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Sulfur in polar ice and snow: Interpretations of past atmosphere and climate through glacial archives
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK).
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 [en]
ice cores, aerosols, sulfate, methanesulfonate, sulfur isotopes, climate, glacial cycles, Antarctica, Greenland
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1011ISBN: 91-7155-275-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-1011DiVA: diva2:189185
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
List of papers
1. High resolution record of Northern Hemisphere climate extending into the last interglacial period
Open this publication in new window or tab >>High resolution record of Northern Hemisphere climate extending into the last interglacial period
2004 In: Nature, Vol. 431, no 7005, 147-151 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22624 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1011Available from: 2006-05-18 Created: 2006-05-18Bibliographically approved
2. Comparison of northern and central Greenland ice core records of methanesulfonate covering the last glacial period
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Comparison of northern and central Greenland ice core records of methanesulfonate covering the last glacial period
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.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22529 (URN)10.1029/2006JD007451. (DOI)000248599400001 ()
Available from: 2007-08-14 Created: 2007-08-14 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Sulfur isotopic signals in two shallow ice cores from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sulfur isotopic signals in two shallow ice cores from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica
2005 In: Tellus B, Vol. 57, no 4, 341-350 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22626 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1011Available from: 2006-05-18 Created: 2006-05-18Bibliographically approved
4. Correlations between concentrations of acids andoxygen isotope ratios in polar surface snow
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Correlations between concentrations of acids andoxygen isotope ratios in polar surface snow
2007 (English)In: Tellus. Series B, Chemical and physical meteorology, ISSN 0280-6509, E-ISSN 1600-0889, Vol. 59b, 326-335 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

  

 

 

 

 

Investigation of centimeter-scale snow surface chemistry has been carried out at two polar sites with different site

characteristics–in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica and on the Greenland ice sheet, respectively. Large variations

in both impurity content and stable oxygen isotope ratios (

 

δ18O) were found on the submeter scale. δ18

O and the

concentration of nitrate correlated at both sites (r

 

= 0.81 and 0.82, respectively). At the Antarctic site, δ18

O is also

correlated to concentrations of methanesulphonate (r

 

= 0.84) and sulphate (r =

0.83) while no such correlation exists

at the Greenland site. Instead, a strong anticorrelation (r

 

=

–0.85) between sulphate and methanesulphonate is found

among the samples from the Greenland site. The ions correlating with

 

δ18

O at the two sites were probably deposited as

acids. Our tentative explanation is that local redeposition of water vapour enriching the snow surface with the lighter

isotopes is associated with simultaneous enhanced scavenging of the acids. The responsible process thereby significantly

alters the chemical signals of the snow surface.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22627 (URN)10.1111/j.1600-0889.2007.00272.x (DOI)000245628900016 ()
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1011Available from: 2006-05-18 Created: 2006-05-18 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
5. Southern Ocean sea ice extent, productivity and iron flux over the last eight glacial cycles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Southern Ocean sea ice extent, productivity and iron flux over the last eight glacial cycles
Show others...
2006 In: Nature, Vol. 440, 491-496 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22628 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1011Available from: 2006-05-18 Created: 2006-05-18Bibliographically approved

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