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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-14
    Description: Extratropical volcanic eruptions are commonly thought to be less effective at driving large-scale surface cooling than tropical eruptions. However, recent minor extratropical eruptions have produced a measurable climate impact, and proxy records suggest that the most extreme Northern Hemisphere cold period of the Common Era was initiated by an extratropical eruption in 536 CE. Using ice-core-derived volcanic stratospheric sulfur injections and Northern Hemisphere summer temperature reconstructions from tree rings, we show here that in proportion to their estimated stratospheric sulfur injection, extratropical explosive eruptions since 750 CE have produced stronger hemispheric cooling than tropical eruptions. Stratospheric aerosol simulations demonstrate that for eruptions with a sulfur injection magnitude and height equal to that of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption, extratropical eruptions produce time-integrated radiative forcing anomalies over the Northern Hemisphere extratropics up to 80% greater than tropical eruptions, as decreases in aerosol lifetime are overwhelmed by the enhanced radiative impact associated with the relative confinement of aerosol to a single hemisphere. The model results are consistent with the temperature reconstructions, and elucidate how the radiative forcing produced by extratropical eruptions is strongly dependent on the eruption season and sulfur injection height within the stratosphere.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2015-12-17
    Description: Continental dust plays an important role in climate forcing, by interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation and by impacting albedo when deposited on bright surfaces such as fresh snow. Continental dust may also play an important role in ocean fertilization and carbon sequestration. Because the lifetime of dust aerosol in the atmosphere is only on the order of days to weeks, spatial and temporal variability in concentrations and fluxes is high and understanding of recent and long term changes is limited. Therefore, understanding of natural variations and climate drivers of continental dust, and potential climate feedbacks on longer timescales is critical. Here we present and discuss continuous, high depth resolution measurements of a range of dust proxies in high latitude ice cores from the Arctic and Antarctic. Sub-annually resolved measurements provide insights into the temporal variations in dust deposition. Included are traditional proxies such as non-sea-salt (nss) calcium and insoluble particle number and size distribution as well as less traditional proxies such as rare earth elements which together provide important insights into how dust sources and transport may have changed in the past. We compare these detailed dust records with climate and land use proxies to investigate drivers of dustiness during the last three millennium.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2016-11-14
    Description: Assessments of climate sensitivity to projected greenhouse gas concentrations underpin environmental policy decisions, with such assessments often based on model simulations of climate during recent centuries and millennia1, 2, 3. These simulations depend critically on accurate records of past aerosol forcing from global-scale volcanic eruptions, reconstructed from measurements of sulphate deposition in ice cores4, 5, 6. Non-uniform transport and deposition of volcanic fallout mean that multiple records from a wide array of ice cores must be combined to create accurate reconstructions. Here we re-evaluated the record of volcanic sulphate deposition using a much more extensive array of Antarctic ice cores. In our new reconstruction, many additional records have been added and dating of previously published records corrected through precise synchronization to the annually dated West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core7, improving and extending the record throughout the Common Era. Whereas agreement with existing reconstructions is excellent after 1500, we found a substantially different history of volcanic aerosol deposition before 1500; for example, global aerosol forcing values from some of the largest eruptions (for example, 1257 and 1458) previously were overestimated by 20–30% and others underestimated by 20–50%.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-01-24
    Description: Advances in trace gas analysis allow localised, non-atmospheric features to be resolved in ice cores, superimposed on the coherent atmospheric signal. These highfrequency signals could not have survived the low-pass filter effect that gas diffusion in the firn exerts on the atmospheric history and therefore do not result from changes in the atmospheric composition at the ice sheet surface. Using continuous methane (CH4) records obtained from five polar ice cores, we characterise these non-atmospheric signals and explore their origin. Isolated samples, enriched in CH4 in the Tunu13 (Greenland) record are linked to the presence of melt layers. Melting can enrich the methane concentration due to a solubility effect, but we find that an additional in situ process is required to generate the full magnitude of these anomalies. Furthermore, in all the ice cores studied there is evidence of reproducible, decimetre-scale CH4 variability. Through a series of tests, we demonstrate that this is an artifact of layered bubble trapping in a heterogeneousdensity firn column; we use the term “trapping signal” for this phenomenon. The peak-to-peak amplitude of the trapping signal is typically 5 ppb, but may exceed 40 ppb. Signal magnitude increases with atmospheric CH4 growth rate and seasonal density contrast, and decreases with accumulation rate. Significant annual periodicity is present in the CH4 variability of two Greenland ice cores, suggesting that layered gas trapping at these sites is controlled by regular, seasonal variations in the physical properties of the firn. Future analytical campaigns should anticipate high-frequency artifacts at high-melt ice core sites or during time periods with high atmospheric CH4 growth rate in order to avoid misinterpretation of such features as past changes in atmospheric composition.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Glacial-state greenhouse gas concentrations and Southern Hemisphere climate conditions persisted until ∼17.7 ka, when a nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation was recorded in paleoclimate proxies in large parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with many changes ascribed to a sudden poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies and subsequent climate impacts. We used high-resolution chemical measurements in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, Byrd, and other ice cores to document a unique, ∼192-y series of halogen-rich volcanic eruptions exactly at the start of accelerated deglaciation, with tephra identifying the nearby Mount Takahe volcano as the source. Extensive fallout from these massive eruptions has been found 〉2,800 km from Mount Takahe. Sulfur isotope anomalies and marked decreases in ice core bromine consistent with increased surface UV radiation indicate that the eruptions led to stratospheric ozone depletion. Rather than a highly improbable coincidence, circulation and climate changes extending from the Antarctic Peninsula to the subtropics—similar to those associated with modern stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica—plausibly link the Mount Takahe eruptions to the onset of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation ∼17.7 ka.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-03-09
