Ice Cores and Climate Change

The Medieval Warm Period MWP until about CE displays generally moist and warm climate conditions with minor fluctuations [stability], likely in response to variations in summer monsoon intensity. The three-partite period of the Little Ice Age LIA , shows hydrologically unstable conditions between and CE with remarkably colder periods, assigned to a prolonged seasonal ice cover. The strengthened solar activity could be significantly amplified by the variations in ultraviolet radiation as well as clouds e. The model computes a new Dalton-type sunspot minimum from approximately to and a new Dalton-type period TSI minimum from approximately to Periods with many sunspots are associated with high solar activity and warm climate periods. The conclusion is that the activity level of the Modern Maximum — is a relatively rare event, with the previous similarly high levels of solar activity observed 4 and 8 millennia ago Usoskin et al. Nineteen grand maxima have been identified by Usoskin et al. An adjustment-free reconstruction of the solar activity over the last three millennia confirms four grand minima since the year The Maunder and the Dalton minima are associated with less solar activity and colder climate periods.

Ice cores yield history of volcanic eruptions, climate effects

Global effects[ edit ] Temperature variations during the Holocene from a collection of different reconstructions and their average. The most recent period is on the right, but the recent warming is not shown on the graph. At 16 sites, where quantitative estimates have been obtained, local HTM temperatures were on average 1. Northwestern North America had peak warmth first, from 11, to 9, years ago, and the Laurentide ice sheet still chilled the continent.

Osterberg even thinks ice cores will help figure out whether Antarctica’s western ice sheet melted , years ago, the last time Earth’s climate warmed to the temperatures the planet is predicted to reach in the next two centuries.

Climate at the core: Amy Dusto Like a prehistoric fly trapped in amber during dinosaurs’ days, airborne relics of Earth’s earlier climate—including dust, air bubbles, sea salts, volcanic ash, and soot from forest fires—can end up trapped in glacial ice for eons. To climate scientists, those relics tell a story about how our planet’s climate and atmosphere have changed over thousands of years. The embedded pebbles and dingy ice tell researchers that this portion of the ice core is from the bottom of the glacier, right above bedrock.

This chunk comes from the first ice core drilled at Mt. Hunter, Alaska; the core’s total length was feet.

High Arctic Holocene temperature record from the Agassiz ice cap and Greenland ice sheet evolution

Location map and Agassiz proxy temperature records: A Map showing the study area with the names and locations of ice core borehole sites mentioned in the text. Each record is referenced to its preindustrial temperature value at CE. The two time series were remarkably similar, leading the authors to adopt a spatially homogeneous change in air temperature across the region spanned by these two ice caps. These so-called thinning curves provide a valuable constraint on model reconstructions of the Greenland ice sheet 5.

Comment on ‘‘A synchronized dating of three Greenland ice cores throughout the Holocene’’ by B. M. Vinther et al.: No Minoan tephra in the B.C. layer of the GRIP ice core.

Holocene refers namely to the present since the end of the Weichsel glaciation. The interglacial Holocene has supported the development and growth of human civilizations, it has been the cradle of civilization, not to say their uterus. It started around 11, years before present with a sudden warming from the cold period called Younger Dryas. In only ten years time the temperature in Greenland rose with an impressive 8 degrees, which corresponds to that North Europe’s climate was replaced with a Mediterranean climate.

It is not known, what caused this rapid rise in temperature. Cenozoic is the period of the mammals, which followed the Mesozoic that was the period of dinosaurs. Tertiary is that part of Cenozoic, where no humans existed , and Quaternary means the part of Cenozoic, where humans exist. Quaternary is composed of Pleistocene and Holocene. Pleistocene is the period that we in common language call the Ice Age. Holocene represents the present, which basically is a Pleistocene interglacial period.

History of Earth’s Climate 7. – Cenozoic IV – Holocene

Previous Next Measurements with modern instruments the instrumental record are available only for roughly the past century. This is insufficient to describe the full natural variability of the climate system, which makes attribution of observed changes difficult. We want to know if the changes observed in the recent past are unusual compared to pre-industrial climate variability.

If they are it is more likely that they are anthropogenic , if not they could well be natural.

