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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 2 | Copyright
Clim. Past, 14, 193-214, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Feb 2018

Research article | 21 Feb 2018

The Ross Sea Dipole – temperature, snow accumulation and sea ice variability in the Ross Sea region, Antarctica, over the past 2700 years

Nancy A. N. Bertler1,2, Howard Conway3, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen4, Daniel B. Emanuelsson1,2, Mai Winstrup4, Paul T. Vallelonga4, James E. Lee5, Ed J. Brook5, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus6, Taylor J. Fudge3, Elizabeth D. Keller2, W. Troy Baisden2,b, Richard C. A. Hindmarsh7, Peter D. Neff1,2,c, Thomas Blunier4, Ross Edwards8,a, Paul A. Mayewski9, Sepp Kipfstuhl10, Christo Buizert5, Silvia Canessa2, Ruzica Dadic1, Helle A. Kjær4, Andrei Kurbatov9, Dongqi Zhang11,12, Edwin D. Waddington3, Giovanni Baccolo13, Thomas Beers9, Hannah J. Brightley1,2, Lionel Carter1, David Clemens-Sewall14, Viorela G. Ciobanu4, Barbara Delmonte13, Lukas Eling1,2, Aja Ellis8,e, Shruthi Ganesh15, Nicholas R. Golledge1,2, Skylar Haines9, Michael Handley9, Robert L. Hawley14, Chad M. Hogan16, Katelyn M. Johnson1,2, Elena Korotkikh9, Daniel P. Lowry1, Darcy Mandeno1, Robert M. McKay1, James A. Menking5, Timothy R. Naish1, Caroline Noerling10, Agathe Ollive17, Anaïs Orsi18, Bernadette C. Proemse16, Alexander R. Pyne1, Rebecca L. Pyne2, James Renwick1, Reed P. Scherer19, Stefanie Semper20, Marius Simonsen4, Sharon B. Sneed9, Eric J. Steig3, Andrea Tuohy1,2,d, Abhijith Ulayottil Venugopal1,2, Fernando Valero-Delgado10, Janani Venkatesh15, Feitang Wang12,21, Shimeng Wang12, Dominic A. Winski14, V. Holly L. Winton8,f, Arran Whiteford22, Cunde Xiao23, Jiao Yang12, and Xin Zhang24 Nancy A. N. Bertler et al.
  • 1Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, 6012, New Zealand
  • 2GNS Science, Lower Hutt, 5010, New Zealand
  • 3Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
  • 4Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 5College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97330, USA
  • 6Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
  • 7British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
  • 8Physics and Astronomy, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • 9Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5790, USA
  • 10Alfred Wegner Institute, Bremen, Germany
  • 11Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 12State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu, China
  • 13DISAT, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 1, 20126 Milano, Italy
  • 14Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, 6105 Fairchild Hall, Hanover, NH 03755, USA
  • 15Department of Chemical Engineering, SRM University, Kattankulathur 603203, Kancheepuram Dt., Tamil Nadu, India
  • 16University of Tasmania, School of Biological Sciences, Hobart, TAS, 7001 Australia
  • 17Specialty of Earth Sciences and Environment, UniLasalle, 19 rue Pierre Waguet, 60000 Beauvais, France
  • 18Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 19Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability & Energy, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
  • 20Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, 5020 Bergen, Norway
  • 21Tianshan Glaciology Station, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu, China
  • 22Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada
  • 23State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
  • 24Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, Gansu, China
  • anow at: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 660 N. Park St., Madison, USA
  • bnow at: Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
  • cnow at: University of Rochester, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
  • dnow at: Tonkin and Taylor, ABS Tower, 2 Hunter St., Wellington, 6011, New Zealand
  • enow at: Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
  • fnow at: British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK

Abstract. High-resolution, well-dated climate archives provide an opportunity to investigate the dynamic interactions of climate patterns relevant for future projections. Here, we present data from a new, annually dated ice core record from the eastern Ross Sea, named the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core. Comparison of this record with climate reanalysis data for the 1979–2012 interval shows that RICE reliably captures temperature and snow precipitation variability in the region. Trends over the past 2700 years in RICE are shown to be distinct from those in West Antarctica and the western Ross Sea captured by other ice cores. For most of this interval, the eastern Ross Sea was warming (or showing isotopic enrichment for other reasons), with increased snow accumulation and perhaps decreased sea ice concentration. However, West Antarctica cooled and the western Ross Sea showed no significant isotope temperature trend. This pattern here is referred to as the Ross Sea Dipole. Notably, during the Little Ice Age, West Antarctica and the western Ross Sea experienced colder than average temperatures, while the eastern Ross Sea underwent a period of warming or increased isotopic enrichment. From the 17th century onwards, this dipole relationship changed. All three regions show current warming, with snow accumulation declining in West Antarctica and the eastern Ross Sea but increasing in the western Ross Sea. We interpret this pattern as reflecting an increase in sea ice in the eastern Ross Sea with perhaps the establishment of a modern Roosevelt Island polynya as a local moisture source for RICE.

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Short summary
Temperature and snow accumulation records from the annually dated Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core show that for the past 2 700 years, the eastern Ross Sea warmed, while the western Ross Sea showed no trend and West Antarctica cooled. From the 17th century onwards, this dipole relationship changed. Now all three regions show concurrent warming, with snow accumulation declining in West Antarctica and the eastern Ross Sea.
Temperature and snow accumulation records from the annually dated Roosevelt Island Climate...