Halogens: From Annual To a Millennial Time Scale

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 9:45 AM
Andrea Spolaor1, Paul Travis Vallelonga2, Anja Schoenhardt3, Jacopo Gabrieli4, John M C Plane5, Mark A Curran6, Mats P Bjorkman7,8 and Carlo Barbante1,4, (1)University of Venice, Venice, Italy, (2)Centre for Ice and Climate, Copenhagen, Denmark, (3)University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany, (4)CNR Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes, Milan, Italy, (5)University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2, United Kingdom, (6)Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart, Australia, (7)University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, (8)Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway
The role of sea ice in the Earth climate system is poorly defined, although its influence albedo, ocean circulation and atmosphere-ocean heat and gas exchange, in particular there is lack of information about its behaviour in the past. Different approaches have been proposed and used for the past reconstruction of sea ice. Attention has been given to sediment core in which measurement of diatomean assemblage has been discovered to respond to sea ice fluctuations. Recently a class of compounds, the highly branched isoprenoids (in particular the IP25) have been proposed as possible tracers for past sea ice extension. Other strategies have been used to evaluate the sea ice changes, for example multy-proxy approach (Kinnard et al. 2011) but for ice cores the question is still open. Sodium (Na) and Methanesulphonic acid (MSA) are now suggested as possible proxy. Sodium reflects glacial-interglacial sea ice variability but on shorter timescales is strongly influenced by meteorology (Levine et al. 2014). Methanesulphonic Acid, correlates with satellite observations of sea ice extent off the East Antarctic coast, but is reactive and remobilized in ice cores over centennial time scales (Curran, et al. 2003; Rothlisberger et al. 2010). In parallel we propose iodine and bromine, as a possible tracers for past sea ice changes. Bromine is actively involved in destruction chemistry of polar ozone via auto-catalyzed reactions called “Bromine explosions”, which occur above seasonal sea ice and causing an excess of bromine in the snow deposition compared to the sea water ratio. Iodine is emitted from algal communities growing under sea ice and then, percolating up to the sea ice surface, it is emitted into the polar atmosphere. We investigate the halogens signal in different sites and with different time coverage; measurements have been carried out in Greenland, Svalbard and Antarctica. We first investigate the conservation of the climate signal in the recent depositions (~3 years coverage) and then we extend the evaluation on a decal, centurial and millennia time scale. The results suggest the connection of Bromine excess with seasonal sea ice extension; Iodine signal shows a different behaviour between the two Poles, hypothetically because of the difference in sea ice physical characteristics, but some questions have to be clarified.