But even during the last glacial there are clear anti-correlations between the three ice cores, even between the two Greenland ice cores on a scale of thousands of years. Therefore his failure to show a comparison of GISP2 and Vostok over the period of the Holocene with sufficient resolution is .

Radionuclide records used for this study. All records are mean normalized divided For the Holocene there are several radionuclide records with high temporal resolution: The high similarity between the two different radionuclides 14C and 10Be and the fact that the well known grand solar minima such as the Maunder and the Dalton minima are well represented in the radionuclide records Fig.

However, closer inspection reveals that often, the shapes during these periods differ slightly in their details. Because the cosmic ray induced production changes are almost identical for 10Be and 14C, the differences observed in radionuclide records stored in geological archives are the result of so-called system effects. A prominent system effect, for example, is the variation of the snow accumulation rate, which directly affects the 10Be concentration stored in the ice.

To some extent system effects can be corrected. For example, snow accumulation effects can be partly removed by calculating 10Be fluxes concentration times snow accumulation rate. However, due to the combination of both wet and dry deposition on the total aerosol deposition, neither concentration nor fluxes are truly independent of accumulation rate 6. The determination of the snow accumulation rate of an ice core is not trivial and is associated with additional uncertainties.

For the sake of simplicity we use the concentrations below.

a) Methods

For a—e, the dashed red curve is the calcium carbonate content at the respective sub cores of BC after It was necessary to switch to the more sensitive Finnigan for the stable isotope analyses in the LIA samples where the benthic foram abundance was minimal because of higher clay and silt fluxes. Isotopic results show good agreement between the two instruments see Fig. If these data accurately reflect bottom water nutrient levels, then during the LIA NADW was nearly completely replaced by nutrient-rich circumpolar water in the deep western North Atlantic.

This increase is driven by samples in only the upper 2 cm of the cores, and is markedly less than what would be expected from a 0. The two tracers cannot both be reflecting deep ocean nutrient levels accurately.

The warmer early Holocene inferred from the Agassiz ice core leads to an estimated ∼1 km of ice thinning in northwest Greenland during the early Holocene using the Camp Century ice core. Ice modeling results show that this large thinning is consistent with our air temperature reconstruction.

But the planet bears the scars of only a few hundred of these impacts because of weathering processes like erosion. Through analysis of crater size and sediments from the crater, they estimate that the asteroid that slammed into Earth was more than a kilometer in diameter, composed mainly of iron. This discovery suggests that Earth may harbor more signs of its tumultuous history beneath its glaciers and ice sheets.

They were using archival measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet to study its ice flows and underlying bedrock. But when a group of Danish researchers noticed a circular depression in the bedrock at the northwest edge of the ice sheet, under Hiawatha Glacier, their curiosity was piqued. The hunt was on. The data clearly revealed a circular depression roughly 31 kilometers in diameter with an elevated rim and an uplifted area near its center.

By May , the researchers had secured support from a private foundation to fund a series of flights over the mysterious depression in Hiawatha Glacier. Flying at an altitude of just meters in a converted DC-3 plane, the researchers used ice-penetrating radar to accurately map the layers of ice and rock beneath Hiawatha Glacier. The data clearly revealed a circular depression roughly 31 kilometers in diameter with an elevated rim and an uplifted area near its center, geometry characteristic of an impact crater.

Shocked Grains and Gold To better constrain whether this depression was truly caused by an asteroid impact, Fahnestock and his colleagues collected sandy sediments that had drained out from underneath Hiawatha Glacier.

Detecting Holocene changes in thermohaline circulation

Under a Creative Commons license open access Abstract Due to their outstanding resolution and well-constrained chronologies, Greenland ice-core records provide a master record of past climatic changes throughout the Last Interglacial—Glacial cycle in the North Atlantic region. A key element of these protocols has been the formal definition and ordinal numbering of the sequence of Greenland Stadials GS and Greenland Interstadials GI within the most recent glacial period. The GS and GI periods are the Greenland expressions of the characteristic Dansgaard—Oeschger events that represent cold and warm phases of the North Atlantic region, respectively.

