inhabiting Antarctic environments is the logistical constraint of conducting field work primarily during the summer season. However, organisms that persist throughout the year encounter severe environmental changes between seasons. In an attempt to bridge this gap, we collected ice core samples from Pony Lake in early November 2004 when the lake was frozen solid to its base, providing an archive for the biological and chemical processes that occurred during winter freezeup. The ice contained bacteria and virus-like particles, while flagellated algae and ciliates over-wintered in the form of inactive cysts and spores. Both bacteria and algae were metabolically active in the ice core melt water. Bacterial production ranged from 1.8 to 37.9 μg CL(-1) day(-1). Upon encountering favorable growth conditions in the melt water, primary production ranged from 51 to 931 μg CL(-1) day(-1). Because of the strong H(2) S odor and the presence of closely related anaerobic organisms assigned to Pony Lake bacterial 16S rRNA gene clones, we hypothesize that the microbial assemblage was strongly affected by oxygen gradients, which ultimately restricted the majority of phylotypes to distinct strata within the ice column. This study provides evidence that the microbial community over-winters in the ice column of Pony Lake and returns to a highly active metabolic state when spring melt is initiated.

  8. Glacial-interglacial dynamics of Antarctic firn columns: comparison between simulations and ice core air-δ15N measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mulvaney

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Correct estimate of the firn lock-in depth is essential for correctly linking gas and ice chronologies in ice cores studies. Here, two approaches to constrain the firn depth evolution in Antarctica are presented over the last deglaciation: output of a firn densification model and measurements of δ15N of N2 in air trapped in ice core. 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 δ15N measurements performed from the EPICA Dome C (EDC site, the studied regions encompass a large range of surface accumulation rate and temperature conditions. While firn densification simulations are able to correctly represent most of the δ15N trends over the last deglaciation measured in the EDC, BI, TALDICE and EDML ice cores, they systematically fail to capture BI and EDML δ15N glacial levels, a mismatch previously seen for Central East Antarctic ice cores. Using empirical constraints of the EDML gas-ice depth offset during the Laschamp event (~ 41 ka, we can rule out the existence of a large convective zone as the explanation of the glacial firn model-δ15N data mismatch for this site. The good match between modelled and measured δ15N at TALDICE as well as the lack of any clear correlation between insoluble dust concentration in snow and δ15N records in the different ice cores suggest that past changes in loads of impurities are not the only main driver of glacial-interglacial changes in firn lock-in depth. We conclude that firn densification dynamics may instead be driven mostly by accumulation rate changes. The mismatch between modelled and measured δ15N may be due to inaccurate reconstruction of past accumulation rate or underestimated influence of accumulation rate in firnification models.

  9. Large-Ensemble modeling of past and future variations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet with a coupled ice-Earth-sea level model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; DeConto, Robert; Gomez, Natalya

    2016-04-01

    To date, most modeling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet's response to future warming has been calibrated using recent and modern observations. As an alternate approach, we apply a hybrid 3-D ice sheet-shelf model to the last deglacial retreat of Antarctica, making use of geologic data of the last ~20,000 years to test the model against the large-scale variations during this period. The ice model is coupled to a global Earth-sea level model to improve modeling of the bedrock response and to capture ocean-ice gravitational interactions. Following several recent ice-sheet studies, we use Large Ensemble (LE) statistical methods, performing sets of 625 runs from 30,000 years to present with systematically varying model parameters. Objective scores for each run are calculated using modern data and past reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea level records, cosmogenic elevation-age data and uplift rates. The LE results are analyzed to calibrate 4 particularly uncertain model parameters that concern marginal ice processes and interaction with the ocean. LE's are extended into the future with climates following RCP scenarios. An additional scoring criterion tests the model's ability to reproduce estimated sea-level high stands in the warm mid-Pliocene, for which drastic retreat mechanisms of hydrofracturing and ice-cliff failure are needed in the model. The LE analysis provides future sea-level-rise envelopes with well-defined parametric uncertainty bounds. Sensitivities of future LE results to Pliocene sea-level estimates, coupling to the Earth-sea level model, and vertical profiles of Earth properties, will be presented.

  10. The design and performance of IceCube DeepCore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasi, R.; Abdou, Y.; Abu-Zayyad, T.; Ackermann, M.; Adams, J.; Aguilar, J. A.; Ahlers, M.; Allen, M. M.; Altmann, D.; Andeen, K.; Auffenberg, J.; Bai, X.; Baker, M.; Barwick, S. W.; Bay, R.; Bazo Alba, J. L.; Beattie, K.; Beatty, J. J.; Bechet, S.; Becker, J. K.; Becker, K.-H.; Benabderrahmane, M. L.; BenZvi, S.; Berdermann, J.; Berghaus, P.; Berley, D.; Bernardini, E.; Bertrand, D.; Besson, D. Z.; Bindig, D.; Bissok, M.; Blaufuss, E.; Blumenthal, J.; Boersma, D. J.; Bohm, C.; Bose, D.; Böser, S.; Botner, O.; Brown, A. M.; Buitink, S.; Caballero-Mora, K. S.; Carson, M.; Chirkin, D.; Christy, B.; Clevermann, F.; Cohen, S.; Colnard, C.; Cowen, D. F.; Cruz Silva, A. H.; D'Agostino, M. V.; Danninger, M.; Daughhetee, J.; Davis, J. C.; De Clercq, C.; Degner, T.; Demirörs, L.; Descamps, F.; Desiati, P.; de Vries-Uiterweerd, G.; DeYoung, T.; Díaz-Vélez, J. C.; Dierckxsens, M.; Dreyer, J.; Dumm, J. P.; Dunkman, M.; Eisch, J.; Ellsworth, R. W.; Engdegård, O.; Euler, S.; Evenson, P. A.; Fadiran, O.; Fazely, A. R.; Fedynitch, A.; Feintzeig, J.; Feusels, T.; Filimonov, K.; Finley, C.; Fischer-Wasels, T.; Fox, B. D.; Franckowiak, A.; Franke, R.; Gaisser, T. K.; Gallagher, J.; Gerhardt, L.; Gladstone, L.; Glüsenkamp, T.; Goldschmidt, A.; Goodman, J. A.; Góra, D.; Grant, D.; Griesel, T.; Groß, A.; Grullon, S.; Gurtner, M.; Ha, C.; Haj Ismail, A.; Hallgren, A.; Halzen, F.; Han, K.; Hanson, K.; Heinen, D.; Helbing, K.; Hellauer, R.; Hickford, S.; Hill, G. C.; Hoffman, K. D.; Hoffmann, B.; Homeier, A.; Hoshina, K.; Huelsnitz, W.; Hülß, J.-P.; Hulth, P. O.; Hultqvist, K.; Hussain, S.; Ishihara, A.; Jacobi, E.; Jacobsen, J.; Japaridze, G. S.; Johansson, H.; Kampert, K.-H.; Kappes, A.; Karg, T.; Karle, A.; Kenny, P.; Kiryluk, J.; Kislat, F.; Klein, S. R.; Köhne, J.-H.; Kohnen, G.; Kolanoski, H.; Köpke, L.; Koskinen, D. J.; Kowalski, M.; Kowarik, T.; Krasberg, M.; Kroll, G.; Kurahashi, N.; Kuwabara, T.; Labare, M.; Laihem, K.; Landsman, H.; Larson, M. J.; Lauer, R.; Lünemann, J.; Madsen, J.; Marotta, A.; Maruyama, R.; Mase, K.; Matis, H. S.; Meagher, K.; Merck, M.; Mészáros, P.; Meures, T.; Miarecki, S.; Middell, E.; Milke, N.; Miller, J.; Montaruli, T.; Morse, R.; Movit, S. M.; Nahnhauer, R.; Nam, J. W.; Naumann, U.; Nygren, D. R.; Odrowski, S.; Olivas, A.; Olivo, M.; O'Murchadha, A.; Panknin, S.; Paul, L.; Pérez de los Heros, C.; Petrovic, J.; Piegsa, A.; Pieloth, D.; Porrata, R.; Posselt, J.; Price, P. B.; Przybylski, G. T.; Rawlins, K.; Redl, P.; Resconi, E.; Rhode, W.; Ribordy, M.; Richman, M.; Rodrigues, J. P.; Rothmaier, F.; Rott, C.; Ruhe, T.; Rutledge, D.; Ruzybayev, B.; Ryckbosch, D.; Sander, H.-G.; Santander, M.; Sarkar, S.; Schatto, K.; Schmidt, T.; Schönwald, A.; Schukraft, A.; Schultes, A.; Schulz, O.; Schunck, M.; Seckel, D.; Semburg, B.; Seo, S. H.; Sestayo, Y.; Seunarine, S.; Silvestri, A.; Spiczak, G. M.; Spiering, C.; Stamatikos, M.; Stanev, T.; Stezelberger, T.; Stokstad, R. G.; Stößl, A.; Strahler, E. A.; Ström, R.; Stüer, M.; Sullivan, G. W.; Swillens, Q.; Taavola, H.; Taboada, I.; Tamburro, A.; Tepe, A.; Ter-Antonyan, S.; Tilav, S.; Toale, P. A.; Toscano, S.; Tosi, D.; van Eijndhoven, N.; Vandenbroucke, J.; Van Overloop, A.; van Santen, J.; Vehring, M.; Voge, M.; Walck, C.; Waldenmaier, T.; Wallraff, M.; Walter, M.; Weaver, Ch.; Wendt, C.; Westerhoff, S.; Whitehorn, N.; Wiebe, K.; Wiebusch, C. H.; Williams, D. R.; Wischnewski, R.; Wissing, H.; Wolf, M.; Wood, T. R.; Woschnagg, K.; Xu, C.; Xu, D. L.; Xu, X. W.; Yanez, J. P.; Yodh, G.; Yoshida, S.; Zarzhitsky, P.; Zoll, M.

