Articles | Volume 17, issue 10
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-17-4399-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-17-4399-2023
Research article
 | 
19 Oct 2023
Research article |  | 19 Oct 2023

Characteristics and rarity of the strong 1940s westerly wind event over the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica

Gemma K. O'Connor, Paul R. Holland, Eric J. Steig, Pierre Dutrieux, and Gregory J. Hakim

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Latest update: 26 Feb 2024
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Short summary
Glaciers in West Antarctica are rapidly melting, but the causes are unknown due to limited observations. A leading hypothesis is that an unusually large wind event in the 1940s initiated the ocean-driven melting. Using proxy reconstructions (e.g., using ice cores) and climate model simulations, we find that wind events similar to the 1940s event are relatively common on millennial timescales, implying that ocean variability or climate trends are also necessary to explain the start of ice loss.