Microparticle Concentration Variations Linked with Climatic Change: Evidence from Polar Ice Cores

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  15 May 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4496, pp. 812-815
DOI: 10.1126/science.212.4496.812


The microparticle concentrations in three deep ice cores reveal a substantial increase in the concentration of insoluble particles in the global atmosphere during the latter part of the last major glaciation. The ratio of the average particle concentration in the late glacial strata to that in the Holocene strata is 6/1 for the core from Dome C, Antarctica, 3/1 for the core from Byrd Station, Antarctica, and 12/1 for the core from Camp Century, Greenland. Whether this temporal correlation between increased atmospheric particle load and the lower surface temperatures is directly causal is unknown; however, the variations in these two parameters must be satisfactorily resolved in any successful hypothesis that addresses the causes of climatic change.