Key Questions

Key questions to be addressed with new Antarctic Peninsula ice cores

  1. Is the decoupling of climate in the Peninsula region from that over the rest of the continent natural, or is it a 20th century phenomenon (possibly anthropogenic)?
  2. What is the land-based evidence for Early Holocene warmth and how does it compare to that of the 20th century?
  3. Can the ice core chemistry shed light on the history of the disintegration of ice shelves in the region?
  4. What is the history of local, regional, and global volcanic activity recorded in these cores?
  5. Do the Antarctic Peninsula ice fields contain glacial stage ice? If so, what is the nature and timing of the deglaciation? How does it compare with the transition
    recorded in the Ross Sea Sector, Greenland, or South America? This is critical for unraveling the leads and lags in the climate system as it transitions from glacial to interglacial conditions.
  6. Was the large dust event ~4,200 years ago — prevalent in the tropics — globally distributed? Interest arises as it appears coincident with a 3 century long drought thought to have produced societal disruptions in the Middle East (e.g., beginning of the First Dark Age).
  7. Is the abrupt climate event ~5,200 years ago recorded in the Antarctic Peninsula? Pinpointing the timing of this event has been challenging and the proposed ice cores may provide a time constraint.

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