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Holocene melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet driven by tropical Pacific warming
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2022 (English)In: Nature Communications, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 13, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The primary Antarctic contribution to modern sea-level rise is glacial discharge from the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The main processes responsible for ice mass loss include: (1) ocean-driven melting of ice shelves by upwelling of warm water onto the continental shelf; and (2) atmospheric-driven surface melting of glaciers along the Antarctic coast. Understanding the relative influence of these processes on glacial stability is imperative to predicting sea-level rise. Employing a beryllium isotope-based reconstruction of ice-shelf history, we demonstrate that glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea Embayment underwent melting and retreat between 9 and 6 thousand years ago. Despite warm ocean water influence, this melting event was mainly forced by atmospheric circulation changes over continental West Antarctica, linked via a Rossby wave train to tropical Pacific Ocean warming. This millennial-scale glacial history may be used to validate contemporary ice-sheet models and improve sea-level projections.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 13, no 1
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Natural Sciences
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SWEDARP 2009/10, Oden Southern Ocean 2009/10
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URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8959DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-30076-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8959DiVA, id: diva2:1724582
Available from: 2023-01-09 Created: 2023-01-09 Last updated: 2023-03-28Bibliographically approved

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