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 2977 data points
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-03-09
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 15189 data points
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The pre-industrial millennium is among the periods selected by the Paleoclimate Model Intercomparison Project (PMIP) for experiments contributing to the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) and the fourth phase of the PMIP (PMIP4). The past1000 transient simulations serve to investigate the response to (mainly) natural forcing under background conditions not too different from today, and to discriminate between forced and internally generated variability on interannual to centennial timescales. This paper describes the motivation and the experimental set-ups for the PMIP4-CMIP6 past1000 simulations, and discusses the forcing agents orbital, solar, volcanic, and land use/land cover changes, and variations in greenhouse gas concentrations. The past1000 simulations covering the pre-industrial millennium from 850 Common Era (CE) to 1849 CE have to be complemented by historical simulations (1850 to 2014 CE) following the CMIP6 protocol. The external forcings for the past1000 experiments have been adapted to provide a seamless transition across these time periods. Protocols for the past1000 simulations have been divided into three tiers. A default forcing data set has been defined for the Tier 1 (the CMIP6 past1000) experiment. However, the PMIP community has maintained the flexibility to conduct coordinated sensitivity experiments to explore uncertainty in forcing reconstructions as well as parameter uncertainty in dedicated Tier 2 simulations. Additional experiments (Tier 3) are defined to foster collaborative model experiments focusing on the early instrumental period and to extend the temporal range and the scope of the simulations. This paper outlines current and future research foci and common analyses for collaborative work between the PMIP and the observational communities (reconstructions, instrumental data).
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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    Format: archive
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The eruption of Mt. Tambora in 1815 was the largest volcanic eruption of the past 500 years. The eruption had significant climatic impacts, leading to the 1816 "year without a summer", and remains a valuable event from which to understand the climatic effects of large stratospheric volcanic sulfur dioxide injections. The eruption also resulted in one of the strongest and most easily identifiable volcanic sulfate signals in polar ice cores, which are widely used to reconstruct the timing and atmospheric sulfate loading of past eruptions. As part of the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP), five state-of-the-art global aerosol models simulated this eruption. We analyse both simulated background (no Tambora) and volcanic (with Tambora) sulfate deposition to polar regions and compare to ice core records. The models simulate overall similar patterns of background sulfate deposition, al-though there are differences in regional details and magnitude. However, the volcanic sulfate deposition varies considerably between the models with differences in timing, spatial pattern and magnitude. Mean simulated deposited sulfate on Antarctica ranges from 19 to 264 kgkm-2 and on Greenland from 31 to 194 kgkm-2, as compared to the mean ice-corederived estimates of roughly 50 kgkm-2 for both Greenland and Antarctica. The ratio of the hemispheric atmospheric sulfate aerosol burden after the eruption to the average ice sheet deposited sulfate varies between models by up to a factor of 15. Sources of this inter-model variability include differences in both the formation and the transport of sulfate aerosol. Our results suggest that deriving relationships between sulfate deposited on ice sheets and atmospheric sulfate burdens from model simulations may be associated with greater uncertainties than previously thought.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
    Format: text
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Significance: Cold and dry glacial-state climate conditions persisted in the Southern Hemisphere until approximately 17.7 ka, when paleoclimate records show a largely unexplained sharp, nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation. Detailed measurements in Antarctic ice cores document exactly at that time a unique, ∼192-y series of massive halogen-rich volcanic eruptions geochemically attributed to Mount Takahe in West Antarctica. Rather than a coincidence, we postulate that halogen-catalyzed stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica triggered large-scale atmospheric circulation and hydroclimate changes similar to the modern Antarctic ozone hole, explaining the synchronicity and abruptness of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation. Abstract: Glacial-state greenhouse gas concentrations and Southern Hemisphere climate conditions persisted until ∼17.7 ka, when a nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation was recorded in paleoclimate proxies in large parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with many changes ascribed to a sudden poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies and subsequent climate impacts. We used high-resolution chemical measurements in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, Byrd, and other ice cores to document a unique, ∼192-y series of halogen-rich volcanic eruptions exactly at the start of accelerated deglaciation, with tephra identifying the nearby Mount Takahe volcano as the source. Extensive fallout from these massive eruptions has been found 〉2,800 km from Mount Takahe. Sulfur isotope anomalies and marked decreases in ice core bromine consistent with increased surface UV radiation indicate that the eruptions led to stratospheric ozone depletion. Rather than a highly improbable coincidence, circulation and climate changes extending from the Antarctic Peninsula to the subtropics—similar to those associated with modern stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica—plausibly link the Mount Takahe eruptions to the onset of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation ∼17.7 ka.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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