    2012-05-01

    The IceCube neutrino observatory in operation at the South Pole, Antarctica, comprises three distinct components: a large buried array for ultrahigh energy neutrino detection, a surface air shower array, and a new buried component called DeepCore. DeepCore was designed to lower the IceCube neutrino energy threshold by over an order of magnitude, to energies as low as about 10 GeV. DeepCore is situated primarily 2100 m below the surface of the icecap at the South Pole, at the bottom center of the existing IceCube array, and began taking physics data in May 2010. Its location takes advantage of the exceptionally clear ice at those depths and allows it to use the surrounding IceCube detector as a highly efficient active veto against the principal background of downward-going muons produced in cosmic-ray air showers. DeepCore has a module density roughly five times higher than that of the standard IceCube array, and uses photomultiplier tubes with a new photocathode featuring a quantum efficiency about 35% higher than standard IceCube PMTs. Taken together, these features of DeepCore will increase IceCube's sensitivity to neutrinos from WIMP dark matter annihilations, atmospheric neutrino oscillations, galactic supernova neutrinos, and point sources of neutrinos in the northern and southern skies. In this paper we describe the design and initial performance of DeepCore.

  11. About the consistency between Envisat and CryoSat-2 radar freeboard retrieval over Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Schwegmann

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge about Antarctic sea-ice volume and its changes over the past decades has been sparse due to the lack of systematic sea-ice thickness measurements in this remote area. Recently, first attempts have been made to develop a sea-ice thickness product over the Southern Ocean from space-borne radar altimetry and results look promising. Today, more than 20 years of radar altimeter data are potentially available for such products. However, data come from different sources, and the characteristics of individual sensors differ. Hence, it is important to study the consistency between single sensors in order to develop long and consistent time series over the potentially available measurement period. Here, the consistency between freeboard measurements of the Radar Altimeter 2 on-board Envisat and freeboard measurements from the Synthetic-Aperture Interferometric Radar Altimeter on-board CryoSat-2 is tested for their overlap period in 2011. Results indicate that mean and modal values are comparable over the sea-ice growth season (May–October and partly also beyond. In general, Envisat data shows higher freeboards in the seasonal ice zone while CryoSat-2 freeboards are higher in the perennial ice zone and near the coasts. This has consequences for the agreement in individual sectors of the Southern Ocean, where one or the other ice class may dominate. Nevertheless, over the growth season, mean freeboard for the entire (regional separated Southern Ocean differs generally by not more than 2 cm (5 cm, except for the Amundsen/Bellingshausen Sea between Envisat and CryoSat-2, and the differences between modal freeboard lie generally within ±10 cm and often even below.

  12. Metabolism of Antarctic micronektonic crustacea across a summer ice-edge bloom: respiration, composition, and enzymatic activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Joseph; Kawall, Helena; Geiger, Stephen P.; Torres, Joseph J.

    2004-08-01

    The Antarctic marginal ice zone is an important oceanic front separating the pack-ice and open-water environments. During summer, the retreating pack ice creates a meltwater lens in the euphotic zone, allowing primary producers and microheterotrophs to flourish in a discrete bloom just seaward of the retreating ice edge that lasts about 60 days. The purpose of the present study was to see if the ice-edge bloom had a discernible effect on the metabolism and physiological condition of Antarctic micronekton similar to that observed in zooplankton species. We also wished to assess the importance of the summer season to species' life cycles. Two major data sets were collected on 25 species in the following taxonomic groups: amphipods, cephalopods, decapods, euphausiids, isopods, mysids, ostracods, and polychaetes. The first data set described the metabolic rates of individuals in areas of the marginal ice zone with widely different levels of chlorophyll biomass to investigate the effect of the ice-edge bloom on metabolism. Additionally, summer metabolic rates were compared with data from other seasons. The second data set detailed the levels of protein, water, ash, RNA and DNA, and the activities of metabolic enzymes (citrate synthase and malate dehydrogenase) to examine the efficacy of biochemical indices as predictive tools for metabolism. Results suggested that the mobility of the micronektonic species eliminated most direct effects of the bloom on metabolism. Individuals captured in very different productivity regimes showed few significant differences in the metabolic indicators listed above. Isolated cases of changes in body composition and enzyme activity, however, implied that longer-term effects of the bloom may be exhibited. Seasonal increases in metabolism from winter to summer were observed in the euphausiids Euphausia superba, E. triacantha, and Thysanoessa macrura and the amphipod Vibilia stebbingi. It was concluded that the seasonal shifts were indicative

  13. 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

  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 CO2 strongly influences marine ecosystems, particularly in the polar ocean due to greater CO2 solubility. Here, we grew the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia sp. ICE-H in a semicontinuous culture under low (~400ppm) and high (1000ppm) CO2 levels. Elevated CO2 resulted in a stimulated physiological response including increased growth rates, chlorophyll a contents, and nitrogen and phosphorus uptake rates. Furthermore, high CO2 enhanced cellular particulate organic carbon production rates, indicating a greater shift from inorganic to organic carbon. However, the cultures grown in high CO2 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 CO2. 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. Screening of microorganisms from deep-sea mud for Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) fermentation and evaluation of the bioactive compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jianan; Kan, Feifei; Liu, Pei; He, Shuai; Mou, Haijin; Xue, Changhu; Mao, Xiangzhao

    2015-02-01

    Twelve kinds of strains were isolated from deep-sea mud which can use Antarctic krill powder as the sole carbon/nitrogen source. These strains were identified by 16s rDNA sequence analysis and grouped into eight different genera, including Bacillus, Shewanella, Psychrobacter, Klebsiella, Macrococcus, Aeromonas, Acinetobacter, and Saccharomyces. After fermentation of Antarctic krill powder using these strains, bioactive compounds including total phenolics, free amino acids, and enzyme activities were investigated. Meanwhile, antioxidant activities of the fermentation liquors were also detected. Results showed that bioactive compounds could be effectively produced through fermentation process by these strains, of which three strains (Bacillus subtilis OKF04, Macrococcus caseolyticus OKF09, and Aeromonas veronii OKF10) could produce more than 650 mg/L total phenolics or 2000 mg/L total free amino acids. In terms of enzyme activities, almost all of the strains showed protease activity and amylase activity, but only Bacillus cereus OKF01 and Bacillus megaterium OKF05 performed lipase activity and chitinase activity, respectively. All of the fermentation liquors showed antioxidant activity, within which Bacillus megaterium OKF05, Macrococcus caseolyticus OKF09, and Aeromonas veronii OKF10 displayed it more prominently. These results demonstrate that the Antarctic krill powder could be effectively converted by microorganisms isolated from deep-sea mud for production of bioactive compounds mixture.

