Ice and firn core studies provide one of the most valuable tools for understanding the past climate change. In order to evaluate the temporal isotopic variability recorded in ice and its relevance to environmental changes, stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen were studied in a firn core from coastal Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. The annual 𝛿18O profile of the core shows a close relation to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability. The ENSO indices show significant correlation with the surface air temperatures and 𝛿18O values of this region during the austral summer season and support an additional influence related to the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). The correlation between the combined ENSO-SAM index and the summer 𝛿18O record seems to have been caused through an atmospheric mechanism. Snow accumulation in this region illustrates a decreasing trend with opposite relationships with 𝛿18O data and surface air temperature prior and subsequent to the year 1997. A reorganization of the local water cycle is further indicated by the deuterium excess data showing a shift around 1997, consistent with a change in evaporation conditions. The present study thus illustrates the utility of ice-core studies in the reconstruction of past climate change and suggests possible influence of climatic teleconnections on the snow accumulation rates and isotopic profiles of snow in the coastal regions of east Antarctica.
Volume 129, 2020
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