The data not only resolve the well-known sequence of Dansgaard—Oeschger events that were first defined and numbered in the ice-core records more than two decades ago, but also better resolve a number of short-lived climatic oscillations, some defined here for the first time. Using this revised scheme, we propose a consistent approach for discriminating and naming all the significant abrupt climatic events of the Last Glacial period that are represented in the Greenland ice records.

The final product constitutes an extended and better resolved Greenland stratotype sequence, against which other proxy records can be compared and correlated.

sediments for the Middle to Late Holocene (9), to date, only one ice throughout the LIG (29), the ice core evidence indicates that sheet models to sustain the requisite volume of ice on Greenland during the LIG, they must be forced by temperature anoma-.

The process of obtaining a clean ice core is arduous but rewarding! Courtesy of NASA, http: Ice cores can come from any place with glaciers, like Peru, Bolivia, or the Himalayas, but the majority of ice cores come from Greenland or Antarctica because those are the spots with the largest ice and the least human disruption Readinger. Cores from Greenland can date back up to , years while cores from Antarctica can extend to , years! Ice Core Extraction Process When snow falls, it builds up on the ground.

Over time, the snow compresses as more and more snow piles on top of the old snow. The compressed snow turns into ice. Yearly cycles of snow and ice layer on top of each other to form visible bands. Eventually, a team of scientists visits the location where they will extract the ice core. A driller uses a specific type of drill to cut into the ice and removes a long chunk Alley The ice is cut into sections inches in diameter and 1 meter in length, so that it can be more easily analyzed and stored Readinger.

Wild Ice-Core Interpretations by Uniformitarian Scientists

Advanced Search Abstract Oscillations in the time series of insoluble microparticle characteristics between 0. Elevated values in microparticle number and mass, especially during the Younger Dryas, are related to Northern Hemisphere aridity and the subsequent increase in dust available for long-range transport to Greenland. This scenario occurs with the colder climatic conditions that result from a more expanded spatially and temporally polar vortex.

Peaks in mean grain size based on number mean number diameter are a proxy for increased strength in zonal winds westerlies. Highs in mean number diameter in the earlier part of the record often coincide with number and mass peaks reflecting the increased temperature and pressure gradients with an expanded polar vortex.

Figure I2 Index map showing the locations of ice cores from Greenland that are listed in Table I1. Figure I3 Ice core protruding from the drill head from EPICA Dome C, Antarctica (photo courtesy of Eric LeFe`bre, LGGE, Grenoble).

Their data indicated that after the termination of the glacial period, temperatures steadily rose to a maximum of 2. After the Little Ice Age, they report that temperatures once again rose, but that they had “decreased during the last decades,” thereby indicating that the MWP in this part of the Arctic was significantly warmer than it was just before the turn of the century.

Wagner and Melles also worked on Greenland, where they extracted a 3. Key to the study were biogeochemical data, which, in the words of the two researchers, reflect “variations in seabird breeding colonies in the catchment which influence nutrient and cadmium supply to the lake. And after that “medieval warm period,” their data suggested another absence of birds during what they called “a subsequent Little Ice Age,” which they said was “the coldest period since the early Holocene in East Greenland.

However, values of the most recent measurements of seabird numbers were not as great as those inferred for the earlier Medieval Warm Period, which result indicates that higher temperatures prevailed during much of the period from to years BP than those that had been observed over the most recent hundred years. A third Greenland study was conducted by Kaplan et al. This work revealed that the interval from to years BP was marked by warmth and stability, but that the climate cooled thereafter until its culmination in the Little Ice Age.

Climate Science Glossary

Here, we investigate the regional footprints of the North Atlantic weather regimes on Greenland isotope and climate variability, using a compilation of 22 different shallow ice-cores and the atmospheric pressure conditions from the twentieth century reanalysis 20CR. Likewise, the Scandinavian blocking and the Atlantic ridge also show remarkable imprints on isotopic composition over the region. To assess the robustness and model dependency of our findings, a second isotope simulation from the isotopic model is also explored.

