Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2022-15
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2022-15
 
22 Feb 2022
22 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Compilation of Southern Ocean sea-ice records covering the last glacial-interglacial cycle (12–130 ka)

Matthew Chadwick1, Xavier Crosta2, Oliver Esper3, Lena Thöle4, and Karen E. Kohfeld5,6 Matthew Chadwick et al.
  • 1British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
  • 2UMR 5805 EPOC, Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, EPHE, Pessac, France
  • 3Alfred Wegner Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 5School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
  • 6School of Environmental Science, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

Abstract. Antarctic sea ice forms a critical part of the Southern Ocean and global climate system. The behaviour of Antarctic sea ice throughout the last glacial-interglacial (G-IG) cycle (12,000–130,000 years) allows us to investigate the interactions between sea ice and climate under a large range of mean climate states. Understanding both temporal and spatial variations in Antarctic sea ice across a G-IG cycle is crucial to better understanding the G-IG regulation of atmospheric CO2, ocean circulation, nutrient cycling and productivity. This study presents published qualitative and quantitative estimates of G-IG sea ice from twenty four marine sediment cores, and an Antarctic ice core. Sea ice is reconstructed from the sediment core records using diatom assemblages and from the ice core record using sea-salt sodium flux. Whilst all regions of the Southern Ocean display the same overall pattern in G-IG sea-ice variations, the magnitudes and timings vary between regions. Sea-ice cover is most sensitive to changing climate in the output regions for the Weddell Sea and Ross Sea Gyres, as indicated by the greatest magnitude changes in sea ice in these areas. In contrast the Scotia Sea sea-ice cover is much more resilient to moderate climatic warming, likely due to the meltwater stratification from high iceberg flux through ‘iceberg alley’ helping to sustain high sea-ice cover outside of full glacial intervals. The differing sensitivities of sea ice to climatic shifts between different regions of the Southern Ocean has important implications for the spatial pattern of nutrient supply and primary productivity, which subsequently impact carbon uptake and atmospheric CO2 concentrations changes across a G-IG cycle.

Matthew Chadwick et al.

Status: open (extended)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2022-15', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Apr 2022 reply

Matthew Chadwick et al.

Matthew Chadwick et al.

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Short summary
Algae preserved in seafloor sediments have allowed us to reconstruct how Antarctic sea ice has varied between cold and warm time periods in the last 130 thousand years. The patterns and timings of sea-ice increase and decrease vary between different parts of the Southern Ocean. Sea ice is most sensitive to changing climate at the external edges of Southern Ocean gyres (large areas of rotating ocean currents).