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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2015-12-22
    Description: Volcanic eruptions contribute to climate variability, but quantifying these contributions has been limited by inconsistencies in the timing of atmospheric volcanic aerosol loading determined from ice cores and subsequent cooling from climate proxies such as tree rings. Here we resolve these inconsistencies and show that large eruptions in the tropics and high latitudes were primary drivers of interannual-to-decadal temperature variability in the Northern Hemisphere during the past 2,500 years. Our results are based on new records of atmospheric aerosol loading developed from high-resolution, multi-parameter measurements from an array of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores as well as distinctive age markers to constrain chronologies. Overall, cooling was proportional to the magnitude of volcanic forcing and persisted for up to ten years after some of the largest eruptive episodes. Our revised timescale more firmly implicates volcanic eruptions as catalysts in the major sixth-century pandemics, famines, and socioeconomic disruptions in Eurasia and Mesoamerica while allowing multi-millennium quantification of climate response to volcanic forcing.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    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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  • 5
    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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  • 6
    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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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    Description: High-resolution measurements of chemical impurities and methane concentrations in Greenland ice core samples from the early glacial period allow the extension of annual-layer counted chronologies and the improvement of gas age-ice age difference (Δage) essential to the synchronization of ice core records. We report high-resolution measurements of a 50 m section of the NorthGRIP ice core and corresponding annual layer thicknesses in order to constrain the duration of the Greenland Stadial 22 (GS-22) between Greenland Interstadials (GIs) 21 and 22, for which inconsistent durations and ages have been reported from Greenland and Antarctic ice core records as well as European speleothems. Depending on the chronology used, GS-22 occurred between approximately 89 (end of GI-22) and 83 kyr b2k (onset of GI-21). From annual layer counting, we find that GS-22 lasted between 2696 and 3092 years and was followed by a GI-21 pre-cursor event lasting between 331 and 369 yr. Our layer-based counting agrees with the duration of stadial 22 as determined from the NALPS speleothem record (3250 ± 526 yr) but not with that of the GICC05modelext chronology (2620 yr) or an alternative chronology based on gas-marker synchronization to EPICA Dronning Maud Land ice core. These results show that GICC05modelext overestimates accumulation and/or underestimates thinning in this early part of the last glacial period. We also revise the possible ranges of NorthGRIP Δdepth (5.49 to 5.85 m) and Δage (498 to 601 yr) at the warming onset of GI-21 as well as the Δage range at the onset of the GI-21 precursor warming (523 to 654 yr), observing that temperature (represented by the δ15N proxy) increases before CH4 concentration by no more than a few decades.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    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 palaeo-environmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic context.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-11-25
    Description: The progress of science is tied to the standardization of measurements, instruments, and data. This is especially true in the Big Data age, where analyzing large data volumes critically hinges on the data being standardized. Accordingly, the lack of community‐sanctioned data standards in paleoclimatology has largely precluded the benefits of Big Data advances in the field. Building upon recent efforts to standardize the format and terminology of paleoclimate data, this article describes the Paleoclimate Community reporTing Standard (PaCTS), a crowdsourced reporting standard for such data. PaCTS captures which information should be included when reporting paleoclimate data, with the goal of maximizing the reuse value of paleoclimate data sets, particularly for synthesis work and comparison to climate model simulations. Initiated by the LinkedEarth project, the process to elicit a reporting standard involved an international workshop in 2016, various forms of digital community engagement over the next few years, and grassroots working groups. Participants in this process identified important properties across paleoclimate archives, in addition to the reporting of uncertainties and chronologies; they also identified archive‐specific properties and distinguished reporting standards for new versus legacy data sets. This work shows that at least 135 respondents overwhelmingly support a drastic increase in the amount of metadata accompanying paleoclimate data sets. Since such goals are at odds with present practices, we discuss a transparent path toward implementing or revising these recommendations in the near future, using both bottom‐up and top‐down approaches.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 10
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