  16. A glimpse beneath Antarctic sea ice: observation of platelet-layer thickness and ice-volume fraction with multifrequency EM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoppmann, Mario; Hunkeler, Priska A.; Hendricks, Stefan; Kalscheuer, Thomas; Gerdes, Rüdiger

    2016-04-01

    In Antarctica, ice crystals (platelets) form and grow in supercooled waters below ice shelves. These platelets rise, accumulate beneath nearby sea ice, and subsequently form a several meter thick, porous sub-ice platelet layer. This special ice type is a unique habitat, influences sea-ice mass and energy balance, and its volume can be interpreted as an indicator of the health of an ice shelf. Although progress has been made in determining and understanding its spatio-temporal variability based on point measurements, an investigation of this phenomenon on a larger scale remains a challenge due to logistical constraints and a lack of suitable methodology. In the present study, we applied a lateral constrained Marquardt-Levenberg inversion to a unique multi-frequency electromagnetic (EM) induction sounding dataset obtained on the ice-shelf influenced fast-ice regime of Atka Bay, eastern Weddell Sea. We adapted the inversion algorithm to incorporate a sensor specific signal bias, and confirmed the reliability of the algorithm by performing a sensitivity study using synthetic data. We inverted the field data for sea-ice and platelet-layer thickness and electrical conductivity, and calculated ice-volume fractions within the platelet layer using Archie's Law. The thickness results agreed well with drillhole validation datasets within the uncertainty range, and the ice-volume fraction yielded results comparable to other studies. Both parameters together enable an estimation of the total ice volume within the platelet layer, which was found to be comparable to the volume of landfast sea ice in this region, and corresponded to more than a quarter of the annual basal melt volume of the nearby Ekström Ice Shelf. Our findings show that multi-frequency EM induction sounding is a suitable approach to efficiently map sea-ice and platelet-layer properties, with important implications for research into ocean/ice-shelf/sea-ice interactions. However, a successful application of this

  17. Invited Article: SUBGLACIOR: An optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grilli, R.; Marrocco, N.; Desbois, T. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Guillerm, C. [DT INSU CNRS, Bât. IPEV BP 74, Technopole Brest Iroise, 29280 Plouzané (France); Triest, J. [CNRS, LGGE, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Kerstel, E.; Romanini, D. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France)

    2014-11-15

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ{sup 2}H ) and CH{sub 4} concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10{sup −10} cm{sup −1} Hz{sup −1/2}, corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH{sub 4} and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ{sup 2}H of H{sub 2}O within 1 min acquisition time.

  18. Geostatistical analysis and isoscape of ice core derived water stable isotope records in an Antarctic macro region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatvani, István Gábor; Leuenberger, Markus; Kohán, Balázs; Kern, Zoltán

    2017-09-01

    Water stable isotopes preserved in ice cores provide essential information about polar precipitation. In the present study, multivariate regression and variogram analyses were conducted on 22 δ2H and 53 δ18O records from 60 ice cores covering the second half of the 20th century. Taking the multicollinearity of the explanatory variables into account, as also the model's adjusted R2 and its mean absolute error, longitude, elevation and distance from the coast were found to be the main independent geographical driving factors governing the spatial δ18O variability of firn/ice in the chosen Antarctic macro region. After diminishing the effects of these factors, using variography, the weights for interpolation with kriging were obtained and the spatial autocorrelation structure of the dataset was revealed. This indicates an average area of influence with a radius of 350 km. This allows the determination of the areas which are as yet not covered by the spatial variability of the existing network of ice cores. Finally, the regional isoscape was obtained for the study area, and this may be considered the first step towards a geostatistically improved isoscape for Antarctica.

  19. Ice recrystallization inhibition proteins (IRIPs) and freeze tolerance in the cryophilic Antarctic hair grass Deschampsia antarctica E. Desv.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Ulrik P; Polotnianka, Renatam M; Sivakumaran, Kailayapillai A; Chew, Orinda; Mackin, Leanne; Kuiper, Micheal J; Talbot, Jonathan P; Nugent, Gregory D; Mautord, Julie; Schrauf, Gustavo E; Spangenberg, German C

    2009-04-01

    Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia antarctica E. Desv.), the only grass indigenous to Antarctica, has well-developed freezing tolerance, strongly induced by cold acclimation. Here, we show that in response to low temperatures, D. antarctica expresses potent recrystallization inhibition (RI) activity that, inhibits the growth of small ice crystals into potentially damaging large ones, is proteinaceous and localized to the apoplasm. A gene family from D. antarctica encoding putative homologs of an ice recrystallization inhibition protein (IRIP) has been isolated and characterized. IRIPs are apoplastically targeted proteins with two potential ice-binding motifs: 1-9 leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) and c. 16 'IRIP' repeats. IRIP genes appear to be confined to the grass subfamily Pooideae and their products, exhibit sequence similarity to phytosulphokine receptors and are predicted to adopt conformations with two ice-binding surfaces. D. antarctica IRIP (DaIRIP) transcript levels are greatly enhanced in leaf tissue following cold acclimation. Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana expressing a DaIRIP has novel RI activity, and purified DaIRIP, when added back to extracts of leaves from non-acclimated D. antarctica, can reconstitute the activity found in acclimated plants. We propose that IRIP-mediated RI activity may contribute to the cryotolerance of D. antarctica, and thus to its unique ability to have colonized Antarctica.

  20. Anomalously high arsenic concentration in a West Antarctic ice core and its relationship to copper mining in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwanck, Franciele; Simões, Jefferson C.; Handley, Michael; Mayewski, Paul A.; Bernardo, Ronaldo T.; Aquino, Francisco E.

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic variability records are preserved in snow and ice cores and can be utilized to reconstruct air pollution history. The Mount Johns ice core (79°55‧S; 94°23‧W and 91.2 m depth) was collected from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the 2008/09 austral summer. Here, we report the As concentration variability as determined by 2137 samples from the upper 45 m of this core using ICP-SFMS (CCI, University of Maine, USA). The record covers approximately 125 years (1883-2008) showing a mean concentration of 4.32 pg g-1. The arsenic concentration in the core follows global copper mining evolution, particularly in Chile (the largest producer of Cu). From 1940 to 1990, copper-mining production increased along with arsenic concentrations in the MJ core, from 1.92 pg g-1 (before 1900) to 7.94 pg g-1 (1950). In the last two decades, environmental regulations for As emissions have been implemented, forcing smelters to treat their gases to conform to national and international environmental standards. In Chile, decontamination plants required by the government started operating from 1993 to 2000. Thereafter, Chilean copper production more than doubled while As emission levels declined, and the same reduction was observed in the Mount Johns ice core. After 1999, arsenic concentrations in our samples decreased to levels comparable to the period before 1900.

