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Ice core evidence for significant 100-year regional warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

By Liz R. Thomas, P. F. Dennis, Thomas J. Bracegirdle and Christian Franzke

Abstract

We present a new 150-year, high-resolution, stable isotope record (delta O-18) from the Gomez ice core, drilled on the data sparse south western Antarctic Peninsula, revealing a similar to 2.7 degrees C rise in surface temperatures since the 1950s. The record is highly correlated with satellite-derived temperature reconstructions and instrumental records from Faraday station on the north west coast, thus making it a robust proxy for local and regional temperatures since the 1850s. We conclude that the exceptional 50-year warming, previously only observed in the northern Peninsula, is not just a local phenomena but part of a statistically significant 100-year regional warming trend that began around 1900. A suite of coupled climate models are employed to demonstrate that the 50 and 100 year temperature trends are outside of the expected range of variability from pre-industrial control runs, indicating that the warming is likely the result of external climate forcing. Citation: Thomas, E. R., P. F. Dennis, T. J. Bracegirdle, and C. Franzke (2009), Ice core evidence for significant 100-year regional warming on the Antarctic Peninsula, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L20704, doi: 10.1029/2009GL040104

Topics: Meteorology and Climatology, Glaciology
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1029/2009GL040104
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:11316

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