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  • 1
    Call number: AWI G6-18-91956
    Description / Table of Contents: Earth's climate varies continuously across space and time, but humankind has witnessed only a small snapshot of its entire history, and instrumentally documented it for a mere 200 years. Our knowledge of past climate changes is therefore almost exclusively based on indirect proxy data, i.e. on indicators which are sensitive to changes in climatic variables and stored in environmental archives. Extracting the data from these archives allows retrieval of the information from earlier times. Obtaining accurate proxy information is a key means to test model predictions of the past climate, and only after such validation can the models be used to reliably forecast future changes in our warming world. The polar ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are one major climate archive, which record information about local air temperatures by means of the isotopic composition of the water molecules embedded in the ice. However, this temperature proxy is, as any indirect climate data, not a perfect recorder of past climatic variations. Apart from local air temperatures, a multitude of other processes affect the mean and variability of the isotopic data, which hinders their direct interpretation in terms of climate variations. This applies especially to regions with little annual accumulation of snow, such as the Antarctic Plateau. While these areas in principle allow for the extraction of isotope records reaching far back in time, a strong corruption of the temperature signal originally encoded in the isotopic data of the snow is expected. This dissertation uses observational isotope data from Antarctica, focussing especially on the East Antarctic low-accumulation area around the Kohnen Station ice-core drilling site, together with statistical and physical methods, to improve our understanding of the spatial and temporal isotope variability across different scales, and thus to enhance the applicability of the proxy for estimating past temperature variability. The presented results lead to a quantitative explanation of the local-scale (1–500 m) spatial variability in the form of a statistical noise model, and reveal the main source of the temporal variability to be the mixture of a climatic seasonal cycle in temperature and the effect of diffusional smoothing acting on temporally uncorrelated noise. These findings put significant limits on the representativity of single isotope records in terms of local air temperature, and impact the interpretation of apparent cyclicalities in the records. Furthermore, to extend the analyses to larger scales, the timescale-dependency of observed Holocene isotope variability is studied. This offers a deeper understanding of the nature of the variations, and is crucial for unravelling the embedded true temperature variability over a wide range of timescales.
    Type of Medium: Dissertations
    Pages: xxi, 197 Seiten , Illustrationen, Diagramme
    Language: English
    Note: Contents: 1 General introduction. - 1.1 Challenges of isotope-based temperature reconstructions. - 1.2 Thesis overview. - 1.3 Author contributions. - 2 Theoretical background. - 2.1 The isotopic composition of firn and ice. - 2.1.1 Fractionation of water isotopologues. - 2.1.2 Relationship with temperature. - 2.1.3 Measuring of the isotopic composition. - 2.2 Processes within the firn column. - 2.2.1 The firn column of polar ice sheets. - 2.2.2 The density of firn. - 2.2.3 The temperature profile of firn. - 2.2.4 Vapour diffusion in firn. - 2.3 Internal climate variability. - 3 Regional climate signal vs.local noise: a two-dimensional view of water isotopes. - 3.1 Introduction. - 3.2 Data and methods. - 3.3 Results. - 3.3.1 Trench isotope records. - 3.3.2 Single-profile representativity. - 3.3.3 Mean trench profiles. - 3.3.4 Spatial correlation structure. - 3.3.5 Statistical noise model. - 3.4 Discussion. - 3.4.1 Local noise vs. regional climate signal. - 3.4.2 Representativity of isotope signals. - 3.4.3 Implications. - 3.5 Conclusions. - 3.6 Appendix A: Derivation of noise model. - 3.6.1 Definitions. - 3.6.2 Derivation of model correlations. - 3.6.3 Estimation of parameters. - 3.7 Appendix B: Noise level after diffusion. - 4 Constraints on post-depositional isotope modifications in east antarctic firn. - 4.1 Introduction. - 4.2 Data and methods. - 4.2.1 Sampling and measurements. - 4.2.2 Trench depth scale. - 4.2.3 Spatial variability of trench profiles. - 4.2.4 Quantification of downward advection, densification and diffusion. - 4.2.5 Statistical tests. - 4.3 Results. - 4.3.1 Comparison of T15 and T13 isotope data. - 4.3.2 Expected isotope profile changes. - 4.3.3 Temporal vs. spatial variability. - 4.4 Discussion. - 4.4.1 Densification, diffusion and stratigraphic noise. - 4.4.2 Additional post-depositional modifications. - 4.5 Conclusions. - 5 On the similarity and apparent cycles of isotope variations. - 5.1 Introduction. - 5.2 Data and Methods. - 5.2.1 Data. - 5.2.2 Spectral analysis. - 5.2.3 Rice’s formula. - 5.2.4 Cycle length and amplitude estimation. - 5.2.5 Model for vertical isotope profiles. - 5.3 Results. - 5.3.1 Spectral analysis of isotope profiles. - 5.3.2 Theoretical and observed cycle length. - 5.3.3 Illustrative examples. - 5.3.4 Depth dependency of cycle length. - 5.3.5 Simulated vs. observed isotope variations. - 5.4 Discussion and summary. - 5.5 Conclusions. - 5.6 Appendix A: Input sensitivity. - 5.7 Appendix B: Additional results. - 5.8 Appendix C: Spectral significance testing. - 6 Timescale-dependency of antarctic isotope variations. - 6.1 Introduction. - 6.2 Data and methods. - 6.2.1 DML and WAIS isotope records. - 6.2.2 Spectral model. - 6.2.3 Timescale-dependent signal-to-noise ratio. - 6.2.4 Effects of diffusion and time uncertainty. - 6.2.5 Present-day temperature decorrelation. - 6.3 Results. - 6.3.1 Illustration