Earth System Diagnostics
What climate signal is contained in decadal- to centennial-scale isotope variations from Antarctic ice cores?
On the Similarity and Apparent Cycles of Isotopic Variations in East Antarctic Snow-Pits
We explain why snow pits across different sites in East Antarctica show visually similar variations in water isotopes. We argue that the similarity and the apparent cycles of around 20 cm in the isotopic variations are the result of a seasonal cycle in isotopes, noise, for example from precipitation intermittency, and diffusion. The near constancy of the diffusion length across many ice-coring sites explains why the structure and cycle length is largely independent of the accumulation conditions.
Laepple, T., T. Münch, M. Casado, M. Hoerhold, A. Landais, and S. Kipfstuhl. 2017. “On the Similarity and Apparent Cycles of Isotopic Variations in East Antarctic Snow-Pits.” The Cryosphere Discuss. 2017 (September): 1–29. doi:10.5194/tc-2017-199.