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Eight glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core

Fig.1. EPICA Dome C ice core data Eight glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core.
Nature v.429, No. 6992, pp. 623-628, 10 June 2004.

EPICA Community Members *

Figure 1.
Measured parameters from the EPICA Dome C ice core, on an ice depth scale.
a, dD, averaged over 3.85-m sections. b, Grain radius, measured approximately every 10 m. c, Dust concentration-below 787 m, there is one sample every 5.5 m; above that, one sample every 1.5 m. d, Electrical data (as discussed in the Methods), in 1-m averages. Termination V is marked by an arrow in a.
The Antarctic Vostok ice core provided compelling evidence of the nature of climate, and of climate feedbacks, over the past 420,000 years. Marine records suggest that the amplitude of climate variability was smaller before that time, but such records are often poorly resolved. Moreover, it is not possible to infer the abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from marine records. Here we report the recovery of a deepice core from Dome C, Antarctica, that provides a climate record for the past 740,000 years. For the four most recent glacial cycles, the data agree well with the record from Vostok. The earlier period, between 740,000 and 430,000 years ago, was characterized by less pronounced warmth in interglacial periods in Antarctica, but a higher proportion of each cycle was spent in the warm mode. The transition from glacial to interglacial conditions about 430,000 years ago (Termination V) resembles the transition into the present interglacial period in terms of the magnitude of change in temperatures and greenhouse gases, but there are significant differences in the patterns of change. The interglacial stage following Termination V was exceptionally long-28,000 years compared to, for example, the 12,000 years recorded so far in the present interglacial period. Given the similarities between this earlier warm period and today, our results may imply that without human intervention, a climate similar to the present one would extend well into the future.

Download the data from this study from the WDC Paleo Ice Core Gateway.

To read or view the full study, please visit the Nature website.
It was published in Nature v.429, No. 6992, pp. 623-628, 10 June 2004.

* EPICA community members (participants are listed alphabetically)
Laurent Augustin1, Carlo Barbante2, Piers R. F. Barnes3, Jean Marc Barnola1, Matthias Biglerv, Emiliano Castellano5, Olivier Cattani6, Jerome Chappellaz1, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen7, Barbara Delmonte1,8, Gabrielle Dreyfus6, Gael Durand1, Sonia Falourd6, Hubertus Fischer9, Jacqueline Flückiger4, Margareta E. Hansson10, Philippe Huybrechts9,Gérard Jugie11, Sigfus J. Johnsen7, Jean Jouzel6, Patrik Kaufmann4, Josef Kipfstuhl9, Fabrice Lambert4, Vladimir Y. Lipenkov12, Geneviève C. Littot3, Antonio Longinelli13, Reginald Lorrain14, Valter Maggi8, Valerie Masson-Delmotte6, Heinz Miller9, Robert Mulvaney3, Johannes Oerlemans15, Hans Oerter9, Giuseppe Orombelli8, Frederic Parrenin1,6, David A. Peel3, Jean-Robert Petit1, Dominique Raynaud1, Catherine Ritz1, Urs Ruth9, Jakob Schwander4, Urs Siegenthaler4, Roland Souchez14, Bernhard Stauffer4, Jorgen Peder Steffensen7, Barbara Stenni16, Thomas F. Stocker4, Ignazio E. Tabacco17, Roberto Udisti5, Roderik S. W. van de Wal15, Michiel van den Broeke15, Jerome Weiss1, Frank Wilhelms9, Jan-Gunnar Winther18, Eric W. Wolff3 and Mario Zucchelli19*
1 Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (CNRS), BP 96, 38402 St Martin d'Hères Cedex, France
2 Environmental Sciences Department, University of Venice, Calle Larga S. Marta, 2137, I-30123 Venice, Italy
3 British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
4 Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
5 Department of Chemistry-Analytical Chemistry Section, Scientific Pole-University of Florence, Via della Lastruccia 3, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Florence), Italy
6 Institut Pierre Simon Laplace/Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, UMR CEA-CNRS 1572, CE Saclay, Orme des Merisiers, 91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
7 Niels Bohr Institute for Astronomy, Physics and Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
8 University of Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Scienze Ambiente e Territorio, Piazza della Scienza 1, I-20126 Milan, Italy
9 Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar-und Marine Research (AWI), Postfach 120161, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany
10 Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
11 Institut Polaire Francais-Paul Emile Victor (IPEV), BP 75, 29280 Plouzane, France
12 Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, 38 Beringa Street, 199397 St Petersburg, Russia
13 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 157/A, I-43100 Parma, Italy
14 Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement, Faculté des Sciences, CP 160/03, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 50 avenue FD Roosevelt, B1050 Brussels, Belgium
15 Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU), Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
16 Department of Geological, Environmental and Marine Sciences, University of Trieste, Via E. Weiss 2, I-34127 Trieste, Italy
17 Earth Science Department, University of Milan, Via Cicognara 7, 20129 Milano, Italy
18 Norwegian Polar Institute, N-9296 Tromso, Norway
19 ENEA, CRE Casaccia, PO Box 2400, Via Anguillarese 301, 00060 S. Maria di Galleria (RM), Italy.
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