of model approach. - 6.3.2 DML and WAIS isotope variability. - 6.4 Discussion. - 6.4.1 Interpretation of noise spectra. - 6.4.2 Interpretation of signal spectra. - 6.4.3 Signal-to-noise ratios. - 6.4.4 Differences between DML and WAIS. - 6.5 Conclusions. - 7 Declining temperature variability from LGM to holocene. - 8 General discussion and conclusions. - 8.1 Short-scale spatial and temporal isotope variability. - 8.1.1 Local spatial variability. - 8.1.2 Seasonal to interannual variability. - 8.1.3 Spatial vs. temporal variability. - 8.2 Extension to longer scales. - 8.2.1 Spatial vs. temporal variability on interannual timescales. - 8.2.2 Holocene and longer timescales. - 8.3 Concluding remarks and outlook. - Bibliography. - A Methods to: declining temperature variability from lgm to holocene. - A.1 Temperature proxy data. - A.2 Model-based temperature and variability change. - A.3 Temperature recalibration of proxy records. - A.3.1 Recalibration of ice-core records. - A.3.2 Recalibration of marine records. - A.4 Variance and variance ratio estimation. - A.5 Noise correction. - A.5.1 Testing effect of noise correction. - A.6 Effect of ecological adaption and bioturbation. - A.7 Effect of proxy sampling locations. - B Layering of surface snow and firn: noise or seasonal signal?. - B.1 Introduction. - B.2 Materials and methods. - B.2.1 Firn-core density profiles. - B.2.2 Trench density profiles. - B.2.3 Dielectric profiling and density estimates. - B.2.4 Comparison of DEP and CT density. - B.2.5 Ion measurements. - B.3 Results. - B.3.1 2-D trench density data. - B.3.2 Spatial correlation structure. - B.3.3 Comparison of mean density, isotope and impurity profiles. - B.3.4 Spectral analysis of vertical density data. - B.4 Discussion. - B.4.1 Spatial variability. - B.4.2 Representativeness of single profiles. - B.4.3 Seasonal cycle in snow density. - B.4.4 Density layering in firn and impurities. - B.5 Conclusions. - Acknowledgements - Danksagung.
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2015-07-09
    Description: Ice-cores have been proven to be a key climate archive to reconstruct glacial interglacial changes in temperature, greenhouse gases and many other climate parameters. By contrast, the reliability of ice-cores as a recorder of the Holocene climate evolution is less clear. The small amplitude of Holocene climate changes, and the aim to reconstruct high-temporal resolution records, poses a challenge to the interpretation of ice-core signals. This is especially true for low accumulation sites as here the non-climate noise may often be too high to accurately extract a climatic signal. To develop a mechanistic understanding of the signal and noise in low-accumulation firn and ice cores, we undertook a study of the signal formation in firn and ice-cores at Kohnen station on Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. This included extensive surface sampling, replicate coring of firn cores, and the analysis of water isotopes and the snow stratigraphy in snow pits and snow trenches. Thereby, we provide the basis for a systematic interpretation of the climate signal stored in ice at this site. In this contribution, we present first results from two 1m deep, 45m long snow trenches which were probed in two dimensions to provide a two-dimensional image of the dielectric properties and oxygen isotopes. The statistical analysis of the results provides insight about the horizontal and vertical scales of stratigraphic noise, the relation between the dielectric stratigraphy and the oxygen isotopes, and the ability of firn-cores to reconstruct high-resolution records of past climate changes.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-09-22
    Description: In low-accumulation regions, the reliability of δ18O-derived temperature signals from ice cores within the Holocene is unclear, primarily due to the small climate changes relative to the intrinsic noise of the isotopic signal. In order to learn about the representativity of single ice cores and to optimise future ice-core-based climate reconstructions, we studied the stable-water isotope composition of firn at Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Analysing δ18O in two 50 m long snow trenches allowed us to create an unprecedented, two-dimensional image characterising the isotopic variations from the centimetre to the 100-metre scale. Our results show seasonal layering of the isotopic composition but also high horizontal isotopic variability caused by local stratigraphic noise. Based on the horizontal and vertical structure of the isotopic variations, we derive a statistical noise model which successfully explains the trench data. The model further allows one to determine an upper bound for the reliability of climate reconstructions conducted in our study region at seasonal to annual resolution, depending on the number and the spacing of the cores taken.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-10-15
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-06-13
    Description: Climate variability is determined by the climate system’s internal variability as well as its response to external forcing. A quantitative understanding of past Antarctic climate variability is therefore essential if we are to attribute and to detect anthropogenic influences on the current and future climate in Antarctica, and thus crucial for projecting the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet. Analysis of stable water isotope data from ice cores in principle provides information on past temperature variability, but its quantitative interpretation is challenged by strong non-climate effects. So far, the magnitude and timescale dependency of both the climate signal and the noise in Antarctic isotope records remains largely unknown. Here, we present a new spectral method to separate climate signal and noise in a large collection of published and new annually-resolved ice core records from East