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GISP2 Oxygen Isotope Ratios

  • Minze Stuiver (a1) and Pieter M. Grootes (a1)


The GISP2 oxygen isotope record, with its high-resolution detail, yields crucial information on past climate change. The glacial δ18O oscillations of the GISP2 core, with their very fast onsets, are templates of a prototype oscillation of variable duration with an amplitude of 3.9‰. The halfway mark of the cold–warm transition is reached in 2 years; the top is reached in 50 years. The δ18O–time gradient of the leading front is about 7.8‰ per 100 yr. After reaching the top, δ18O slowly declines by −0.14‰ per 100 yr. The duration of δ18O decline varies from a couple of centuries for fast oscillations to about 4000 yr for slower ones. The subsequent δ18O downturn during the warm–cold transition has a δ18O–time gradient of −3.2‰ per 100 yr and lasts about 80 yr.



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Alley, R.B, Shuman, C.A, Meese, D.A, Gow, A.J, Taylor, K.C, Cuffey, K.M, Fitzpatrick, J.J, Grootes, P.M, Zielinski, G.A, Ram, M, Spinelli, G, Elder, B, (1997). Visual-stratigraphic dating of the GISP2 ice core: Basis, reproducibility, and application. Journal of Geophysical Research 102, 26,36726,381.
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Taylor, K.C, Lamorey, G.W, Doyle, G.A, Alley, R.B, Grootes, P.M, Mayewski, P.A, White, J.W.C, Barlow, L.K, (1993). The “flickering switch” of late Pleistocene climatic change. Nature 361, 432436.

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GISP2 Oxygen Isotope Ratios

  • Minze Stuiver (a1) and Pieter M. Grootes (a1)


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