Articles | Volume 17, issue 11
Research article
15 Nov 2023
Research article |  | 15 Nov 2023

Millennial and orbital-scale variability in a 54 000-year record of total air content from the South Pole ice core

Jenna A. Epifanio, Edward J. Brook, Christo Buizert, Erin C. Pettit, Jon S. Edwards, John M. Fegyveresi, Todd A. Sowers, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus, and Emma C. Kahle

Data sets

South Pole ice core (SPC14) total air content (TAC) Jenna Epifanio

Short summary
The total air content (TAC) of polar ice cores has long been considered a potential proxy for past ice sheet elevation. This study presents a high-resolution record of TAC from the South Pole ice core. The record reveals orbital- and millennial-scale variability that cannot be explained by elevation changes. The orbital- and millennial-scale changes are likely a product of firn grain metamorphism near the surface of the ice sheet, due to summer insolation changes or local accumulation changes.