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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #16, 2021

Posted on 21 April 2021 by doug_bostrom

Near doubling of age of oldest coherent ice core on tap?

Studies of paleoclimate  help us to understand our own recent creation of accidental rapid climate change and what we may expect from our blunder. Among many other sources of paleoclimate data, ice cores stand out for their near "tape recorder" fidelity in recording various features of climate of the past and - even better - some direct information about what may have been shaping climate at any given time during ice core coverage.

The very oldest ice recovered from "deep storage" in Antarctica  (and anywhere) so far dates back about 2.7 million years. There is certainly useful information to be had from these samples but as a tape recording goes they're the equivalent of a reel that has been sliced into segments of instants of time then scrambled, with most segments gone missing. That's because their preservation was the result of happenstance as ice passing over particular forms of topography encountered "turbulence," with some  fragments of very old layers pushed higher toward the surface so that even while parent layers were subsequently lost, these scattered parts remained available. Beyond this fluky preservation mechanism leaving a lot of gaps, it's a non-trivial job to identify the age of such chunks and unscramble their place in chronology.

The oldest coherent and most-like-a-tape-recording ice core we have in hand spans a bit more than 800,000 years into the past. This is an impressive achievement and has proven valuable for our understanding of climate behavior and drivers over "deep time." But of course it leaves us hungry for more, according with our species' insatiable curiosity.

Now a substantial team of researchers led by David Lilien have published a paper that may well mark exactly "X" on the map of where to drill in order to nearly double our coherent ice core record. Yet again the spot lies in Antarctica. Using newly available radar equipment and an abundance of brain power, the group have identified and characterized an apparently intact sequence of ice layers extending to 1.5 million years ago. This is an important, significant discovery. These results suggest it won't be long before we see cores hauled up; the prospects and demand for new data are compelling to "drill, baby, drill." When those cores emerge, our insight into climate behavior will be projected backward to nearly double what we could before see.

New radar constraints support presence of ice older than 1.5 Myr at Little Dome C is open access and free to read. The abstract:

The area near Dome C, East Antarctica, is thought to be one of the most promising targets for recovering a continuous ice-core record spanning more than a million years. The European Beyond EPICA consortium has selected Little Dome C (LDC), an area  35 km southeast of Concordia Station, to attempt to recover such a record. Here, we present the results of the final ice-penetrating radar survey used to refine the exact drill site. These data were acquired during the 2019–2020 austral summer using a new, multi-channel high-resolution very high frequency (VHF) radar operating in the frequency range of 170–230 MHz. This new instrument is able to detect reflectors in the near-basal region, where previous surveys were largely unable to detect horizons. The radar stratigraphy is used to transfer the timescale of the EPICA Dome C ice core (EDC) to the area of Little Dome C, using radar isochrones dating back past 600 ka. We use these data to derive the expected depth–age relationship through the ice column at the now-chosen drill site, termed BELDC (Beyond EPICA LDC). These new data indicate that the ice at BELDC is considerably older than that at EDC at the same depth and that there is about 375 m of ice older than 600 kyr at BELDC. Stratigraphy is well preserved to 2565 m,  93 % of the ice thickness, below which there is a basal unit with unknown properties. An ice-flow model tuned to the isochrones suggests ages likely reach 1.5 Myr near 2500 m,  65 m above the basal unit and  265 m above the bed, with sufficient resolution (19 ± 2 kyr m−1) to resolve 41 kyr glacial cycles.

54 Articles 

Observations of climate change, effects

Homogenization and trends analysis of the Belgian historical precipitation time series
Bertrand et al 2021 International Journal of Climatology
DOI: 10.1002/joc.7129

Unprecedented drought in South India and recent water scarcity
Mishra et al 2021 Environmental Research Letters
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abf289

A committed fourfold increase in ocean oxygen loss
Oschlies & Oschlies 2020
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22584-4

Warming amplification over the Arctic Pole and Third Pole: Trends, mechanisms and consequences
You et al 2021 Earth-Science Reviews
DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103625

Multi-decadal (1953–2017) rock glacier morphodynamics analysed by high-resolution topographic data in the Upper Kauner Valley, Austria
Fleischer et al 2021
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-2021-77

Widespread decline in winds delayed autumn foliar senescence over high latitudes
Wu et al 2021 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2015821118

Intense extreme hydro-climatic events take a toll on society
Bozorg-Haddad et al 2021 Natural Hazards
DOI: 10.1007/s11069-021-04749-y

Spatiotemporal change and attribution of potential evapotranspiration over China from 1901 to 2100
Ding et al 2021
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s00704-021-03625-w

