Mineral dust variability in central West Antarctica associated with ozone depletion
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Atmospheric chemistry and physics discussions
, p. 12685-12714
University of Antwerp
Here we show that mineral dust retrieved from an ice core in the central West Antarctic sector, spanning the last five decades, provides evidence that northerly air mass incursions into Antarctica, tracked by dust microparticles, have slightly declined. This result contrasts with dust in ice core records reported in West/coastal Antarctica, which show significant increases to the present day. We attribute that difference, in part, to changes in the regional climate regime triggered by the ozone depletion and its consequences for the polar vortex intensity. The vortex maintains the Antarctic central region relatively isolated from mid-latitude air mass incursions with implications to the intensification of the Westerlies and to a persistent positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode. We also show that variability of the diameter of insoluble microparticles in central West Antarctica can be modeled by linear/quadratic functions of both cyclone depth (energy) and wind intensity around Antarctica.