Articles | Volume 15, issue 4
The Cryosphere, 15, 1787–1810, 2021
The Cryosphere, 15, 1787–1810, 2021

Research article 13 Apr 2021

Research article | 13 Apr 2021

Pervasive diffusion of climate signals recorded in ice-vein ionic impurities

Felix S. L. Ng

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Cited articles

Alley, R. B., Perepezko, J. H., and Bentley, C. R.: Grain growth in polar ice: I. Theory, J. Glaciol., 32, 415–424, 1986a. 
Alley, R. B., Perepezko, J. H., and Bentley, C. R.: Grain growth in polar ice: II. Application, J. Glaciol., 32, 425–433, 1986b. 
Alley, R. B. and Woods, G. A.: Impurity influence on normal grain growth in the GISP2 ice core, Greenland, J. Glaciol., 42, 255–260, 1996. 
Barletta, R. E., Priscu, J. C., Mader, H. M., Jones, W. L., and Roe, C. W.: Chemical analysis of ice vein microenvironments: II. Analysis of glacial samples from Greenland and the Antarctic, J. Glaciol., 58, 1109–1118,, 2012. 
Barnes, P. R. F. and Wolff, E. W.: Distribution of soluble impurities in cold glacial ice, J. Glaciol., 170, 311–324, 2004. 
Short summary
Current theory predicts climate signals in the vein chemistry of ice cores to migrate, hampering their dating. I show that the Gibbs–Thomson effect, which has been overlooked, causes fast diffusion that prevents signals from surviving into deep ice. Hence the deep climatic peaks in Antarctic and Greenlandic ice must be due to impurities in the ice matrix (outside veins) and safe from migration. These findings reset our understanding of postdepositional changes of ice-core climate signals.