Glacial-Interglacial Changes in Moisture Sources for Greenland: Influences on the Ice Core Record of Climate

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Science  28 Jan 1994:
Vol. 263, Issue 5146, pp. 508-511
DOI: 10.1126/science.263.5146.508


Large, abrupt shifts in the l8O/16O ratio found in Greenland ice must reflect real features of the climate system variability. These isotopic shifts can be viewed as a result of air temperature fluctuations, but determination of the cause of the changes—the most crucial issue for future climate concerns—requires a detailed understanding of the controls on isotopes in precipitation. Results from general circulation model experiments suggest that the sources of Greenland precipitation varied with different climate states, allowing dynamic atmospheric mechanisms for influencing the ice core isotope shifts.