Antarctic Dronning Maud Land and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, spanning the last 200—1000 years. With this, we derive the first timescale-dependent estimate of Antarctic temperature variability and isotopic signal-to-noise ratio on decadal to centennial time scales. In contrast to the raw isotope data, we find a stronger increase in temperature variability on longer time scales, which is similar between the two study regions and to estimates from reanalysis and marine SST data. Spatial analysis of the estimated noise levels allows the separation of local stratigraphic noise from larger-scale noise due to precipitation intermittency. Signal-to-noise ratios only reach values above one for multi-centennial time scales. Our findings illustrate a consistent way of interpreting isotope records, but also highlight the remaining knowledge gaps in our understanding of Holocene climate and ice-core derived variability. We emphasize that our new method is applicable for distinguishing climate variability from local effects for any spatial, well-dated array of proxy temperature records.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-09-11
    Description: The isotopic composition of water in ice sheets is extensively used to infer past climate changes. In low-accumulation regions their interpretation is, however, challenged by poorly constrained effects that may influence the initial isotope signal during and after deposition of the snow. This is reflected in snow-pit isotope data from Kohnen Station, Antarctica, which exhibit a seasonal cycle but also strong interannual variations that contradict local temperature observations. These inconsistencies persist even after averaging many profiles and are thus not explained by local stratigraphic noise. Previous studies have suggested that post-depositional processes may significantly influence the isotopic composition of East Antarctic firn. Here, we investigate the importance of post-depositional processes within the open-porous firn (≳ 10 cm depth) at Kohnen Station by separating spatial from temporal variability. To this end, we analyse 22 isotope profiles obtained from two snow trenches and examine the temporal isotope modifications by comparing the new data with published trench data extracted 2 years earlier. The initial isotope profiles undergo changes over time due to downward advection, firn diffusion and densification in magnitudes consistent with independent estimates. Beyond that, we find further modifications of the original isotope record to be unlikely or small in magnitude (≪ 1 ‰ RMSD). These results show that the discrepancy between local temperatures and isotopes most likely originates from spatially coherent processes prior to or during deposition, such as precipitation intermittency or systematic isotope modifications acting on drifting or loose surface snow.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    [s.l.] : Macmillian Magazines Ltd.
    Nature 420 (2002), S. 411-414 
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] In the retina, directionally selective ganglion cells respond with robust spiking to movement in their preferred direction, but show minimal response to movement in the opposite, or null, direction. The mechanisms and circuitry underlying this computation have remained controversial. Here we ...
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-01-26
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 4194 data points
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-01-26
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 453 data points
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  • 10
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Münch, Thomas; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Freitag, Johannes; Meyer, Hanno; Laepple, Thomas (2017): Constraints on post-depositional isotope modifications in East Antarctic firn from analysing temporal changes of isotope profiles. The Cryosphere, 11(5), 2175-2188, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2175-2017
    Publication Date: 2019-02-13
    Description: The isotopic composition of water in ice sheets is extensively used to infer past climate changes. In low-accumulation regions their interpretation is however challenged by poorly constrained effects that may influence the initial isotope signal during and after deposition of the snow. This is reflected in snow-pit isotope data from Kohnen Station, Antarctica, which exhibit a seasonal cycle but also strong inter-annual variations that contradict local temperature observations. These inconsistencies persist even after averaging many profiles and are thus not explained by local stratigraphic noise. Previous studies have suggested that post-depositional processes may significantly influence the isotopic composition of East Antarctic firn. Here, we investigate the importance of post-depositional processes within the open-porous firn (〉 10 cm depth) at Kohnen Station by separating spatial from temporal variability. To this end, we analyse 22 isotope profiles obtained from two snow trenches and examine the temporal isotope modifications by comparing the new with published trench data extracted 2 years earlier. The initial isotope profiles undergo changes over time due to downward-advection, firn diffusion and densification in magnitudes consistent with independent estimates. Beyond that, we find further modifications of the original isotope record to be unlikely, or small in magnitude (〈〈 1 per mil RMSD). These results show that the discrepancy between local temperatures and isotopes most likely originates from spatially coherent processes prior to or during deposition, such as precipitation intermittency or systematic isotope modifications acting on drifting or loose surface snow.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: application/zip, 2 datasets
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