Climatic Change

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 415-426

First online:

An oxygen isotope — Climate record from the Law Dome, Antarctica

  • V. I. MorganAffiliated withAntarctic Division, Department of Science

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Ice cores from a 473 m deep borehole at the summit of the Law Dome, Antarctica have been analysed for oxygen isotope ratio variations. Values averaged over each core section (nominally 2 m long) are used to compile a continuous record for climatic studies and the fine detail measurements which show annual variations are used to establish a date of deposition versus depth relationship. The temperature record derived from the isotope data shows a warm period from 300 to 1000 AD followed by a cooling which, after a partial recovery between 1400 and 1600 AD reaches a maximum around 1800. Temperatures then increase during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to almost the same values as prior to 1000 AD.