Recent changes in North West Greenland climate documented by NEEM shallow ice core data and simulations, and implications for past temperature reconstructions

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 5:45 PM
Valérie Masson-Delmotte and Hans Christian Steen-Larsen, LSCE Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Gif-Sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Stack records of accumulation, d18O and deuterium excess were produced from up to 4 shallow ice cores at NEEM (North-West Greenland), spanning 1724-2007 and updated to 2011 using pit water stable isotope data. Signal-to-noise ratio is high for d18O (1.3) and accumulation (1.2) but is low for deuterium excess (0.4). No long-term trend is observed in the accumulation record. By contrast, NEEM d18O shows multi-decadal increasing trends in the late 19th century and since the 1980s. Decadal d18O and accumulation variability is in phase with Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation indices, and enhanced at the beginning of the 19th century. Large-scale spatial coherency is detected between NEEM and other Greenland ice core and temperature records, strongest for North-West Greenland d18O and summer South-West coastal temperature instrumental records. The strength of correlations with the North Atlantic Oscillation is smaller than in central or south Greenland. The strongest positive d18O values are recorded at NEEM in 2010, followed by 1928, while maximum accumulation occurs in 1933. The coldest/driest decades are depicted at NEEM in 1815-1825 and 1836-1836. The spatial structure of these warm/ wet years and cold/dry decades is investigated using all available Greenland ice cores. During the period 1958-2011, the NEEM accumulation and d18O records are highly correlated with simulated precipitation, temperature and d18O from simulations performed with MAR, LMDZiso and ECHAM5iso atmospheric models, nudged to atmospheric reanalyses. Model-data agreement is better using ERA reanalyses than NCEP/NCAR and 20CR ones. Model performance is poor for deuterium excess. Gridded temperature reconstructions, instrumental data and model outputs at NEEM are used to estimate the d18O-temperature relationship for the strong warming period in 1979-2007. The estimated slope of this relationship is 1.1±0.2‰ per °C, about twice larger than previously used to estimate last interglacial temperature change from the deep NEEM ice core.