Temperature and mineral dust variability recorded in two low-accumulation Alpine ice cores over the last millennium

Bohleber, Pascal; Erhardt, Tobias; Spaulding, Nicole; Hoffmann, Helene; Fischer, Hubertus; Mayewski, Paul (2018). Temperature and mineral dust variability recorded in two low-accumulation Alpine ice cores over the last millennium. Climate of the past, 14(1), pp. 21-37. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/cp-14-21-2018

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Among ice core drilling sites in the European Alps, Colle Gnifetti (CG) is the only non-temperate glacier to offer climate records dating back at least 1000 years. This unique long-term archive is the result of an exceptionally low net accumulation driven by wind erosion and rapid annual layer thinning. However, the full exploitation of the CG time series has been hampered by considerable dating uncertainties and the seasonal summer bias in snow preservation. Using a new core drilled in 2013 we extend annual layer count- ing, for the first time at CG, over the last 1000 years and add additional constraints to the resulting age scale from radio-carbon dating. Based on this improved age scale, and using a multi-core approach with a neighbouring ice core, we explore the time series of stable water isotopes and the mineral dust proxies Ca²⁺ and insoluble particles. Also in our latest ice core we face the already known limitation to the quantitative use of the stable isotope variability based on a high and potentially non-stationary isotope/temperature sensitivity at CG. Decadal trends in Ca²⁺ reveal substantial agreement with instrumental temperature and are explored here as a potential site-specific supplement to the isotope-based temperature reconstruction. The observed coupling between temperature and Ca²⁺ trends likely results from snow preservation effects and the advection of dust-rich air masses coinciding with warm temperatures. We find that if calibrated against instrumental data, the Ca²⁺-based temperature reconstruction is in robust agreement with the latest proxy-based summer temperature reconstruction, including a “Little Ice Age” cold period as well as a medieval climate anomaly. Part of the medieval climate period around AD 1100–1200 clearly stands out through an increased occurrence of dust events, potentially resulting from a relative increase in meridional flow and/or dry conditions over the Mediterranean.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Erhardt, Tobias and Fischer, Hubertus

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

1814-9324

Publisher:

Copernicus Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

28 Mar 2018 10:37

Last Modified:

01 Apr 2018 02:22

Publisher DOI:

10.5194/cp-14-21-2018

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.109376

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/109376

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