  1. Post-coring entrapment of modern air in some shallow ice cores collected near the firn-ice transition: evidence from CFC-12 measurements in Antarctic firn air and ice cores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Aydin

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we report measurements of CFC-12 (CCl2F2 in firn air and in air extracted from shallow ice cores from three Antarctic sites. The firn air data are consistent with the known atmospheric history of CFC-12. In contrast, some of the ice core samples collected near the firn-ice transition exhibit anomalously high CFC-12 levels. Together, the ice core and firn air data provide evidence for the presence of modern air entrapped in the shallow ice core samples that likely contained open pores at the time of collection. We propose that this is due to closure of the open pores after drilling, entrapping modern air and resulting in elevated CFC-12 mixing ratios. Our results reveal that open porosity can exist below the maximum depth at which firn air samples can be collected, particularly at sites with lower accumulation rates. CFC-12 measurements demonstrate that post-drilling closure of open pores can lead to a change in the composition of bubble air in shallow ice cores through purely physical processes. The results have implications for investigations involving trace gas composition of bubbles in shallow ice cores collected near the firn-ice transition.

  2. 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

  3. Heterogeneous chemistry related to Antarctic ozone depletion: Reaction of ClONO2 and N2O5 on ice surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolbert, Margaret A.; Rossi, Michel J.; Golden, David M.

    1988-01-01

    Laboratory studies of heterogeneous reactions of possible importance for Antarctic ozone depletion were performed. In particular, the reactions of chlorine nitrate (ClONO2) and dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) were investigated on ice and HCl/ice surfaces. These reactions occur on the surfaces of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) over Antarctica. One reaction transforms the stable chlorine reservoir species (ClONO2 and HCl) into photochemically active chlorine in the form of HOCl and Cl2. Condensation of HNO3 in the reactions removes odd nitrogen from the stratosphere, a requirement in nearly all models of Antarctic ozone depletion. Other reactions may also be important for Antarctic ozone depletion. Like the reactions of chlorine nitrate, these reactions deplete odd nitrogen through HNO3 condensation. In addition, one reaction converts a stable chlorine reservior species (HCl) into photochemically active chlorine (ClNO2). These reactions were studied with a modified version of a Knudsen cell flow reactor.

  4. A record of Antarctic sea ice extent in the Southern Indian Ocean for the past 300 yr and its relationship with global mean temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Xiao

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The differing response of ice extent in the Arctic and Antarctic to global average temperature change, over approximately the last three decades, highlights the importance of reconstructing long-term sea ice history. Here, using high-resolution ice core records of methanesulfonate (MS− from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Princess Elizabeth Land, we reconstruct southern Indian Ocean sea ice extent (SIE for the sector 70° E–100° E for the period 1708–2000 A.D. Annual MS− concentration positively correlates in this sector with satellite-derived SIE for the period 1973–2000 (P − record of proxy SIE shows multi-decadal variations, with large decreases occurring in two warm intervals during the Little Ice Age, and during the 1940s. However, after the 1980s there is a change in phase between Antarctic SIE and global temperature change, with both increasing. This paradox is probably attributable to the strong anomaly in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM in the recent three decades.

  5. Antarctic ice-mass balance 2003 to 2012: regional reanalysis of GRACE satellite gravimetry measurements with improved estimate of glacial-isostatic adjustment based on GPS uplift rates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sasgen, I.; Konrad, H.; Ivins, E.R.; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Bamber, J.L.; Martinec, Z.; Klemann, V.

    2013-01-01

    We present regional-scale mass balances for 25 drainage basins of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) from satellite observations of the Gravity and Climate Experiment (GRACE) for time period January 2003 to September 2012. Satellite gravimetry estimates of the AIS mass balance are strongly influenced by

  6. Antarctic ice-mass balance 2003 to 2012: regional reanalysis of GRACE satellite gravimetry measurements with improved estimate of glacial-isostatic adjustment based on GPS uplift rates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sasgen, I.; Konrad, H.; Ivins, E.R.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Bamber, J.L.; Martinec, Z.; Klemann, V.

    2013-01-01

    We present regional-scale mass balances for 25 drainage basins of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) from satellite observations of the Gravity and Climate Experiment (GRACE) for time period January 2003 to September 2012. Satellite gravimetry estimates of the AIS mass balance are strongly influenced by

  7. 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.

  8. Negative magnetic anomaly over Mt. Resnik, a subaerially erupted volcanic peak beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.; Finn, C.; Morse, D.L.; Blankenship, D.D.

    2006-01-01

    Mt. Resnik is one of the previously reported 18 subaerially erupted volcanoes (in the West Antarctic rift system), which have high elevation and high bed relief beneath the WAIS in the Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey. Mt. Resnik lies 300 m below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS); it has 1.6 km topographic relief, and a conical form defined by radar ice-sounding of bed topography. It has an associated complex negative magnetic anomaly revealed by the CWA survey. We calculated and interpreted magnetic models fit to the Mt. Resnik anomaly as a volcanic source comprising both reversely and normally magnetized (in the present field direction) volcanic flows, 0.5-2.5-km thick, erupted subaerially during a time of magnetic field reversal. The Mt. Resnik 305-nT anomaly is part of an approximately 50- by 40-km positive anomaly complex extending about 30 km to the west of the Mt. Resnik peak, associated with an underlying source complex of about the same area, whose top is at the bed of the WAIS. The bed relief of this shallow source complex has a maximum of only about 400 m, whereas the modeled source is >3 km thick. From the spatial relationship we interpret that this source and Mt Resnik are approximately contemporaneous. Any subglacially (older?) erupted edifices comprising hyaloclastite or other volcanic debris, which formerly overlaid the source to the west, were removed by the moving WAIS into which they were injected as is the general case for the ???1000 volcanic centers at the base of the WAIS. The presence of the magnetic field reversal modeled for Mt. Resnik may represent the Bruhnes-Matayama reversal at 780 ka (or an earlier reversal). There are ???100 short-wavelength, steep-gradient, negative magnetic anomalies observed over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), or about 10% of the approximately 1000 short-wavelength, shallow-source, high-amplitude (50- >1000 nT) "volcanic" magnetic anomalies in the CWA survey. These

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. High variability of climate and surface mass balance induced by Antarctic ice rises

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, Jan|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Brown, Joel; van den Broeke, Michiel|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Matsuoka, Kenichi; Drews, Reinhard; Callens, Denis; Philippe, Morgane; Gorodetskaya, I.V.; van Meijgaard, E.; Tijm - Reijmer, Catharina|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/229345956; Pattyn, F.; van Lipzig, N.P.M.

    2014-01-01

    Ice rises play key roles in buttressing the neighbouring ice shelves and potentially provide palaeoclimate proxies from ice cores drilled near their divides. Little is known, however, about their influence on local climate and surface mass balance (SMB). Here we combine 12 years (2001–12) of regiona

  12. Response of bacteria in the deep-sea sediments and the Antarctic soils to carbohydrates: effects on ectoenzyme activity and bacterial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Xiang; Xiao, Xiang; Wang, Fengping

    2010-01-01

    The response of bacteria to various carbohydrates in the deep-sea sediments and the Antarctic soils was investigated using cellulose, chitin, and olive oil. It was found that the carbohydrates significantly increased the corresponding specific ectoenzyme activity (beta-glucosidase, beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase, lipase) in the samples from deep-sea sediments. In the case of Antarctic soil samples, the cellulose or olive oil amendments had minor or no effect on beta-glucosidase or lipase activity, except the chitin which stimulated beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase production. The responses of the bacteria in the deep-sea sediment sample WP02-3 and the Antarctic soil sample CC-TY2 towards the chitin amendment were further analyzed. Chitin amendments were shown to stimulate the ectoenzyme activity in all the tested sediments and the soils. The bacterial response before and after the carbohydrates amendments were compared by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and quantitative competitive polymerase chain reaction. Significant changes were found in the structure and density of the bacterial community in the deep sea sediments as compared to the Antarctic soil sample, where the effects were relatively lower. There was no change in the bacterial population in both studied samples in response to carbohydrates amendments. These data indicate that the bacterial communities in the oligotrophic deep-sea sediments are more dynamic than that in the Antarctic soils as they respond to the nutrient sources efficiently by regulation of ectoenzyme activity and/or changing community structure.

