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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2014-12-17
    Description: Interior Antarctica is among the most remote places on Earth and was thought to be beyond the reach of human impacts when Amundsen and Scott raced to the South Pole in 1911. Here we show detailed measurements from an extensive array of 16 ice cores quantifying substantial toxic heavy metal lead pollution at South Pole and throughout Antarctica by 1889 – beating polar explorers by more than 22 years. Unlike the Arctic where lead pollution peaked in the 1970s, lead pollution in Antarctica was as high in the early 20th century as at any time since industrialization. The similar timing and magnitude of changes in lead deposition across Antarctica, as well as the characteristic isotopic signature of Broken Hill lead found throughout the continent, suggest that this single emission source in southern Australia was responsible for the introduction of lead pollution into Antarctica at the end of the 19th century and remains a significant source today. An estimated 660 t of industrial lead have been deposited over Antarctica during the past 130 years as a result of mid-latitude industrial emissions, with regional-to-global scale circulation likely modulating aerosol concentrations. Despite abatement efforts, significant lead pollution in Antarctica persists into the 21st century.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2016-01-26
    Description: The role of sea ice in the Earth climate system is still under debate, although it is known to influence albedo, ocean circulation, and atmosphere–ocean heat and gas exchange. Here we present a reconstruction of 1950 to 1998 AD sea ice in the Laptev Sea based on the Akademii Nauk ice core (Severnaya Zemlya, Russian Arctic). The chemistry of halogens bromine (Br) and iodine (I) is strongly active and influenced by sea ice dynamics, in terms of physical, chemical and biological process. Bromine reacts on the sea ice surface in autocatalyzing "bromine explosion" events, causing an enrichment of the Br / Na ratio and hence a bromine excess (Brexc) in snow compared to that in seawater. Iodine is suggested to be emitted from algal communities growing under sea ice. The results suggest a connection between Brexc and spring sea ice area, as well as a connection between iodine concentration and summer sea ice area. The correlation coefficients obtained between Brexc and spring sea ice (r  =  0.44) as well as between iodine and summer sea ice (r  =  0.50) for the Laptev Sea suggest that these two halogens could become good candidates for extended reconstructions of past sea ice changes in the Arctic.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2015-09-15
    Description: The role of sea ice in the Earth climate system is still under debate, although it is known to influence albedo, ocean circulation, and atmosphere-ocean heat and gas exchange. Here we present a reconstruction of AD1950 to 1998 sea ice in the Laptev Sea based on the Akademii Nauk ice core (Severnaya Zemlya, Russian Arctic). The halogens bromine (Br) and iodine (I) are strongly influenced by sea ice processes. Bromine reacts with the sea ice surface in auto-catalyzing “Bromine explosion” events causing an enrichment of the Br / Na ratio and the bromine excess (Brexc) in snow compared to that in seawater. Iodine is emitted from algal communities growing under sea ice. The results suggest a connection between Brexc and spring sea ice area, as well as a connection between iodine concentration and summer sea ice area. These two halogens are therefore good candidates for extended reconstructions of past sea ice changes in the Arctic.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2015-12-22
    Description: Whereas ice cores from high-accumulation sites in coastal Antarctica clearly demonstrate annual layering, it is debated whether a seasonal signal is also preserved in ice cores from lower-accumulation sites further inland and particularly on the East Antarctic Plateau. In this study, we examine 5 m of early Holocene ice from the Dome Fuji (DF) ice core at a high temporal resolution by continuous flow analysis. The ice was continuously analysed for concentrations of dust, sodium, ammonium, liquid conductivity, and water isotopic composition. Furthermore, a dielectric profiling was performed on the solid ice. In most of the analysed ice, the multi-parameter impurity data set appears to resolve the seasonal variability although the identification of annual layers is not always unambiguous. The study thus provides information on the snow accumulation process in central East Antarctica. A layer counting based on the same principles as those previously applied to the NGRIP (North Greenland Ice core Project) and the Antarctic EPICA (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica) Dronning Maud Land (EDML) ice cores leads to a mean annual layer thickness for the DF ice of 3.0 ± 0.3 cm that compares well to existing estimates. The measured DF section is linked to the EDML ice core through a characteristic pattern of three significant acidity peaks that are present in both cores. The corresponding section of the EDML ice core has recently been dated by annual layer counting and the number of years identified independently in the two cores agree within error estimates. We therefore conclude that, to first order, the annual signal is preserved in this section of the DF core. This case study demonstrates the feasibility of determining annually deposited strata on the central East Antarctic Plateau. It also opens the possibility of resolving annual layers in the Eemian section of Antarctic ice cores where the accumulation is estimated to have been greater than in the Holocene. © Author(s) 2015.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-10-17
    Description: The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) is the sole interior Greenlandic ice stream. Fast flow initiates near the summit dome, and the ice stream terminates approximately 1000 km downstream in three large outlet glaciers that calve into the Greenland Sea. To better understand this important system, in the summer of 2012 we drilled a 67 m firn core and conducted ground-based radio-echo sounding (RES) and active-source seismic surveys at a site approximately 150 km downstream from the onset of streaming flow (NEGIS firn core, 75°37.61' N, 35°56.49' W). The site is representative of the upper part of the ice stream, while also being in a crevasse-free area for safe surface operations. Annual cycles were observed for insoluble dust, sodium and ammonium concentrations and for electrolytic conductivity, allowing a seasonally resolved chronology covering the past 400 yr. Annual layer thicknesses averaged 0.11 m ice equivalent (i.e.) for the period 1607–2011, although accumulation varied between 0.08 and 0.14 m i.e., likely due to flow-related changes in surface topography. Tracing of RES layers from the NGRIP (North Greenland Ice Core Project) ice core site shows that the ice at NEGIS preserves a climatic record of at least the past 51 kyr. We demonstrate that deep ice core drilling in this location can provide a reliable Holocene and late-glacial climate record, as well as helping to constrain the past dynamics and ice–lithosphere interactions of the Greenland Ice Sheet.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-04-19
