Late Holocene climate change recorded in proxy records from a Bransfield Basin sediment core, Antarctic Peninsula

The glacimarine environment of the Antarctic Peninsula region is one of the fastest warming places on Earth today, but details of changes in the recent past remain unknown. Large distances and widespread variability separate late Holocene palaeoclimate reconstructions in this region. This study focuses on a marine sediment core collected from ca. 2000 m below sea level in the Central Bransfield Strait that serves as a key for understanding changes in this region. The core yielded a high sedimentation rate and therefore provides an exceptional high-resolution sedimentary record composed of hemipelagic sediment, with some turbidites. An age model has been created using radiocarbon dates that span the Late Holocene: 3560 cal yr BP to present. This chronostratigraphic framework was used to establish five units, which are grouped into two super-units: a lower super-unit (3560–1600 cal yr BP) and an upper super-unit (1600 cal yr BP–present), based on facies descriptions, laser particle size analysis, x-ray analysis, multi-sensor core logger data, weight percentages and isotopic values of total organic carbon and nitrogen. We interpret the signal contained within the upper super-unit as an increase in surface water irradiance and/or shortening of the sea-ice season and the five units are broadly synchronous with climatic intervals across the Antarctic Peninsula region. While the general trends of regional climatic periods are represented in the Bransfield Basin core we have examined, each additional record that is obtained adds variability to the known history of the Antarctic Peninsula, rather than clarifying specific trends.

Keywords: Antarctic Peninsula; palaeoclimate; Holocene; marine; isotopes.

(Published: 11 June 2014)

Citation: Polar Research 2014, 33, 17236,

Continue ReadingLate Holocene climate change recorded in proxy records from a Bransfield Basin sediment core, Antarctic Peninsula

Professor Tim Naish awarded the 2014 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica

1Professor Tim Naish has been awarded the 2014 Muse Prize, for his outstanding research in understanding Antarctica’s response to past and present climate change and the role of Antarctica’s ice sheets in global sea-level change through time. He led the first season of the ambitious and highly successful Antarctic Drilling Program (ANDRILL) where his international team pioneered innovative drilling technology to obtain sedimentary records of the past 13 million years, paving the way for further successful drilling in previously inaccessible ice-covered areas. As Chair of the ANDRILL Steering Committee, he continued to be actively involved in overseeing the programme, including securing funding for the next phase. More recently, he has played an influential role in the process of translating science into policy as a lead author on the Paleoclimate chapter of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is currently Director of the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, which continues to develop and has more than trebled its capacity under his direction.

The Prize Ceremony will be held at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Auckland in August.

Background information: The Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica is a US$ 100,000 unrestricted award presented to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science or policy that has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica. The Tinker Foundation’s goal is to recognize excellence in Antarctic research by honouring someone in the early to mid-stages of his or her career. The Prize is inspired by Martha T. Muse’s passion for Antarctica and is a legacy of the International Polar Year. For further details please follow link

Continue ReadingProfessor Tim Naish awarded the 2014 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica

The July Sea Ice Outlook report is now available


The July Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) report is now available at:

The SIO is an activity of the Sea Ice Prediction Network project (SIPN) as a contribution to the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH).

The organizers thank the groups and individuals that contributed to the 2014 July report, which includes 28 pan-Arctic contributions and three regional outlooks.


Continue ReadingThe July Sea Ice Outlook report is now available

Scientific Cooperation Task Force held its third meeting in Reykjavik

The Arctic Council’s Task Force for Enhancing Scientific Cooperation in the Arctic (SCTF) held its third meeting in Reykjavik on May 27-28, 2014.  The meeting focused on a draft document related to advancing scientific cooperation in the Arctic. The delegations decided that the task force would continue work on this document at its next meeting in September in Tromsø, Norway.

Continue ReadingScientific Cooperation Task Force held its third meeting in Reykjavik

New MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica 2008-2009 Image Map (NSIDC USO)

1The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is pleased to announce the release of the MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica 2008-2009 Image Map (MOA2009). This data set consists of two cloud-free digital image maps that show surface morphology and a quantitative measure of mean optical surface snow grain size on the Antarctic continent and surrounding islands.

MOA2009 represents the second in a series of MOA image mappings. The image map products have been generated and presented in a near-identical manner as the first mapping, the MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica 2003-2004 image Map (MOA2004). MOA2004 has also been updated with several new grain size image files providing both springtime and summer estimates of mean snow grain size.

A third MOA image mapping, based on data from the 2013-2014 austral summer (MOA2014), is planned for future publication later this year.

The data for MOA2009 were generated from 259 orbit swaths from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrumentation on board the NASA EOS Aqua and Terra satellites. The algorithm and tools for assembling the mosaic were developed by the NASA Cryospheric Sciences Program. Final processing and some adjustments to the snow grain size were completed under the NASA MEaSUREs Antarctic Ice Velocity grant. The Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC) at NSIDC offers data access, tools and information at the following page:

MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica 2008-2009 Image Map (MOA2009)

Continue ReadingNew MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica 2008-2009 Image Map (NSIDC USO)

SAON: Meeting of the Board in Helsinki, Finland

1The Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) has been established by the Arctic Council (AC) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) to lead the facilitation of international collaboration among government agencies, researchers, and northern residents, including indigenous people, and to promote a sustainable, and effectively coordinated circum-Arctic observing system.

At the latest meeting of the SAON Board it was decided to establish committees on (1) Observations and Networks (CON), and (2) Information and Data Services (CDIS). These Committees shall address issues that transcend individual Arctic observing and data platforms and all scales of organizational capabilities. The Committees should prepare overall strategies to improve the situation within the Northern areas regarding:

* Collection of data/information from Arctic social, economic, health and environmental sciences and observations, including permission to access geographical areas and platforms, and to present financial options for long term funding of platforms and operations (for CON)

* Establishment of a Circum-Arctic set of early warning indicators (an indicators network), focused initially on indicators of climate change that link to existing and ongoing Arctic assessments and provide the Arctic community with a status of the health of specific Arctic natural and human systems (for CON)

* Free and easy access to data and information (for CDIS)

* Integration and dissemination of data and information will be provided through a SAON-led Circum-Arctic Information System (for CDIS)

The chair of CDIS is Dr. Peter Pulsifer, National Snow and Ice Data Center, USA. The Committee will meet for the first time in November in Potsdam.
The chair of CON has not been appointed yet.

You can find the minutes from the Board meeting here

Continue ReadingSAON: Meeting of the Board in Helsinki, Finland

SOOS Townhall on Southern Ocean Ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables

1- SOOS is a CliC Endorsed Project

SOOS will be running a lunchtime Town Hall meeting alongside the SCAR Open Science Conference to inform all interested of the outcomes from the recent SOOS workshop on Identification of ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables. This Town Hall is open to all interested to participate.
A light lunch will be provided for the first 50 participants on a first-come first-served basis.
For more information, please contact Louise Newman (newman [AT] soos [DOT] aq)

Auckland, New Zealand, 27 August 2014, The Auckland Room 13:30 - 14:30

Continue ReadingSOOS Townhall on Southern Ocean Ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables