, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 153-166
Date: 24 Apr 2003

Recent southern Indian Ocean climate variability inferred from a Law Dome ice core: new insights for the interpretation of coastal Antarctic isotopic records

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Stable isotopes in water have been measured along a very high accumulation ice core from Law Dome on the east Antarctic coast. These enable a detailed comparison of the isotopic records over sixty years (1934–1992) with local (Antarctic station data) and remote meteorological observations (atmospheric reanalyses and sea-surface temperature estimates) on a seasonal to inter-annual time scale. Using both observations and isotopic atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) results, we quantify the relationships between stable isotopes (δ18O, δD and deuterium excess; d = δD –8 × δ18O) with site and source temperature at seasonal and decadal time scales, showing the large imprint of source conditions on Law Dome isotopes. These calibrations provide new insights for the quantitative interpretation of temporal isotopic fluctuations from coastal Antarctic ice cores. An abrupt change in the local meridional atmospheric circulation is clearly identified from Law Dome deuterium excess during the 1970s and analysed using GCM simulations.