Phenological shifts in lake stratification under climate change
Woolway et al 2021 Nature Communications
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22657-4

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

Spatially and temporally resolved ice loss in High Mountain Asia and the Gulf of Alaska observed by CryoSat-2 swath altimetry between 2010 and 2019
Jakob et al 2021 The Cryosphere
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-15-1845-2021

Mapping potential signs of gas emissions in ice of Lake Neyto, Yamal, Russia, using synthetic aperture radar and multispectral remote sensing data
Pointner et al 2020
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-15-1907-2021

Evaluating consistency between total column CO2 retrievals from OCO-2 and the in-situ network over North America: Implications for carbon flux estimation

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

Extreme climate changes over three major river basins in China as seen in CMIP5 and CMIP6
Zhu et al 2021 Climate Dynamics
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-021-05767-z

A statistical framework to project wave climate and energy potential in the Caspian Sea: application of CMIP6 scenarios
Alizadeh et al 2021 International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
DOI: 10.1007/s13762-021-03314-1

The Shallowing Surface Temperature Inversions in the Arctic
Zhang et al 2021 Journal of Climate
DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-20-0621.1

Impact of climate change on Spanish electricity demand
Garrido-Perez et al 2021 Climatic Change
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-021-03086-0

Intensification scenarios in projected precipitation using stochastic weather generators: a case study of central Oklahoma
Joshi et al 2021 Theoretical and Applied Climatology
DOI: 10.1007/s00704-021-03599-9

Projection of apparent temperature using statistical downscaling approach in the Pearl River Delta
Zhu et al 2021 Theoretical and Applied Climatology
DOI: 10.1007/s00704-021-03603-2

Coral-reef-derived dimethyl sulfide and the climatic impact of the loss of coral reefs
Fiddes et al 2021 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/acp-21-5883-2021

Anthropogenic aerosol forcing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and the associated mechanisms in CMIP6 models
Hassan et al 2021 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/acp-21-5821-2021

Advances in climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

Inferring future warming in the Arctic from the observed global warming trend and CMIP6 simulations
Hu et al 2021 Advances in Climate Change Research
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2021.04.002

Direct Influence of Solar Spectral Irradiance on the High-Latitude Surface Climate
Jing et al 2021 Journal of Climate
DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-20-0743.1

A new methodology for climate model selection and application to temperature of Europe
Altinsoy & Kurnaz 2021 Theoretical and Applied Climatology
DOI: 10.1007/s00704-021-03622-z

Cryosphere & climate change

Permafrost dynamics and their hydrologic impacts over the Russian Arctic Drainage Basin
Kang et al 2021 Advances in Climate Change Research
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2021.03.014

Improving Surface Melt Estimation over Antarctica Using Deep Learning: A Proof-of-Concept over the Larsen Ice Shelf
Hu et al 2021
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-2021-102

Multi-decadal (1953–2017) rock glacier morphodynamics analysed by high-resolution topographic data in the Upper Kauner Valley, Austria
Fleischer et al 2021
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-2021-77

Extreme melt season ice layers reduce firn permeability across Greenland
Culberg et al 2021 Nature Communications
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22656-5

Paleoclimate

Millennial scale feedbacks determine the shape and rapidity of glacial termination
Barker & Knorr 2021 Nature Communications
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22388-6

Brief communication: New radar constraints support presence of ice older than 1.5 Myr at Little Dome C
Lilien et al 2021 The Cryosphere
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-15-1881-2021

Complex network of synchronous climate events in East Asian tree-ring data
Wang et al 2021 Climatic Change
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-021-03008-0

Biology & climate change

A committed fourfold increase in ocean oxygen loss
Oschlies & Oschlies 2020
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22584-4

Can Antarctica's shallow zoobenthos ‘bounce back’ from iceberg scouring impacts driven by climate change?
Zwerschke et al 2021 Global Change Biology
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15617

Increasing climate sensitivity of beech and pine is not mediated by adaptation and soil characteristics along a precipitation gradient in northeastern Germany
Stolz et al 2021 Dendrochronologia
DOI: 10.1016/j.dendro.2021.125834

Marine heatwaves depress metabolic activity and impair cellular acid–base homeostasis in reef?building corals regardless of bleaching susceptibility
Innis et al 2021
Open Access DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15622

Widespread decline in winds delayed autumn foliar senescence over high latitudes
Wu et al 2021 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2015821118

Improved performance of the eastern spruce budworm on black spruce as warming temperatures disrupt phenological defenses
Bellemin?Noël et al 2021 Global Change Biology
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15643

