Skip to main content

Holocene Climate Variability in Antarctica Based on 11 Ice-Core Isotopic Records

  • Valérie Masson (a1), Françoise Vimeux (a1), Jean Jouzel (a1), Vin Morgan (a2), Marc Delmotte (a1), Philippe Ciais (a1), Claus Hammer (a3), Sigfus Johnsen (a3), Vladimir Ya. Lipenkov (a4), E. Mosley-Thompson (a5), Jean-Robert Petit (a6), Eric J. Steig (a7), Michel Stievenard (a1) and Rein Vaikmae (a8)...

A comparison is made of the Holocene records obtained from water isotope measurements along 11 ice cores from coastal and central sites in east Antarctica (Vostok, Dome B, Plateau Remote, Komsomolskaia, Dome C, Taylor Dome, Dominion Range, D47, KM105, and Law Dome) and west Antarctica (Byrd), with temporal resolution from 20 to 50 yr. The long-term trends possibly reflect local ice sheet elevation fluctuations superimposed on common climatic fluctuations. All the records confirm the widespread Antarctic early Holocene optimum between 11,500 and 9000 yr; in the Ross Sea sector, a secondary optimum is identified between 7000 and 5000 yr, whereas all eastern Antarctic sites show a late optimum between 6000 and 3000 yr. Superimposed on the long time trend, all the records exhibit 9 aperiodic millennial-scale oscillations. Climatic optima show a reduced pacing between warm events (typically 800 yr), whereas cooler periods are associated with less-frequent warm events (pacing >1200 yr).

Hide All
Barber D.C., Dyke A., Hillaire-Marcel C., Jennings A.E., Andrews J.T., Kerwin M.W., Bilodeau G., McNeely R., Southon J., Morehead M.D., Gagnon J.-M. (1999). Forcing of the cold event 8200 years ago by catastrophic drainage of Laurentide lakes. Nature, 400, 344348.
Baroni C., Orombelli G. (1994). Abandoned penguin rookeries as Holocene paleoclimatic indicators in Antarctica. Geology, 22, 2326.
Bianchi G.G., McCave I.N. (1999). Holocene periodicity in North Atlantic climate and deep-ocean flow south of Iceland. Nature, 397, 515517.
Blunier T., Schwander J., Stauffer B., Stocker T., Dällenbach A., Indermühle A., Tschumi T., Chappellaz J., Raynaud D., Barnola J.-M.. Timing of the Antarctic Cold Reversal and the atmospheric CO2 increase with respect to the Younger Dryas event. Geophysical Research Letters, 24, (1997). 26832690.
Bond G., Showers W., Cheseby M., Lotti R., Almasi P., deMenocal P., Priore P., Cullen H., Hajdas I., Bonani G. (1997). A pervasive millennial-scale cycle in North Atlantic Holocene and glacial climates. Science, 278, 12571266.
Bromwich D.H., Chen B., Hines K.M. (1998). Global atmospheric impacts induced by year-round open water adjacent to Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research, 103, 1117311189.
Ciais P., Petit J.-R., Jouzel J., Lorius C., Barkov N.I., Lipenkov V., Nicolaiev V. (1992). Evidence for an early Holocene climatic optimum in the Antarctic deep ice-core record. Climate Dynamics, 6, 169177.
Ciais P., Jouzel J., Petit J.-R., Lipenkov V., White J.W.C. (1994). Holocene temperature variations inferred from six Antarctic cores. Annals of Glaciology, 20, 427436.
Delaygue G., J, Jouzel, Masson V., Koster R. in press. Validity of the isotopic thermometer in central antarctica: Impact of glacial precipitation seasonality and moisture origin. Geophysical Research Letters.
Delmotte M., Raynaud D., Morgan V., Jouzel J. (1999). Climatic and glaciological information inferred from air content-measurements of a Law Dome (East Antarctica) ice core. Journal of Glaciology, 45, 255263.
Delmotte M., Masson V., Morgan V., Jouzel J. (2000). A seasonal deuterium excess signal at Law Dome, coastal eastern Antarctica: A southern ocean signature. Journal of Geophysical Research, 105, 71877197.
Dettinger M.D., Ghil M., Strong C.M., Weibel W., Yiou P. (1995). Software expedites singular-spectrum analyses of noisy time series. Earth and Ocean Sciences Transactions, 76, 12
Domack E., Mayewski P. (1999). A bi-polar signal in late Holocene paleoclimate: Comparison of the marine and ice core records. The Holocene, 9, 247251.