    Description: The Northern Hemisphere experienced dramatic changes during the last glacial, featuring vast ice sheets and abrupt climate events, while high northern latitudes during the last interglacial (Eemian) were warmer than today. Here we use high-resolution aerosol records from the Greenland NEEM ice core to reconstruct the environmental alterations in aerosol source regions accompanying these changes. Separating source and transport effects, we find strongly reduced terrestrial biogenic emissions during glacial times reflecting net loss of vegetated area in North America. Rapid climate changes during the glacial have little effect on terrestrial biogenic aerosol emissions. A strong increase in terrestrial dust emissions during the coldest intervals indicates higher aridity and dust storm activity in East Asian deserts. Glacial sea salt aerosol emissions in the North Atlantic region increase only moderately (50%), likely due to sea ice expansion. Lower aerosol concentrations in Eemian ice compared to the Holocene are mainly due to shortened atmospheric residence time, while emissions changed little.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-10-18
    Description: Efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the Eemian interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) have until now been unsuccessful. The response of the Greenland ice sheet to the warmer-than-present climate of the Eemian has thus remained unclear. Here we present the new North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (‘NEEM’) ice core and show only a modest ice-sheet response to the strong warming in the early Eemian. We reconstructed the Eemian record from folded ice using globally homogeneous parameters known from dated Greenland and Antarctic ice-core records. On the basis of water stable isotopes, NEEM surface temperatures after the onset of the Eemian (126,000 years ago) peaked at 8 ± 4 degrees Celsius above the mean of the past millennium, followed by a gradual cooling that was probably driven by the decreasing summer insolation. Between 128,000 and 122,000 years ago, the thickness of the northwest Greenland ice sheet decreased by 400 ± 250 metres, reaching surface elevations 122,000 years ago of 130 ± 300 metres lower than the present. Extensive surface melt occurred at the NEEM site during the Eemian, a phenomenon witnessed when melt layers formed again at NEEM during the exceptional heat of July 2012. With additional warming, surface melt might become more common in the future.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2017-10-17
    Description: A stratigraphy-based chronology for the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) ice core has been derived by transferring the annual layer counted Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 (GICC05) and its model extension (GICC05modelext) from the NGRIP core to the NEEM core using 787 match points of mainly volcanic origin identified in the electrical conductivity measurement (ECM) and dielectrical profiling (DEP) records. Tephra horizons found in both the NEEM and NGRIP ice cores are used to test the matching based on ECM and DEP and provide five additional horizons used for the timescale transfer. A thinning function reflecting the accumulated strain along the core has been determined using a Dansgaard–Johnsen flow model and an isotope-dependent accumulation rate parameterization. Flow parameters are determined from Monte Carlo analysis constrained by the observed depth-age horizons. In order to construct a chronology for the gas phase, the ice age–gas age difference (Δage) has been reconstructed using a coupled firn densification-heat diffusion model. Temperature and accumulation inputs to the Δage model, initially derived from the water isotope proxies, have been adjusted to optimize the fit to timing constraints from δ15N of nitrogen and high-resolution methane data during the abrupt onset of Greenland interstadials. The ice and gas chronologies and the corresponding thinning function represent the first chronology for the NEEM core, named GICC05modelext-NEEM-1. Based on both the flow and firn modelling results, the accumulation history for the NEEM site has been reconstructed. Together, the timescale and accumulation reconstruction provide the necessary basis for further analysis of the records from NEEM.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-09-13
    Description: © The Author(s), 2014. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 4 (2014): 5848, doi:10.1038/srep05848.
    Description: Interior Antarctica is among the most remote places on Earth and was thought to be beyond the reach of human impacts when Amundsen and Scott raced to the South Pole in 1911. Here we show detailed measurements from an extensive array of 16 ice cores quantifying substantial toxic heavy metal lead pollution at South Pole and throughout Antarctica by 1889 – beating polar explorers by more than 22 years. Unlike the Arctic where lead pollution peaked in the 1970s, lead pollution in Antarctica was as high in the early 20th century as at any time since industrialization. The similar timing and magnitude of changes in lead deposition across Antarctica, as well as the characteristic isotopic signature of Broken Hill lead found throughout the continent, suggest that this single emission source in southern Australia was responsible for the introduction of lead pollution into Antarctica at the end of the 19th century and remains a significant source today. An estimated 660 t of industrial lead have been deposited over Antarctica during the past 130 years as a result of mid-latitude industrial emissions, with regional-to-global scale circulation likely modulating aerosol concentrations. Despite abatement efforts, significant lead pollution in Antarctica persists into the 21st century.
    Description: This work primarily was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation Division of Polar Programs (research grants 9903744, 0538427, 0538416, 0968391, 1142166, 0632031; instrument grants 0216552, 0421412).
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
    Format: application/vnd.ms-excel
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 ka ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia, where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra and on accurately dated European stalagmites, the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland interstadials (GI) 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM) 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP) and Antarctic (EDML) ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 ka BP) before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM- 19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. The bipolar linking gives no support for a long-term global cooling caused by the Toba eruption as Antarctica experiences a major warming shortly after the event. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place palaeoenvironmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic context.
    Keywords: Greenland; Antarctic ice cores; Toba eruption
    Language: English
    Type: article , publishedVersion
    Format: 18
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