Atlantic Equatorial Undercurrent intensification counteracts warming-induced deoxygenation
Brandt et al 2021 Nature Geoscience
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-021-00716-1

How will forecasted warming and drought affect soil respiration in savannah ecosystems? The role of tree canopy and grazing legacy
Matías et al 2021 Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108425

GHG sources & sinks, flux

Current and future carbon stocks in coastal wetlands within the Great Barrier Reef catchments
Duarte de Paula Costa et al 2021 Global Change Biology
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15642

Global importance of methane emissions from drainage ditches and canals
Peacock et al 2021 Environmental Research Letters
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abeb36

Substantial hysteresis in emergent temperature sensitivity of global wetland CH4 emissions

Uncertainties in the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) emission inventory of greenhouse gases
Solazzo et al 2021 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/acp-21-5655-2021

Nitrogen deposition accelerates soil carbon sequestration in tropical forests
Lu et al 2021 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2020790118

Mapping potential signs of gas emissions in ice of Lake Neyto, Yamal, Russia, using synthetic aperture radar and multispectral remote sensing data
Pointner et al 2020
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-15-1907-2021

Anthropocene climate warming enhances autochthonous carbon cycling in an upland Arctic lake, Disko Island, West Greenland
Stevenson et al 2021 Biogeosciences
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/bg-18-2465-2021

Evaluating consistency between total column CO2 retrievals from OCO-2 and the in-situ network over North America: Implications for carbon flux estimation

Aerosols

Anthropogenic aerosol forcing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and the associated mechanisms in CMIP6 models
Hassan et al 2021 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/acp-21-5821-2021

Hydrology & climate change

Projected changes in monthly baseflow across the U.S. Midwest
Ayers et al 2021 International Journal of Climatology
DOI: 10.1002/joc.7140

Permafrost dynamics and their hydrologic impacts over the Russian Arctic Drainage Basin
Kang et al 2021 Advances in Climate Change Research
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2021.03.014

Greater vulnerability of snowmelt-fed river thermal regimes to a warming climate
Yan et al 2021 Environmental Research Letters
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abf393

Unprecedented drought in South India and recent water scarcity
Mishra et al 2021 Environmental Research Letters
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abf289

The impact of rainfall change on rainwater source control in Beijing
Zhang et al 2021 Urban Climate
DOI: 10.1016/j.uclim.2021.100841

Phenological shifts in lake stratification under climate change
Woolway et al 2021 Nature Communications
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22657-4

Climate change communications & cognition

Climate Change Consensus Messages Cause Reactance
Chinn & Hart 2021 Environmental Communication
DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2021.1910530

Uncertainty in the “New Normal”: Understanding the Role of Climate Change Beliefs and Risk Perceptions in Michigan Tree Fruit Growers’ Adaptation Behaviors
Linder & Campbell-Arvai 2021 Weather, Climate, and Society,
DOI: 10.1175/wcas-d-20-0058.1

How Personal Experience Affects Perception of and Decisions Related to Climate Change: A Psychological View
Brügger et al 2021 Weather, Climate, and Society,
DOI: 10.1175/wcas-d-20-0100.1

Becoming Flood: Composing Anxious Assemblages in Flood Wall Street
Greenwalt 2021 Environmental Communication
DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2021.1909091

Environmental concern in a Wyoming coal town: contentious environmental problems in rural communities
Harfmann 2021 Environmental Sociology
DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2021.1913021

Something Very Fishy: An Informal STEAM Project Making a Case for Ocean Conservation and Climate Change
Tallapragada et al 2021 Environmental Communication
DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2021.1913208

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Uncertainty in the “New Normal”: Understanding the Role of Climate Change Beliefs and Risk Perceptions in Michigan Tree Fruit Growers’ Adaptation Behaviors
Linder & Campbell-Arvai 2021 Weather, Climate, and Society,
DOI: 10.1175/wcas-d-20-0058.1

Divergent climate feedbacks on winter wheat growing and dormancy periods as affected by sowing date in the North China Plain
Liu et al 2021 Biogeosciences
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/bg-18-2275-2021

Climate change impacts on pistachio cultivation areas in Iran: a simulation analysis based on CORDEX-MENA multi-model ensembles
Ahmadi et al 2021 Theoretical and Applied Climatology
DOI: 10.1007/s00704-021-03614-z

Spatial differences in the radial growth responses of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia Linn.) to climate on the Loess Plateau, China
Keyimu et al 2021 Dendrochronologia
DOI: 10.1016/j.dendro.2021.125832

Economics & finance of climate change & mitigation

Alternative carbon price trajectories can avoid excessive carbon removal
Strefler et al 2021 Nature Communications
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22211-2

 


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