Climatic Change

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 69-89

First online:

Past Antarctic Peninsula climate (1850–1980) deduced from an ice core isotope record

  • Alberto J. AristarainAffiliated withInstituto Antártico Argentino and Instituto Argentino de Nivología y Glaciología (CRICYT)
  • , Jean JouzelAffiliated withLaboratoire de Géochimie Isotopique, Centre d'Etudes Nucléaires de Saclay (CEA)
  • , Michel PourchetAffiliated withLaboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (CNRS)

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A detailed climatic study of the Antarctic Peninsula from 1850 to 1980 has been carried out through the analysis of deuterium content in the snow layers of Dalinger Dome (James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula). It is based on the high correlation found between mean deuterium contents at this site and temperature data from stations within this region going back as far as April 1903 for the Argentine Orcadas station.

The strong correlation between isotopes and temperatures first reveals a 1956 isotope reference for the region considered. Secondly, the isotope-temperature gradient is estimated at 4.5%. °C−1 for deuterium.

After checking that the major temperature anomalies on the Antarctic Peninsula recorded since 1904 (according to available data) correspond to annual mean stable isotope peaks at Dalinger Dome, the amplitude of four prior anomalies are estimated in °C. Finally, a cooling of about 2 °C since 1850 is suggested for the region.