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The Spatial Structure of the 128 ka Antarctic Sea Ice Minimum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11129-11139
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
Early online date11 Nov 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 12 Oct 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 11 Nov 2017
DatePublished (current) - 16 Nov 2017


We compare multi-ice core data with δ18O model output for the early last interglacial Antarctic sea ice minimum. The spatial pattern of δ18O across Antarctica is sensitive to the spatial pattern of sea ice retreat. Local sea ice retreat increases the proportion of winter precipitation, depleting δ18O at ice core sites. However, retreat also enriches δ18O because of the reduced source-to-site distance for atmospheric vapor. The joint overall effect is for δ18O to increase as sea ice is reduced. Our data-model comparison indicates a winter sea ice retreat of 67, 59, and 43% relative to preindustrial in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific sectors of the Southern Ocean. A compilation of Southern Ocean sea ice proxy data provides weak support for this reconstruction. However, most published marine core sites are located too far north of the 128,000 years B.P. sea ice edge, preventing independent corroboration for this sea ice reconstruction.

    Research areas

  • 128 ka, Antarctic, ice cores, last interglacial, sea ice, sediment cores

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