1Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
2Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
3Centre for Ice and Climate, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
4Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania, Australia
Abstract. Antarctic ice cores provide clear evidence of a close coupling between variations in Antarctic temperature and the atmospheric concentration of CO2 during the glacial/interglacial cycles of at least the past 800-thousand years. Precise information on the relative timing of the temperature and CO2 changes can assist in refining our understanding of the physical processes involved in this coupling. Here, we focus on the last deglaciation, 19 000 to 11 000 yr before present, during which CO2 concentrations increased by ~80 parts per million by volume and Antarctic temperature increased by ~10 °C. Utilising a recently developed proxy for regional Antarctic temperature, derived from five near-coastal ice cores and two ice core CO2 records with high dating precision, we show that the increase in CO2 likely lagged the increase in regional Antarctic temperature by less than 400 yr and that even a short lead of CO2 over temperature cannot be excluded. This result, consistent for both CO2 records, implies a faster coupling between temperature and CO2 than previous estimates, which had permitted up to millennial-scale lags.