A 2700-year annual timescale and accumulation history for an ice core from Roosevelt Island, West Antarctica
Climate of the Past Discussions
We present a 2700-year annually resolved timescale for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core, and reconstruct a past snow accumulation history for the coastal sector of the Ross Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. The timescale was constructed by identifying annual layers in multiple ice-core impurity records, employing both manual and automated counting approaches, and constitutes the top part of the Roosevelt Island Ice Core Chronology 2017 (RICE17). The maritime setting of
... setting of Roosevelt Island results in high sulfate influx from sea salts and marine biogenic emissions, which prohibits a routine detection of volcanic eruptions in the ice-core records. This led to the use of non-traditional chronological techniques for validating the timescale: RICE was synchronized to the WAIS Divide ice core, on the WD2014 timescale, using volcanic attribution based on direct measurements of ice-core acidity, as well as records of globally-synchronous, centennial-scale variability in atmospheric methane concentrations.<br><br> The RICE accumulation history suggests stable values of 0.25&thinsp;m water equivalent (w.e.) per year until around 1260&thinsp;CE. Uncertainties in the correction for ice flow thinning of annual layers with depth do not allow a firm conclusion about long-term trends in accumulation rates during this early period but from 1260&thinsp;CE to the present, accumulation rate trends have been consistently negative. The decrease in accumulation rates has been increasingly rapid over the last centuries, with the decrease since 1950 CE being more than 7 times greater than the average over the last 300 years. The current accumulation rate of 0.22&thinsp;±&thinsp;0.06&thinsp;m&thinsp;w.e.&thinsp;yr<sup>&minus;1</sup> (average since 1950&thinsp;CE, ±1σ) is 1.49 standard deviations (86th percentile) below the mean of 50-year average accumulation rates observed over the last 2700 years.