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Holocene climate variability at Talos Dome, Antarctica


Polar regions are warming rapidly, but the significance of this trend can only be appreciated in the context of the long-term regional climate variability. The climate variability of Antarctica, on decadal to centennial timescales, is poorly constrained, due to the lack of long temperature time series, and we must rely on ice cores to reconstruct past temperature at high resolution. A new 1000-year temperature record at WAIS Divide, in the center of West Antarctica has highlighted the large amplitude of multi-decadal variability there, but no such work has been accomplished in East Antarctica, where the dynamics of the climate are very different.
We propose here to reconstruct the temperature history of Talos Dome, in the Ross sea sector of East Antarctica, with decadal resolution for the last 2000 years, and 50-year resolution over the Holocene (last 10,000 years). We will combine a new temperature proxy based on inert gas isotopes (δ15N, δ40Ar and δ86Kr), with a detailed measurement of all water isotope pairs (δ18O, δD, 17Oexcess) in the Talos Dome ice core, to produce the best possible temperature history at this site.
This approach will allow us to deepen our understanding of the temperature imprint in water isotopic records. In addition, we will be able to test whether there was a bi-polar see saw associated with the Little Ice Age, and we will assess the stability of the climate in the Ross Sea. This new knowledge will improve our ability to forecast the consequence of the anthropogenic warming, and evaluate the vulnerability of the Ross Sea to rapid climate changes.
This study will be led at LSCE, which has the unique analytical capacity and expertise in stable isotope measurements, climate modeling and climate reconstruction from ice cores for this project. The PI is already an expert in temperature reconstruction from inert gas isotopes, on the Holocene period. The project should thus benefit from the great complementarity between the host and PI.

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Rue Leblanc 25
75015 Paris 15
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 194 046,60
Administrative Contact
Cecilia Garrec (Ms.)