  13. Post-coring entrapment of modern air in polar ice cores collected near the firn-ice transition: evidence from CFC-12 measurements in Antarctic firn air and shallow ice cores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Aydin

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we report the first measurements of CFC-12 (CCl2F2 in air extracted from shallow ice cores along with firn air CFC-12 measurements from three Antarctic sites. The firn air data are consistent with the known atmospheric history of CFC-12. In contrast, the ice core samples collected near the firn-ice transition exhibit anomalously high CFC-12 levels. Together, the ice core and firn air data provide evidence for presence of modern air entrapped in shallow ice core samples. We propose that this is due to closure of open pores after drilling, entrapping modern air and resulting in elevated CFC-12 mixing ratios. Our measurements reveal the presence of open porosity below the depth at which firn air samples can be collected and demonstrate how the composition of bubble air in shallow ice cores can be altered during the post-drilling period through purely physical processes. These results have implications for investigations involving trace gas composition of bubbles in shallow ice cores.

  14. Massive subsurface ice formed by refreezing of ice-shelf melt ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Bryn; Luckman, Adrian; Ashmore, David W.; Bevan, Suzanne; Kulessa, Bernd; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Philippe, Morgane; Jansen, Daniela; Booth, Adam; Sevestre, Heidi; Tison, Jean-Louis; O'Leary, Martin; Rutt, Ian

    2016-06-01

    Surface melt ponds form intermittently on several Antarctic ice shelves. Although implicated in ice-shelf break up, the consequences of such ponding for ice formation and ice-shelf structure have not been evaluated. Here we report the discovery of a massive subsurface ice layer, at least 16 km across, several kilometres long and tens of metres deep, located in an area of intense melting and intermittent ponding on Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica. We combine borehole optical televiewer logging and radar measurements with remote sensing and firn modelling to investigate the layer, found to be ~10 °C warmer and ~170 kg m-3 denser than anticipated in the absence of ponding and hitherto used in models of ice-shelf fracture and flow. Surface ponding and ice layers such as the one we report are likely to form on a wider range of Antarctic ice shelves in response to climatic warming in forthcoming decades.

  15. Bimodal pattern of seismicity detected at the ocean margin of an Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Denis; Benoit, Lionel; Camelbeeck, Thierry; Martin, Olivier; Meynard, Christophe; Thom, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In Antarctica, locally grounded ice, such as ice rises bordering floating ice shelves, plays a major role in the ice mass balance as it stabilizes the ice sheet flow from the hinterland. When in direct contact with the ocean, the ice rise buttressing effect may be altered in response of changing ocean forcing. To investigate this vulnerable zone, four sites near the boundary of an ice shelf with an ice rise promontory in Dronning Maud Land, East-Antarctica were monitored for a month in early 2014 with new instruments that include both seismic and GPS sensors. Our study indicated that this transition zone experiences periodic seismic activity resulting from surface crevassing during oceanic tide-induced flexure of the ice shelf. The most significant finding is the observation of apparent fortnightly tide-modulated low-frequency, long-duration seismic events at the seaward front of the ice rise promontory. A basal origin of these events is postulated with the ocean water surge at each new spring tide triggering basal crevassing or basal slip on a local bedrock asperity. Detection and monitoring of such seismicity may help identifying ice rise zones vulnerable to intensified ocean forcing.

  16. 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.

  17. In situ cosmogenic radiocarbon production and 2-D ice flow line modeling for an Antarctic blue ice area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buizert, Christo; Petrenko, Vasilii V.; Kavanaugh, Jeffrey L.; Cuffey, Kurt M.; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Brook, Edward J.; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P.

    2012-06-01

    Radiocarbon measurements at ice margin sites and blue ice areas can potentially be used for ice dating, ablation rate estimates and paleoclimatic reconstructions. Part of the measured signal comes from in situ cosmogenic 14C production in ice, and this component must be well understood before useful information can be extracted from 14C data. We combine cosmic ray scaling and production estimates with a two-dimensional ice flow line model to study cosmogenic 14C production at Taylor Glacier, Antarctica. We find (1) that 14C production through thermal neutron capture by nitrogen in air bubbles is negligible; (2) that including ice flow patterns caused by basal topography can lead to a surface 14C activity that differs by up to 25% from the activity calculated using an ablation-only approximation, which is used in all prior work; and (3) that at high ablation margin sites, solar modulation of the cosmic ray flux may change the strength of the dominant spallogenic production by up to 10%. As part of this effort we model two-dimensional ice flow along the central flow line of Taylor Glacier. We present two methods for parameterizing vertical strain rates, and assess which method is more reliable for Taylor Glacier. Finally, we present a sensitivity study from which we conclude that uncertainties in published cosmogenic production rates are the largest source of potential error. The results presented here can inform ongoing and future 14C and ice flow studies at ice margin sites, including important paleoclimatic applications such as the reconstruction of paleoatmospheric 14C content of methane.

  18. 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°.

  19. Seasonality of blue and fin whale calls and the influence of sea ice in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Širović, Ana; Hildebrand, John A.; Wiggins, Sean M.; McDonald, Mark A.; Moore, Sue E.; Thiele, Deborah

    2004-08-01

    The calling seasonality of blue ( Balaenoptera musculus) and fin ( B. physalus) whales was assessed using acoustic data recorded on seven autonomous acoustic recording packages (ARPs) deployed from March 2001 to February 2003 in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Automatic detection and acoustic power analysis methods were used for determining presence and absence of whale calls. Blue whale calls were detected year round, on average 177 days per year, with peak calling in March and April, and a secondary peak in October and November. Lowest calling rates occurred between June and September, and in December. Fin whale calling rates were seasonal with calls detected between February and June (on average 51 days/year), and peak calling in May. Sea ice formed a month later and retreated a month earlier in 2001 than in 2002 over all recording sites. During the entire deployment period, detected calls of both species of whales showed negative correlation with sea ice concentrations at all sites, suggesting an absence of blue and fin whales in areas covered with sea ice. A conservative density estimate of calling whales from the acoustic data yields 0.43 calling blue whales per 1000 n mi 2 and 1.30 calling fin whales per 1000 n mi 2, which is about one-third higher than the density of blue whales and approximately equal to the density of fin whales estimated from the visual surveys.

  20. Firn air-content of Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, from seismic velocities, borehole surveys and firn modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulessa, Bernd; Brisbourne, Alex; Booth, Adam; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Bevan, Suzanne; Luckman, Adrian; Hubbard, Bryn; Gourmelen, Noel; Palmer, Steve; Holland, Paul; Ashmore, David; Shepherd, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    The rising surface temperature of Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves is strongly implicated in ice shelf disintegration, by exacerbating the compaction of firn layers. Firn compaction is expected to warm the ice column and, given sufficiently wet and compacted layers, to allow meltwater to penetrate into surface crevasses and thus enhance hydrofracture potential. Integrating seismic refraction surveys with borehole neutron and firn core density logging, we reveal vertical and horizontal changes in firn properties across Larsen C Ice Shelf. Patterns of firn air-content derived from seismic surveys are broadly similar to those estimated previously from airborne radar and satellite data. Specifically, these estimates show greater firn compaction in the north and landward inlets compared to the south, although spatial gradients in seismic-derived air-contents are less pronounced than those previously inferred. Firn thickness is less than 10 m in the extreme northwest of Larsen C, in Cabinet Inlet, yet exceeds 40 m in the southeast, suggesting that the inlet is a focus of firn compaction; indeed, buried layers of massive refrozen ice were observed in 200 MHz GPR data in Cabinet and Whirlwind Inlets during a field campaign in the 2014-15 austral summer. Depth profiles of firn density provide a reasonable fit with those derived from closely-located firn cores and neutron probe data. Our model of firn structure is driven by RACMO and includes a 'bucket'-type hydrological implementation, and simulates the depth-density profiles in the inlets well. Discrepancies between measured and modelled depth-density profiles become progressively greater towards the ice-shelf front. RACMO incorrectly simulates the particular leeward (sea-ice-influenced) microclimate of the shallow boundary layer, leading to excess melt and/or lack of snowfall. The spatial sampling density of our seismic observations will be augmented following a further field campaign in the 2016-17 austral summer

  1. Subsurface imaging reveals a confined aquifer beneath an ice-sealed Antarctic lake

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dugan, H. A.; Doran, P. T.; Tulaczyk, S.

