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Twentieth century increase in snowfall in coastal West Antarctica

Thomas, Elizabeth R.; Hosking, J. Scott; Tuckwell, Rebecca R.; Ludlow, Emily C.. 2015 Twentieth century increase in snowfall in coastal West Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (21). 9387-9393. 10.1002/2015GL065750

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Abstract/Summary

The Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass in recent decades; however, long records of snow accumulation are needed to place the recent changes in context. Here we present 300 year records of snow accumulation from two ice cores drilled in Ellsworth Land, West Antarctica. The records show a dramatic increase in snow accumulation during the twentieth century, linked to a deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), tropical sea surface temperatures, and large-scale atmospheric circulation. The observed increase in snow accumulation and interannual variability during the late twentieth century is unprecedented in the context of the past 300 years and evidence that the recent deepening of the ASL is part of a longer trend.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/2015GL065750
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Chemistry and Past Climate
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Keywords: snowfall, West Antarctica, ice cores, Amundsen Sea low
Date made live: 16 Nov 2015 14:23 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/504557

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