Mid latitude winter climate varibility in the South Indian and southwest Pacific regions since 1300 AD

I. D. Goodwin*, T. D. van Ommen, M. A J Curran, P. A. Mayewski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mid-latitude winter atmospheric variability in the South Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific Ocean regions of the circum-Antarctic are reconstructed using sea-salt aerosol concentrations measured in the high resolution Law Dome (DSS) ice core from East Antarctica. The sea-salt aerosol concentration data, as sodium (Na), were measured at approximately monthly resolution spanning the past 700 years. Analyses of covariations between Na concentrations in Law Dome ice, and mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) and wind field data were conducted to define the mid-latitude and subAntarctic atmospheric circulation patterns associated with variations in Na delivery. High Na concentrations in Law Dome snow are associated with increased meridional aerosol transport from mid-latitude sources. The seasonal average Na concentration for early winter (May, June, July (MJJ)) is strongly correlated to the mid-latitude MSLP field in the South Indian and southwest Pacific Oceans, and southern Australian regions. In addition, the average MJJ Na concentrations display a strong association with the stationary Rossby wave number 3 circulation, and are anti-correlated to the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index of climate variability: high (low) Na concentrations occurring during negative (positive) SAM phases. This observed relationship is used to derive a proxy record for early-winter MSLP anomalies and the SAM in the South Indian and southwest Pacific Ocean regions over the period 1300-1995 AD. The proxy SAM index from 1300 to 1995 AD shows pronounced decadal-scale variability throughout. The period after 1500 AD is marked by a tendency toward slower variations and a weakly-positive mean SAM (enhanced westerlies in the 50° to 65°S zone) compared to the early part of the record.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-794
Number of pages12
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

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