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Earth & Marine Sciences - Record of stability from Antarctica ice cores

ice coresThe first high-resolution glaciochemical record of West Antarctica’s last interglacial period between 140,000 and 102,000 years ago indicates that the warming episode was extremely stable compared to other ice age activity and ended after a long, gradual cooldown.

A team of researchers from the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, led by Elena Korotkikh, a Ph.D. candidate, analyzed a 42-meter ice core record from the Mt. Moulton Blue Ice Area. The ice contains a suite of 27 measurements, including major and trace elements, dust and temperature records.

According to the researchers, the Mt. Moulton record does not hint at any of the dramatic climate-related changes now projected for Antarctica. The interglacial period that was studied is an analog for how our modern climate era would have progressed under full natural forcing of the climate system. The data is further demonstration that current changes in Antarctic climate are being impacted by human activity, according to the researchers.

The team’s findings were published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews.

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