    2015-01-01

    Liquid water oases are rare under extreme cold desert conditions found in the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys. Here we report geophysical results that indicate that Lake Vida, one of the largest lakes in the region, is nearly frozen and underlain by widespread cryoconcentrated brine. A ground...

  2. Empirical estimation of present-day Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment and ice mass change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gunter, B.C.; Didova, O.; Riva, R.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; King, M.A.; Van den Broeke, M.R.; Urban, T.

    2014-01-01

    This study explores an approach that simultaneously estimates Antarctic mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) through the combination of satellite gravity and altimetry data sets. The results improve upon previous efforts by incorporating a firn densification model to account for firn

  3. Impact of snow cover on CO2 dynamics in Antarctic pack ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.-X. Geilfus

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Temporal evolution of pCO2 profiles in sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica, in October 2007 shows that the CO2 system in the ice was primarily controlled by physical and thermodynamic processes. During the survey, a succession of warming and cold events strongly influenced the physical, chemical and thermodynamic properties of the ice cover. Two sampling sites with contrasting characteristics of ice and snow thickness were sampled: one had little snow accumulation (from 8 to 25 cm and larger temperature and salinity variations than the second site, where the snow cover was up to 38 cm thick and therefore better insulated the underlying sea ice. We confirm that each cooling/warming event was associated with an increase/decrease in the brine salinity, total alkalinity (TA, total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2, and in situ brine and bulk ice CO2 partial pressures (pCO2. Thicker snow covers muted these changes, suggesting that snow influences changes in the sea ice carbonate system through its impact on the temperature and salinity of the sea ice cover. During this survey, pCO2 was undersaturated with respect to the atmosphere both in situ, in the bulk ice (from 10 to 193 μatm, and in the brine (from 65 to 293 μatm, and the ice acted as a sink for atmospheric CO2 (up to 2.9 mmol m−2 d−1, despite the underlying supersaturated seawater (up to 462 μatm.

  4. The zooplankton food web under East Antarctic pack ice - A stable isotope study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Zhongnan; Swadling, Kerrie M.; Meiners, Klaus M.; Kawaguchi, So; Virtue, Patti

    2016-09-01

    Understanding how sea ice serves zooplankton species during the food-limited season is crucial information to evaluate the potential responses of pelagic food webs to changes in sea-ice conditions in the Southern Ocean. Stable isotope analyses (13C/12C and 15N/14N) were used to compare the dietary preferences and trophic relationships of major zooplankton species under pack ice during two winter-spring transitions (2007 and 2012). During sampling, furcilia of Euphausia superba demonstrated dietary plasticity between years, herbivory when feeding on sea-ice biota, and with a more heterotrophic diet when feeding from both the sea ice and the water column. Carbon isotope signatures suggested that the pteropod Limacina helicina, small copepods Oithona spp., ostracods and amphipods relied heavily on sea-ice biota. Post larval E. superba and omnivorous krill Thysanoessa macrura consumed both water column and ice biota, but further investigations are needed to estimate the contribution from each source. Large copepods and chaetognaths overwintered on a water column-based diet. Our study suggests that warm and permeable sea ice is more likely to provide food for zooplankton species under the ice than the colder ice.

  5. Testing models of ice cap extent, South Georgia, sub-Antarctic

    OpenAIRE

    Barlow, NLM; Bentley, MJ; G. Spada; Evans, DJA; Hansom, JD; Brader, MD; White, DA; Zander, A; Berg, S.

    2016-01-01

    The extent of Last Glacial Maximum ice in South Georgia is contested, with two alternative hypotheses: an extensive (maximum) model of ice reaching the edge of the continental shelf, or a restricted (minimum) model with ice constrained within the inner fjords. We present a new relative sea-level dataset for South Georgia, summarising published and new geomorphological evidence for the marine limit and elevations of former sea levels on the island. Using a glacial isostatic adjustment model (A...

  6. Uncertainty quantification of Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise using the fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet (f.ETISh) model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulthuis, Kevin; Arnst, Maarten; Pattyn, Frank; Favier, Lionel

    2017-04-01

    Uncertainties in sea-level rise projections are mostly due to uncertainties in Antarctic ice-sheet predictions (IPCC AR5 report, 2013), because key parameters related to the current state of the Antarctic ice sheet (e.g. sub-ice-shelf melting) and future climate forcing are poorly constrained. Here, we propose to improve the predictions of Antarctic ice-sheet behaviour using new uncertainty quantification methods. As opposed to ensemble modelling (Bindschadler et al., 2013) which provides a rather limited view on input and output dispersion, new stochastic methods (Le Maître and Knio, 2010) can provide deeper insight into the impact of uncertainties on complex system behaviour. Such stochastic methods usually begin with deducing a probabilistic description of input parameter uncertainties from the available data. Then, the impact of these input parameter uncertainties on output quantities is assessed by estimating the probability distribution of the outputs by means of uncertainty propagation methods such as Monte Carlo methods or stochastic expansion methods. The use of such uncertainty propagation methods in glaciology may be computationally costly because of the high computational complexity of ice-sheet models. This challenge emphasises the importance of developing reliable and computationally efficient ice-sheet models such as the f.ETISh ice-sheet model (Pattyn, 2015), a new fast thermomechanical coupled ice sheet/ice shelf model capable of handling complex and critical processes such as the marine ice-sheet instability mechanism. Here, we apply these methods to investigate the role of uncertainties in sub-ice-shelf melting, calving rates and climate projections in assessing Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise for the next centuries using the f.ETISh model. We detail the methods and show results that provide nominal values and uncertainty bounds for future sea-level rise as a reflection of the impact of the input parameter uncertainties under

  7. Acoustic noise in deep ice and environmental conditions at the South Pole

    CERN Document Server

    Karg, Timo

    2008-01-01

    To study the acoustic properties of the Antarctic ice the South Pole Acoustic Test Setup (SPATS) was installed in the upper part of drill holes for the IceCube neutrino observatory. An important parameter for the design of a future acoustic neutrino telescope is the acoustic background noise in the ice and its spatial and temporal variations. We study the absolute noise level depth profile from SPATS data and discuss systematic uncertainties. The measured noise is very stable over one year of data taking, and we estimate the absolute noise level to be < 10 mPa in the frequency range from 10 kHz to 50 kHz at depths below 200 m. This noise level is of the same order of magnitude as observed by ocean based acoustic neutrino detection projects in good weather conditions.

  8. 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

  9. Synergism between elevated pCO2 and temperature on the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia lecointei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Torstensson

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Polar oceans are particularly susceptible to ocean acidification and warming. Diatoms play a significant role in sea ice biogeochemistry and provide an important food source to grazers in ice-covered oceans, especially during early spring. However, the ecophysiology of ice living organisms has received little attention in terms of ocean acidification. In this study, the synergism between temperature and partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2 was investigated in relationship to the optimal growth temperature of the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia lecointei. Diatoms were kept in cultures at controlled levels of pCO2 (∼390 and ∼960 μatm} and temperature (−1.8 and 2.5 °C for 14 days. Synergism between temperature and pCO2 was detected in growth rate and acyl lipid fatty acid content. Carbon enrichment only promoted (3% growth rate closer to the optimal growth, but not at the control temperature (−1.8 °C. Optimal growth rate was observed around 5 °C in a separate experiment. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA comprised up to 98% of the total acyl lipid fatty acid pool at −1.8 °C. However, the total content of fatty acids was reduced by 39% at elevated pCO2, but only at the control temperature. PUFAs were reduced by 30% at high pCO2. Effects of carbon enrichment may be different depending on ocean warming scenario or season, e.g. reduced food quality for higher trophic levels during spring. Synergy between temperature and pCO2 may be particularly important in polar areas since a narrow thermal window generally limits cold-water organisms.

