Ice core evidence for significant 100-year regional warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

ER Thomas, PF Dennis, TJ Bracegirdle, C Franzke

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We present a new 150-year, high-resolution, stable isotope record (d18O) from the Gomez ice core, drilled on the data sparse south western Antarctic Peninsula, revealing a ~2.7°C rise in surface temperatures since the 1950s. The record is highly correlated with satellite-derived temperature reconstructions and instrumental records from Faraday station on the north west coast, thus making it a robust proxy for local and regional temperatures since the 1850s. We conclude that the exceptional 50-year warming, previously only observed in the northern Peninsula, is not just a local phenomena but part of a statistically significant 100-year regional warming trend that began around 1900. A suite of coupled climate models are employed to demonstrate that the 50 and 100 year temperature trends are outside of the expected range of variability from pre-industrial control runs, indicating that the warming is likely the result of external climate forcing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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