Domack E., Jacobson E., Shipp S., Anderson J. (1999). Late Pleistocene–Holocene retreat of the West Antarctic ice-sheet system in the Ross Sea. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 111, 15171536.
Fisher D.A., Reeh N., Claussen H.B. (1985). Stratigraphic noise in time series derived from ice cores. Annals of Glaciology, 7, 7683.
Gasse F., Van Campo E. (1994). Abrupt post-glacial climate events in West Asia and North Africa monsoon domains. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 126, 435459.
Goodwin I. (1998). Did changes in Antarctic ice volume influence late Holocene sea-level lowering. Quaternary Science Reviews, 17, 319332.
Hackert R. P., Barclay D. J., Borns H. W., Calkin P. E., Kurz M. D., Steig E. J., Fastook J. press. Geologic evidence of higher ice sheet elevations in interior West Antarctica. Geology.
Hammer C.U., Claussen H.B., Langway C.C. Jr. (1994). Electrical conductivity method (ECM) stratigraphic dating of the Byrd station ice core, Antarctica. Annals of Glaciology, 20, 115120.
Huybrechts P. (1992). The Antarctic Ice Sheet and Environmental Change: A Three-Dimensional Modelling Study, Technical report, Alfred-Wegener Institute für Polar- und Meeresforschung.
Jacka T.H., Budd W.F. (1998). Detection of temperature and sea-ice-extent changes in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean. Annals of Glaciology, 27, 553559.
Jenssen D.. Elevation and climatic changes from total gas content and stable isotopic measurements. de Q. Robin G. (1983). The Climatic Record in Polar Ice Sheets. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge., 138144.
Jouzel J. (1999). Calibrating the isotopic paleothermometer. Science, 286, 910911.
Jouzel J., Vaikmae R., Petit J.-R., Martin M., Duclos Y., Stievenard M., Lorius C., Toots M., Melières M.-A., Burckle L.H., Barkov N.I., Kotlyakov V.M. (1995). The two-step shape and timing of the last deglaciation in Antarctica. Climate Dynamics, 11, 151161.
Jouzel J., Alley R.B., Cuffey K.M., Dansgaard W., Grootes P., Hoffmann G., Johnsen S.J., Koster R.D., Shuman C.A., Stievenard M., Stuiver M., White J.W.C. (1997). Validity of the temperature reconstruction from water isotopes in ice cores. Journal of Geophysical Research, 102, 2647126487.
Keys H.J.R., Jacobs S.S., Brigham L.W. (1998). Continued northward expansion of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Annals of Glaciology, 27, 9398.
Lamb H.F., Gasse F., Benjaddour A., Hamouti N.E., van der Kaars S., Perkins W.T., Pearce N.J., Roberts C.N. (1995). Relation between century-scale Holocene arid intervals in tropical and temperate zones. Nature, 373, 134137.
Leventer A., Dunber R.B. (1988). Recent diatom record of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica: Implications for history of sea-ice extent. Paleoceanography, 3, 259274.
Leventer A., Domack E.W., Ishman S.E., Brachfeld S., McClennen C.E., Manley P. (1996). Productivity cycles of 200–300 years in the Antarctic Peninsula region: Understanding linkages among the sun, atmosphere, oceans, sea ice and biota. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 108, 16261644.
Lipenkov V., Ekaykin A.A., Barkov N.I., Pourchet M. (1998). On the relation between surface snow density in Antarctica and wind speed. Data of Glaciological Studies, 85, 148158.
Lorius C., Merlivat L. (1977). Distribution of mean surface stable isotope values in East Antarctica: Observed changes with depth in coastal area. Impurities in Snow and Ice. IAHS Publications, Vienna.p. 127–137
Lorius C., Merlivat L., Jouzel J., Pourchet M. (1979). A 30,000 year isotope climatic record from Antarctic ice. Nature, 280, 644648.
Marchant D.R., Denton G.H., Bockheim J.G., Wilson S.C., Kerr A.R. (1994). Quaternary changes in level of the upper Taylor Glacier, Antarctica: Implications for paleoclimate and East Antarctic ice sheet dynamics. Boreas, 23, 2943.
