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Nature ; 540(7632): 252-255, 2016 12 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27929018


The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) contains the equivalent of 7.4 metres of global sea-level rise. Its stability in our warming climate is therefore a pressing concern. However, the sparse proxy evidence of the palaeo-stability of the GIS means that its history is controversial (compare refs 2 and 3 to ref. 4). Here we show that Greenland was deglaciated for extended periods during the Pleistocene epoch (from 2.6 million years ago to 11,700 years ago), based on new measurements of cosmic-ray-produced beryllium and aluminium isotopes (10Be and 26Al) in a bedrock core from beneath an ice core near the GIS summit. Models indicate that when this bedrock site is ice-free, any remaining ice is concentrated in the eastern Greenland highlands and the GIS is reduced to less than ten per cent of its current volume. Our results narrow the spectrum of possible GIS histories: the longest period of stability of the present ice sheet that is consistent with the measurements is 1.1 million years, assuming that this was preceded by more than 280,000 years of ice-free conditions. Other scenarios, in which Greenland was ice-free during any or all Pleistocene interglacials, may be more realistic. Our observations are incompatible with most existing model simulations that present a continuously existing Pleistocene GIS. Future simulations of the GIS should take into account that Greenland was nearly ice-free for extended periods under Pleistocene climate forcing.

Science ; 337(6100): 1330-3, 2012 Sep 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22984068


Greenland ice cores reveal that mean annual temperatures during the Younger Dryas (YD) cold interval--about 12.9 to 11.7 thousand years ago (ka)--and the ~150-year-long cold reversal that occurred 8.2 thousand years ago were ~15° and 3° to 4°C colder than today, respectively. Reconstructing ice-sheet response to these climate perturbations can help evaluate ice-sheet sensitivity to climate change. Here, we report the widespread advance of Laurentide Ice Sheet outlet glaciers and independent mountain glaciers on Baffin Island, Arctic Canada, in response to the 8.2-ka event and show that mountain glaciers during the 8.2-ka event were larger than their YD predecessors. In contrast to the wintertime bias of YD cooling, we suggest that cooling during the 8.2-ka event was more evenly distributed across the seasons.

Mudança Climática , Camada de Gelo , Regiões Árticas , Canadá , Estações do Ano
Nature ; 467(7312): 194-7, 2010 Sep 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20829791


Millennial-scale cold reversals in the high latitudes of both hemispheres interrupted the last transition from full glacial to interglacial climate conditions. The presence of the Younger Dryas stadial (approximately 12.9 to approximately 11.7 kyr ago) is established throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, but the global timing, nature and extent of the event are not well established. Evidence in mid to low latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, in particular, has remained perplexing. The debate has in part focused on the behaviour of mountain glaciers in New Zealand, where previous research has found equivocal evidence for the precise timing of increased or reduced ice extent. The interhemispheric behaviour of the climate system during the Younger Dryas thus remains an open question, fundamentally limiting our ability to formulate realistic models of global climate dynamics for this time period. Here we show that New Zealand's glaciers retreated after approximately 13 kyr bp, at the onset of the Younger Dryas, and in general over the subsequent approximately 1.5-kyr period. Our evidence is based on detailed landform mapping, a high-precision (10)Be chronology and reconstruction of former ice extents and snow lines from well-preserved cirque moraines. Our late-glacial glacier chronology matches climatic trends in Antarctica, Southern Ocean behaviour and variations in atmospheric CO(2). The evidence points to a distinct warming of the southern mid-latitude atmosphere during the Younger Dryas and a close coupling between New Zealand's cryosphere and southern high-latitude climate. These findings support the hypothesis that extensive winter sea ice and curtailed meridional ocean overturning in the North Atlantic led to a strong interhemispheric thermal gradient during late-glacial times, in turn leading to increased upwelling and CO(2) release from the Southern Ocean, thereby triggering Southern Hemisphere warming during the northern Younger Dryas.

Science ; 324(5927): 622-5, 2009 May 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19407198


Understanding the timings of interhemispheric climate changes during the Holocene, along with their causes, remains a major problem of climate science. Here, we present a high-resolution 10Be chronology of glacier fluctuations in New Zealand's Southern Alps over the past 7000 years, including at least five events during the last millennium. The extents of glacier advances decreased from the middle to the late Holocene, in contrast with the Northern Hemisphere pattern. Several glacier advances occurred in New Zealand during classic northern warm periods. These findings point to the importance of regional driving and/or amplifying mechanisms. We suggest that atmospheric circulation changes in the southwest Pacific were one important factor in forcing high-frequency Holocene glacier fluctuations in New Zealand.

Science ; 308(5722): 678-81, 2005 Apr 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-15860623


The local last glacial maximum in the tropical Andes was earlier and less extensive than previously thought, based on 106 cosmogenic ages (from beryllium-10 dating) from moraines in Peru and Bolivia. Glaciers reached their greatest extent in the last glacial cycle approximately 34,000 years before the present and were retreating by approximately 21,000 years before the present, implying that tropical controls on ice volumes were asynchronous with those in the Northern Hemisphere. Our estimates of snowline depression reflect about half the temperature change indicated by previous widely cited figures, which helps resolve the discrepancy between estimates of terrestrial and marine temperature depression during the last glacial cycle.

Chem Res Toxicol ; 17(12): 1614-20, 2004 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-15606137


A method using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) has been developed for quantifying attomoles of beryllium (Be) in biological samples. This method provides the sensitivity to trace Be in biological samples at very low doses with the purpose of identifying the molecular targets involved in chronic beryllium disease. Proof of the method was tested by administering 0.001, 0.05, 0.5, and 5.0 microg of 9Be and 10Be by intraperitoneal injection to male mice and removing the spleen, liver, femurs, blood, lungs, and kidneys after 24 h of exposure. These samples were prepared for AMS analysis by tissue digestion in nitric acid, followed by further organic oxidation with hydrogen peroxide and ammonium persulfate and, last, precipitation of Be with ammonium hydroxide and conversion to beryllium oxide at 800 degrees C. The 10Be/9Be ratio of the extracted beryllium oxide was measured by AMS, and Be in the original sample was calculated. Results indicate that Be levels were dose-dependent in all tissues and the highest levels were measured in the spleen and liver. The measured 10Be/9Be ratios spanned 4 orders of magnitude, from 10(-10) to 10(-14), with a detection limit of 3.0 x 10(-14), which is equivalent to 0.8 amol of 10Be. These results show that routine quantification of nanogram levels of Be in tissues is possible and that AMS is a sensitive method that can be used in biological studies to understand the molecular dosimetry of Be and mechanisms of toxicity.

Beriliose/metabolismo , Berílio/análise , Espectrometria de Massas/métodos , Aceleradores de Partículas , Animais , Berílio/química , Doença Crônica , Fígado/química , Pulmão/química , Masculino , Camundongos