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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-71
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-71
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  04 Jun 2020

04 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

The SP19 chronology for the South Pole Ice Core - Part 2: gas chronology, Δage, and smoothing of atmospheric records

Jenna A. Epifanio1, Edward J. Brook1, Christo Buizert1, Jon S. Edwards1, Todd A. Sowers2, Emma C. Kahle3, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus4, Eric J. Steig3, Dominic A. Winski5,6, Erich C. Osterberg7, Tyler J. Fudge2, Murat Aydin8, Ekaterina Hood9, Michael Kalk1, Karl J. Kreutz5,6, David G. Ferris7, and Joshua A. Kennedy10 Jenna A. Epifanio et al.
  • 1College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR, USA
  • 2The Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
  • 3Department of Earth and Space Science, University of Washington, Seattle WA, USA
  • 4Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla CA, USA
  • 5School of Earth and Climate Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, USA
  • 6Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, USA
  • 7Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
  • 8Department of Earth System Sciences, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
  • 9Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Sciences, University of Miami, FL, USA
  • 10Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, USA

Abstract. A new ice core drilled at the South Pole provides a 54 000-year paleoenvironmental record including the composition of the past atmosphere. This paper describes the SP19 chronology for the South Pole atmospheric gas record and complements a previous paper (Winski et al., 2019) describing the SP19 ice chronology. The gas chronology is based on a discrete methane (CH4) record with 20- to 190-year resolution. To construct the gas time scale abrupt changes in atmospheric CH4 during the glacial period and centennial CH4 variability during the Holocene were used to synchronize the South Pole gas record with analogous data from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core. Stratigraphic matching based on visual optimization was verified using an automated matching algorithm. The South Pole ice core recovers all expected changes in CH4 based on previous records. Smoothing of the atmospheric record due to gas transport in the firn is evident but relatively minor, despite the deep lock-in depth in the modern South Pole firn column. The new gas chronology, in combination with the existing ice age scale from Winski et al. (2019), allows a model-independent reconstruction of the gas age-ice age difference through the whole record, which will be useful for testing firn densification models.

Jenna A. Epifanio et al.

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Jenna A. Epifanio et al.

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Short summary
A new ice core drilled at the South Pole provides at 54 000 year paleoenvironmental record including the composition of the past atmosphere. This paper describes the gas chronology for the South Pole ice core, based on a high resolution methane record. The new gas chronology, in combination with the existing ice age scale from Winski et al. (2019), allows a model-independent reconstruction of the delta age record.
A new ice core drilled at the South Pole provides at 54 000 year paleoenvironmental record...
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