Martinerie P., Lipenkov V.Y., Raynaud D. (1994). Air content paleo record in the Vostok ice core (Antarctica): A mixed record of climatic and glaciological parameters. Journal of Geophysical Research, 99, 1056510576.
Mayewski P., Lyons W., Zielinski G., Twickler M., Whitlow S., Dibb J., Grootes P., Taylor J., Wung P., Fosberry K., Wake C., Welsh K. (1995). An ice-core-based late Holocene history for the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica. Antarctic Research Series, Contributions to Antarctic Research IV, 67, 3345.
Morgan V.I., Wookey C.W., Li J., Ommen T.D.V., Skinner W., Fitzpatrick M.F. (1997). Site information and initial results from deep ice drilling on Law Dome. Journal of Glaciology, 43, 310.
Mosley-Thompson E. (1995). Holocene Climate Changes Recorded in an East Antarctica Ice Core. Jones P., Bradley R., Jouzel J. Climatic Variations and Forcing Mechanisms of the Last 2,000 Years NATO Advanced Research, Berlin., 263279.
Nikolaiev V.I., Kotlyakov V.M., Smirnov K.E. (1988). Isotopic studies of the ice core from the Komsomolskaia station, Antarctica. Data of Glaciological Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences, 63, 97102.
O'Brien S.R., Mayewski P.A., Meeker L.D., Meese D.A., Twickler M.S., Whitlow S.I. (1995). Complexity of Holocene climate as reconstructed from a Greenland ice core. Science, 270, 19621964.
Petit J.-R., Jouzel J., Raynaud D., Barkov N.I., Barnola J.-M., Basile I., Bender M., Chappellaz J., Davis J., Delaygue G., Delmotte M., Kotlyakov V.M., Legrand M., Lipenkov V., Lorius C., Pépin L., Ritz C., Salzman E., Stievenard M. (1999). Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420 000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature, 399, 429436.
Rott H., Skvarca P., Nagler T. (1996). Rapid collapse of northern Larsen ice shelf, Antarctica. Science, 271, 788792.
Sirocko F. (1996). Past and present subtropical summer monsoons. Science, 274, 937938.
Smith S.R., Stearns C.R. (1993). Antarctic pressure and temperature anomalies surrounding the minimum in the southern oscillation index. Journal of Geophysical Research, 98, 1307113083.
Stager J., Mayewski P. (1997). Abrupt Early to Mid-Holocene climatic transition registered at the equator and the poles. Science, 276, 18341837.
Steig E.J., Brooks E.J., White J.W.C., Sucher C.M., Bender M.L., Lehman S.J., Morse D.L., Waddington E.D., Clow G.D. (1998). Synchronous climate changes in Antarctica and the north Atlantic. Science, 282, 9295.
Steig E.J., Hart C.P., White J.W.C., Cunnigham M.L., Davis M.D., Saltzman E.S. (1998). Changes in climate, ocean and ice-sheet conditions in the Ross embayment, Antarctica, at 6 ka. Annals of Glaciology, 27, 305310.
Steig E.J., Morse D.L., Waddington E.D., Stuiver M., Grootes P.M., Mayewski P.M., Whitlow S.I., Twickler M.S. (2000). Wisconsinan and Holocene climate history from an ice core at Taylor Dome, western Ross Embayment, Antarctica. Geografiska Annaler, 82A, 213235.
Stuiver M., Braziunas T.F. (1993). Sun, ocean, climate and atmospheric 14CO2: An evaluation of causal and spectral relationships. The Holocene, 3, 289305.
Van Ommen T., Morgan V. (1997). Calibrating the ice core paleothermometer using seasonality. Journal of Geophysical Research, 102, 93519356.
Vimeux F.,Masson V., Jouzel J., Petit J.-R, Steig E. J., Stievenard M., Vaikmae R., White J. C. W. in press. Holocene hydrological cycle changes in south hemisphere documented in Antarctic deuterium excess records. Climate Dynamics.
Von Grafenstein U., Erlenkeuser E., Müller J., Jouzel J., Johnsen S. (1998). The cold event 8200 years ago documented in oxygen isotope records of precipitation in Europe and Greenland. Climate Dynamics, 14, 7381.
Yiou P., Fuhrer K., Meeker L.D., Jouzel J., Johnsen S., Mayewski P.A. (1997). Paleoclimatic variability inferred from the spectral analysis of Greenland and Antarctic ice-core data. Journal of Geophysical Research, 102, 2644126454.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 409 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 18th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.