  10. Antarctic Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance Estimates from 2003 TO 2015 Using Icesat and CRYOSAT-2 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Huan; Hai, Gang; Chen, Lei; Liu, Shijie; Liu, Jun; Tong, Xiaohua; Li, Rongxing

    2016-06-01

    An assessment of Antarctic ice sheet surface mass balance from 2003 to 2015 has been carried out using a combination of ICESat data from 2003 to 2009 and CryoSat-2 data from 2010 to 2015. Both data sets are of L2 and are currently processed separately using different models. First, a repeat-track processing method that includes terms accounting for the trend and the first order fit of topography is applied to repeat-track measurements of all ICESat Campaigns. It uses the Least Squares fitting of the model to all observations in a box of 500 m x 500 m. The estimated trends in these boxes are then averaged inside a 30 km x 30 km cell. Similarly, the cells are used to estimate basin and ice sheet level surface elevation change trends. Mass balance calculating is performed at the cell level by multiplying the ice density by the volume change and then extended to the basin and the ice sheet level. Second, in CryoSat-2 data processing we applied a model within a cell of 5 km x 5 km considering that CryoSat-2 does not maintain repeated tracks. In this model the elevation trend, and a higher order topography are solved in an iterative way using the least squares technique. The mass change is computed at the cell level in the same way as the ICESat data. GIA correction is applied for both ICESat and CryoSat-2 estimates. Detailed information about the data processing, elevation and mass balance changes, and comparison with other studies will be introduced.

  11. North Atlantic Deep Water Formation: Information from Ice Cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeschger, H.

    1984-01-01

    The main results of measurements of the CO2 concentration of air occluded in natural ice during periods of climatic change are presented, as well as other measured ice core parameters. Elements of an interpretation of the data in terms of mechanisms of changing environmental systems are briefly discussed.

  12. Oxygen supersaturation in ice-covered Antarctic lakes - Biological versus physical contributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, H.; Wharton, R. A., Jr.; Mckay, C. P.

    1992-01-01

    Lake Hoare is one of a number of ice-covered polar lakes in the Dry Valley Region of southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Analysis of N2, O2, and Ar in bubbles from this lake's ice indicates that while O2 is about 2.4 times supersaturated in the water below the ice, only 11 percent of the O2 input to this lake is due to biological activity and the balance is derived from meltwater inflow. In Lake Hoare, as much as 70 percent of total gas loss may occur by advection through the ice cover; the remaining gas fractions are removed by respiration at the lower boundary in the case of O2, and by molecular exchange with the atmosphere in the peripheral summer moat around the ice.

  13. GLIMMER Antarctic Ice Sheet Model,an experimental research of moving boundary condition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tang Xueyuan; Sun Bo; Zhang Zhanhai; Li Yuansheng; Yang Qinghua

    2008-01-01

    A 3 D coupled ice sheet model,GLIMMER model is introduced,and an idealized ice sheet experiment under the EISMINT 1 criterion of moving boundary condition is presented.The results of the experiment reveal that for a steady state ice sheet profile the characteristic curves describe the process of evolution which are accordant with theoretical estimates.By solving the coupled thermodynamics equations of ice sheet,one may find the characteristic curves which derived from the conservation of the mass,energy and momentum to the ice flow profile.At the same time,an agreement,approximate to the GLIMMER case and the confirmed theoretical results,is found.Present study is explorihg work to introduceand discuss the handicaps of EISMINT criterion and GLIMMER,and prospect a few directions of the GLIMMER model.

  14. Characteristics of change of the SST in the tropical western Pacific and the tropical Indian Ocean and its response to the change of the Antarctic ice area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    In this paper, by using ocean surface temperature data (COADS), the study is made of the characteristics of the monthly and annual changes of the SST in the tropical western Pacific and Indian Oceans, which have important influences on the climate change of the whole globe and the relation between ENSO(E1 Nino-Southern Oscillation) and the Antarctic ice area is also discussed. The result indicates that in the tropical western Pacific and the Indian Oceans the change of Sea Surface Temperture (SST) is conspicuous both monthly and armaully, and shows different change tendency between them. This result may be due to different relation in the vibration period of SST between the two Oceans. The better corresponding relationship is obvious in the annual change of SST in the tropical Indian Ocean with the occurrence El Nino and LaNlra. The change of the SST in the tropical western Pacific and the tropical Indian Oceans has a close relation to the Antarctic ice area, especially to the ice areas in the eastern-south Pole and Ross Sea, and its notable correlative relationship appears in 16 months when the SST of the tropical western Pacific and the Indian Oceans lag back the Antarctic ice area.

  15. Relationship between Antarctic sea ice and the climate in summer of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ma Lijuan; Lu Longhua; Bian Lingen

    2006-01-01

    The variations of sea ice are different in different regions in Antarctica,thus have different impacts on local atmospheric circulation and global climatic system. The relationships between the sea ice in Ross Sea and Weddell Sea regions and the synoptic climate in summer of China are investigated in this paper via diagnostic analysis methods by using global sea ice concentration gridded data covering Jan. 1968through Dec. 2002 obtained from Hadley Center, combined with Geopotential Height on 500hPa and 100hPa over North Hemisphere and monthly precipitation and air temperatures data covering the corresponding period over 160 meteorological stations in China obtained from CMA (China Meteorological Administration). Results disclose that both these two regions are of indicative meanings to the climate in summer of China. The Ross Sea Region is the key sea ice region to the precipitation in Northeast China in summer. More sea ice in this region in September will result in less precipitation in Northeast China in the following June. Weddell Sea Region is the key sea ice region to the air temperature in Northeast China in summer. More sea ice in this region in September will contribute to lower air temperature in Northeast China in the following June.

  16. Testing models of ice cap extent, South Georgia, sub-Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, N. L. M.; Bentley, M. J.; Spada, G.; Evans, D. J. A.; Hansom, J. D.; Brader, M. D.; White, D. A.; Zander, A.; Berg, S.

    2016-12-01

    The extent of Last Glacial Maximum ice in South Georgia is contested, with two alternative hypotheses: an extensive (maximum) model of ice reaching the edge of the continental shelf, or a restricted (minimum) model with ice constrained within the inner fjords. We present a new relative sea-level dataset for South Georgia, summarising published and new geomorphological evidence for the marine limit and elevations of former sea levels on the island. Using a glacial isostatic adjustment model (ALMA) specifically suited to regional modelling and working at high spatial resolutions, combined with a series of simulated ice-load histories, we use the relative sea-level data to test between the restricted and extensive ice extent scenarios. The model results suggest that there was most likely an extensive Last Glacial Maximum glaciation of South Georgia, implying that the island was covered by thick (>1000 m) ice, probably to the edge of the continental shelf, with deglaciation occurring relatively early (ca. 15 ka BP, though independent data suggest this may have been as early as 18 ka). The presence of an extensive ice cap extending to the shelf edge would imply that if there were any biological refugia around South Georgia, they must have been relatively localised and restricted to the outermost shelf.

  17. A previously unreported type of seismic source in the firn layer of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, Amanda C.; Barcheck, C. Grace; Wiens, Douglas A.; Nyblade, Andrew; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar

    2015-11-01

    We identify a unique type of seismic source in the uppermost part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet recorded by temporary broadband seismic arrays in East Antarctica. These sources, termed "firnquakes," are characterized by dispersed surface wave trains with frequencies of 1-10 Hz detectable at distances up to 1000 km. Events show strong dispersed Rayleigh wave trains and an absence of observable body wave arrivals; most events also show weaker Love waves. Initial events were discovered by standard detection schemes; additional events were then detected with a correlation scanner using the initial arrivals as templates. We locate sources by determining the L2 misfit for a grid of potential source locations using Rayleigh wave arrival times and polarization directions. We then perform a multiple-filter analysis to calculate the Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion and invert the group velocity for shear velocity structure. The resulting velocity structure is used as an input model to calculate synthetic seismograms. Inverting the dispersion curves yields ice velocity structures consistent with a low-velocity firn layer ~100 m thick and show that velocity structure is laterally variable. The absence of observable body wave phases and the relative amplitudes of Rayleigh waves and noise constrain the source depth to be less than 20 m. The presence of Love waves for most events suggests the source is not isotropic. We propose the events are linked to the formation of small crevasses in the firn, and several events correlate with shallow crevasse fields mapped in satellite imagery.

