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Comparison of northern and central Greenland ice core records of methanesulfonate covering the last glacial period
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK).
2007 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 112, no D14313Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Methanesulfonate (MS) is measured in ice cores with the objective to obtain a proxy record of marine phytoplankton production of dimethylsulfide (DMS). We present a continuous MS record covering the last glacial period from the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP) ice core and compare this record with the corresponding records previously presented from Greenland and, in particular, with the GISP2 ice core located 320 km south of NGRIP. Despite that the records have similar mean concentrations, their responses to climatic changes during the last glacial period are slightly different. NGRIP MS concentrations were higher during the cold marine isotopic stages (MIS) 2 and 4 and lower during the warm MIS 5. This long-term trend in MS, which is similar to the inverse of the corresponding trend in δ 18O, is not detected in the GISP2 MS record. A systematic response in MS concentrations to changes between Greenland stadials and interstadials is only detected in the GISP2 record. The different responses of the MS signals to climate change during the last glacial period are possibly related to the partitioning of air masses reaching the two sites. In contrast to observations from Antarctic records, dust concentrations do not affect the MS concentrations in the ice, whereas the deposition of sulfate probably is enhanced by high dust concentrations in the atmosphere. The MS signal has a higher potential of being a proxy record of DMS production changes in Greenlandic compared to Antarctic ice cores.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 112, no D14313
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22529DOI: 10.1029/2006JD007451.ISI: 000248599400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-22529DiVA: diva2:189056
Available from: 2007-08-14 Created: 2007-08-14 Last updated: 2011-02-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sulfur in polar ice and snow: Interpretations of past atmosphere and climate through glacial archives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sulfur in polar ice and snow: Interpretations of past atmosphere and climate through glacial archives
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Snow contains information on the atmosphere it is deposited from. This information is stored in polar ice sheets (Antarctica and Greenland), which are unique geochronological archives of past climate and atmospheric composition. On time scales from annual to glacial cycles, this thesis deals with the signals of sulfur compounds in these archives. The objectives are to interpret the content and origin of sulfur aerosols in the atmosphere and their interactions with climate.

By using sulfur isotopic signals, the sources of sulfate were apportioned from two shallow Antarctic ice cores covering the last 1200 years of deposition. Marine phytoplankton was shown to be the predominant source. A surprisingly stable sulfate flux signal over the last eight glacial cycles was obtained from the Antarctic EPICA Dome C ice core, which with a predominant marine biogenic sulfate origin implies that production of sulfur aerosols by phytoplankton neither forced nor was sensitive to glacial/interglacial shifts in climate.

Methanesulfonate (MS-) originates solely from phytoplankton, but the record in Antarctic ice cores is biased by variations in atmospheric dust concentrations. In contrast to Antarctic conditions, enhanced dust concentrations on Greenland increase the deposition of sulfate but do not affect MS-. Thus, MS- remains in Greenlandic ice cores as a potential proxy record of marine biogenic sulfur aerosol production. Northern and central Greenland ice core signals of MS- displayed systematically different responses to climate variations during the last glacial period, possibly due to different portioning of air mass origin.

Surface snow analyses indicate that sulfate on Greenland is at present mainly deposited as a salt in association with dust particles. On an Antarctic site where sulfate and possibly MS- are present as acids, their concentrations in the surface snow are suggested to be a result of a redeposition process altering the signals of the original snow fall.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för naturgeografi och kvartärgeologi, 2006. 74 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211
Keyword
ice cores, aerosols, sulfate, methanesulfonate, sulfur isotopes, climate, glacial cycles, Antarctica, Greenland
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1011 (URN)91-7155-275-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-06-08, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-05-18 Created: 2006-05-18 Last updated: 2011-02-17Bibliographically approved

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