Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-88
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-88

  22 Jul 2021

22 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Regional validation of the use of diatoms in ice cores from the Antarctic Peninsula as a Southern Hemisphere Westerly Wind proxy

Dieter R. Tetzner1,2, Elizabeth R. Thomas1, Claire S. Allen1, and Mackenzie M. Grieman2 Dieter R. Tetzner et al.
  • 1British Antarctic Survey, Ice Dynamics and Paleoclimate, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EQ, UK

Abstract. The Southern Hemisphere Westerly Winds are among the most important drivers of recently observed environmental changes in West Antarctica. However, the lack of long-term wind records in this region hinders our ability to assess the long-term context of these variations. Ice core proxy records yield valuable information about past environmental changes, although current proxies present limitations when aiming to reconstruct past winds. Here we present the first regional wind study based on the novel use of diatoms preserved in Antarctic ice cores. We assess the temporal variability in diatom abundance and its relation to regional environmental parameters spanning a 20-year period across three sites in the southern Antarctic Peninsula and Ellsworth Land, Antarctica. Correlation analyses reveal that the temporal variability of diatom abundance from high elevation ice core sites is driven by changes in wind strength over the core of the Southern Hemisphere Westerly Wind belt. Validating the use of diatoms preserved in ice cores from the Southern Antarctic Peninsula and Ellsworth Land as a proxy for reconstructing past variations in wind strength over the Pacific sector of the Southern Hemisphere Westerly Wind belt.

Dieter R. Tetzner et al.

Status: open (until 22 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2021-88', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Aug 2021 reply

Dieter R. Tetzner et al.

Dieter R. Tetzner et al.

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Short summary
Changes in the Southern Hemisphere Westerly Winds are drivers of recent environmental changes in West Antarctica. However, our understanding of this relationship is limited by short and sparse observational records. Here we present the first regional wind study based on the novel use of diatoms preserved in Antarctic ice cores. Our results demonstrate that diatom abundance is the optimal record for reconstructing wind strength variability over the Southern Hemisphere Westerly Wind belt.