Salt concentrations in ice cores could unveil DO events' recipe
It is one thing to know that Earth has already faced abrupt climate changes—also known as Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) events—in the past. But finding out the reasons for these dramatic and rather short term changes is another story, one that Dr Rachael Rhodes from the University of Cambridge is reconstructing using chemistry records from ice cores taken from Greenland.
A common assumption with past DO events is that their occurrence was closely linked to major changes in Arctic sea ice extent: such changes feedback positively on Arctic temperature, and finding out exactly how this relationship works could be key to predicting how Arctic ice will react to ongoing climate change.
Within the framework of her SEADOG (Sea ice across Dansgaard-Oeschger events in Greenland) research, Dr Rhodes is analysing records of sea salt and methane sulphonic acid in Greenland ice cores with a view to defining whether they can be used as proxies for Arctic sea ice extent. She is investigating four ice core records for spatial and temporal variability across DO events, and exploring the controls on marine aerosol deposition over the Greenland Ice Sheet thanks to the p-TOMCAT chemical transport model.