  18. The Design and Performance of IceCube DeepCore

    CERN Document Server

    ,

    2011-01-01

    The IceCube neutrino observatory in operation at the South Pole, Antarctica, comprises three distinct components: a large buried array for ultrahigh energy neutrino detection, a surface air shower array, and a new buried component called DeepCore. DeepCore was designed to lower the IceCube neutrino energy threshold by over an order of magnitude, to energies as low as about 10 GeV. DeepCore is situated primarily 2100 m below the surface of the icecap at the South Pole, at the bottom center of the existing IceCube array, and began taking physics data in May 2010. Its location takes advantage of the exceptionally clear ice at those depths and allows it to use the surrounding IceCube detector as a highly efficient active veto against the principal background of downward-going muons produced in cosmic-ray air showers. DeepCore has a module density roughly five times higher than that of the standard IceCube array, and uses photomultiplier tubes with a new photocathode featuring a quantum efficiency about 35% higher...

  19. Downslope föhn winds over the Antarctic Peninsula and their effect on the Larsen ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosvenor, D. P.; King, J. C.; Choularton, T. W.; Lachlan-Cope, T.

    2014-09-01

    Mesoscale model simulations are presented of a westerly föhn event over the Antarctic Peninsula mountain ridge and onto the Larsen C ice shelf, just south of the recently collapsed Larsen B ice shelf. Aircraft observations showed the presence of föhn jets descending near the ice shelf surface with maximum wind speeds at 250-350 m in height. Surface flux measurements suggested that melting was occurring. Simulated profiles of wind speed, temperature and wind direction were very similar to the observations. However, the good match only occurred at a model time corresponding to ~9 h before the aircraft observations were made since the model föhn jets died down after this. This was despite the fact that the model was nudged towards analysis for heights greater than ~1.15 km above the surface. Timing issues aside, the otherwise good comparison between the model and observations gave confidence that the model flow structure was similar to that in reality. Details of the model jet structure are explored and discussed and are found to have ramifications for the placement of automatic weather station (AWS) stations on the ice shelf in order to detect föhn flow. Cross sections of the flow are also examined and were found to compare well to the aircraft measurements. Gravity wave breaking above the mountain crest likely created a~situation similar to hydraulic flow and allowed föhn flow and ice shelf surface warming to occur despite strong upwind blocking, which in previous studies of this region has generally not been considered. Our results therefore suggest that reduced upwind blocking, due to wind speed increases or stability decreases, might not result in an increased likelihood of föhn events over the Antarctic Peninsula, as previously suggested. The surface energy budget of the model during the melting periods showed that the net downwelling short-wave surface flux was the largest contributor to the melting energy, indicating that the cloud clearing effect of f

  20. Testing models of ice cap extents, South Georgia, sub-Antarctic

    OpenAIRE

    N. L. M. Barlow; Bentley, M.J.; G. Spada; Evans, D.J.A.; Hansom, J.D.; Brader, M.D.; White, D. A.; Zander, A; Berg, S.

    2016-01-01

    The extent of Last Glacial Maximum ice in South Georgia is\\ud contested, with two alternative hypotheses: an extensive (maximum) model ofice reaching the edge of the continental shelf, or a restricted(minimum) model with ice constrained within the inner fjords. We present new relative sea-level dataset for South Georgia, summarising published\\ud and new geomorphological evidence for the marine limit and elevations offormer sea levels on the island. Using a glacial isostatic adjustmentmodel (A...

  1. Identifying the AD 1257 Salamas volcanic event from micron-size tephra composition in two East Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petit, Jean Robert; Narcisi, Biancamaria; Batanova, Valentina G.; Joël, Savarino; Komorowski, Jean Christophe; Michel, Agnes; Metrich, Nicole; Besson, Pascale; Vidal, Celine; Sobolev, Alexander V.

    2016-04-01

    A wealth of valuable data about the history of explosive volcanic history can be extracted from polar ice successions. Both the volatile by-products and the solid silicate (tephra) components of volcanic plumes can be incorporated into snow layers, providing tools for chronostratigraphic correlations and for interpretation of climate-volcanism interactions. Volcanic events from low-latitude regions are of particular interest as the related sulphate aerosol travelling through the stratosphere can reach the polar sheets forming inter-hemispheric (Greenland and Antarctica) signals preserved in the ice. Within the glaciological record of globally significant volcanic markers, the AD1259 signal represents one of most prominent events over the last thousands years. Its source has been long debated. On the basis of recent field investigations (Lavigne et al., 2013; Vidal et al., 2015), it has been proposed that Mount Samalas on Lombok Island (Indonesia) represents the source responsible for the polar event. With the goal of bringing distal tephrochronological evidence to source identification, we have attempted to identify volcanic ash associated to the AD 1259 sulphate pulse. To this purpose we used firn and ice-core samples from two East Antarctic Plateau sites: Concordia-Dome C (75°06' S, 123°20' E, 3233 m) and Talos Dome (72°49'S, 159°11'E, 2315 m). Our high-resolution studies included sample processing in a Class 100 clean room using established ultra-clean procedures for insoluble microparticle analyses, Coulter counter grain size measurements, scanning electron microscope observations and the geochemical (major elements) composition from the recently set ISTERRE Jeol JXA 8230 Superprobe and calibrated for small particles analysis. Despite the difficulty of studying such minute fragments, within both cores we located and characterised multiple tiny (micron-size) glass shards concomitant with the volcanic peak. We present preliminary results alongside comparison

  2. Ancient biomolecules from deep ice cores reveal a forested southern Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willerslev, Eske; Cappellini, Enrico; Boomsma, Wouter; Nielsen, Rasmus; Hebsgaard, Martin B; Brand, Tina B; Hofreiter, Michael; Bunce, Michael; Poinar, Hendrik N; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Johnsen, Sigfus; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Bennike, Ole; Schwenninger, Jean-Luc; Nathan, Roger; Armitage, Simon; de Hoog, Cees-Jan; Alfimov, Vasily; Christl, Marcus; Beer, Juerg; Muscheler, Raimund; Barker, Joel; Sharp, Martin; Penkman, Kirsty E H; Haile, James; Taberlet, Pierre; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Casoli, Antonella; Campani, Elisa; Collins, Matthew J

    2007-07-06

    It is difficult to obtain fossil data from the 10% of Earth's terrestrial surface that is covered by thick glaciers and ice sheets, and hence, knowledge of the paleoenvironments of these regions has remained limited. We show that DNA and amino acids from buried organisms can be recovered from the basal sections of deep ice cores, enabling reconstructions of past flora and fauna. We show that high-altitude southern Greenland, currently lying below more than 2 kilometers of ice, was inhabited by a diverse array of conifer trees and insects within the past million years. The results provide direct evidence in support of a forested southern Greenland and suggest that many deep ice cores may contain genetic records of paleoenvironments in their basal sections.

  3. Comparison of Surface Elevation Changes of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from Radar and Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Barbieri, Kristine; DiMarzio, John P.; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2012-01-01

    A primary purpose of satellite altimeter measurements is determination of the mass balances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and changes with time by measurement of changes in the surface elevations. Since the early 1990's, important measurements for this purpose have been made by radar altimeters on ERS-l and 2, Envisat, and CryoSat and a laser altimeter on ICESat. One principal factor limiting direct comparisons between radar and laser measurements is the variable penetration depth of the radar signal and the corresponding location of the effective depth of the radar-measured elevat