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Annals of Glaciology

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ABSTRACT. Using results stemming from the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE) ice-core array plus data from ice cores from the South Pole and Siple Dome we investigate the use of sodium (Na+), non-sea-salt sulfate (nssSO4 2–) and methylsulfonate (MS–) as proxies for Antarctic sea-ice extent (SIE). Maximum and mean annual chemistry concentrations for these three species correlate significantly with maximum, mean and minimum annual SIE, offering more information and clarification than single ice-core and single species approaches. Significant correlations greater than 90% exist between Na+ and maximum SIE; nssSO4 2– with minimum and mean SIE; and MS– with mean SIE. Correlations with SIE within large geographic regions are in the same direction for all ice-core sites for Na+ and nssSO4 2– but not MS–. All ice cores display an SIE correlation with nssSO4 2– and MS–, but not all correlate with Na+. This multi-core multi-parameter study provides the initial step in determining which chemical species can be used reliably and in which regions as a building block for embedding other ice-core records. Once established, the resulting temporal and spatial matrix can be used to relate ice extents, atmospheric patterns, biological productivity and site conditions.


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