Figure 1). From the ice cores, many variables, such as oxygen isotopes, physical stratigraphy, and various ions, during the ice age and the Holocene part after the ice age.3 The S04 2-‘ ion, from the GISP2 Greenland ice core and implications for the volcano-climate system. Science,

The Earth’s Climatic History on Ice Paleoclimatologists are concerned with the cycle of glacials and interglacials that have occurred throughout Earth’s history. The variety of factors contributing to the climatic system results in complexities that are difficult to unravel. Ice core geochemistry has been instrumental in the quest for an understanding of Earth’s climatic past.

Researcher Mary Davis examines a thick layer of dust inside an ice core taken from Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. The dust layer signifies a major drought event that struck the region in the past. Thompson, Ohio State University. Ice core analysis is a fairly new science; the first deep cores were drilled in the s. However, it has already yielded a wealth of information.

Scientists turned to ice cores in earnest in the early s, primarily to determine the effect of anthropological activities on the Earth. Although not reaching back deep into geologic time, ice cores do represent times long before humans began to influence the environment, and are therefore very valuable. Scientists can gather from their constituents a record of temperature, precipitation, atmospheric composition, volcanic eruption, solar variability, sea-surface productivity.

Ice core records are most applicable to the study of greenhouse gas concentrations. They are in fact the most detailed record available.

9,400 years of cosmic radiation and solar activity from ice cores and tree rings

Paleoclimate Overview SUMMARY The task of understanding climate change and predicting future change would be complex enough if only natural forcing mechanisms were involved. It is significantly more daunting because of the introduction of anthropogenic forcing and even more so considering the limitations in available records. In effect, the paleoclimate record provides a series of cases and lessons upon which our understanding of climate change can be constructed and tested.

The paleo perspective has provided some significant surprises concerning climate change, changes in atmospheric chemistry, and the response of natural systems to climate change. Perhaps most surprising is the demonstration that these rapid climate change events turn on and off in decades or less and may last centuries to millennia.

The Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) was a warm period during roughly the interval 9, to 5, years has also been known by many other names, such as Altithermal, Climatic Optimum, Holocene Megathermal, Holocene Optimum, Holocene Thermal Maximum, Hypsithermal, and Mid-Holocene Warm Period.. This warm period was followed by a gradual decline until about two .

Evidence[ edit ] The best evidence for Dansgaard—Oeschger events remains in the Greenland ice cores , which only go back to the end of the last interglacial, the Eemian interglacial. Ice core evidence from Antarctic cores suggests that the Dansgaard—Oeschger events are related to the so-called Antarctic Isotope Maxima by means of a coupling of the climate of the two hemispheres, the Bi-polar Seesaw.

Unfortunately, current ice core records from Greenland extend only through the last most recent glacial period so direct evidence of D-O events in earlier glacial periods from Greenland ice is unavailable. However, work by Stephen Barker and colleagues has shown that the existing Greenland record can be reconstructed by deriving the Antarctic ice core record. This allows for the reconstruction of an older Greenland record through the derivation of the nearly million-year-long Antarctic ice core record.

Heinrich events only occur in the cold spells immediately preceding D-O warmings, leading some to suggest that D-O cycles may cause the events, or at least constrain their timing. The pattern in the Southern Hemisphere is different, with slow warming and much smaller temperature fluctuations. More recently, these events have been attributed to changes in the size of the ice sheets [6] and atmospheric carbon dioxide [7]. The former determines the strength of the Atlantic Ocean circulation via altering the northern hemisphere westerly winds, gulf stream, and sea-ice systems.

The latter modulates atmospheric inter-basin freshwater transport across Central America, which changes the freshwater budget in the North Atlantic and thus the circulation. They further suggest the existence of a window of AMOC bistability ‘sweet spot’ for abrupt climate changes associated with ice volume and atmospheric CO2, accounting for the occurrences of D-O type events under intermediate glacial conditions in the late Pleistocene.

Timing[ edit ] Although the effects of the Dansgaard—Oeschger events are largely constrained to ice cores taken from Greenland, [8] there is evidence to suggest that D-O events have been globally synchronous. This was proposed by Schulz [11] to be a regular periodicity of years. This may be because the first 50 kyr of the GISP2 core are most accurately dated, by layer counting.

Will Climate Change Affect the Greenland Ice Sheet?