340 years of atmospheric circulation characteristics reconstructed from an eastern Antarctic Peninsula ice core
Precipitation delivery mechanisms for Dolleman Island (DI), located off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, are investigated using reanalysis and back trajectory data. The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and ENSO are both shown to influence precipitation delivery and event size. Precipitation delivery variability is compared against the interannual variation of chemical data from two DI ice cores. Nitrate concentration in the cores is strongly linked with the ratio of easterly to westerly back trajectories arriving at DI, as described by a Cross-Peninsula Index (CPI) defined in this paper. This CPI is used subsequently to reconstruct the atmospheric circulation characteristics for the 340-year ice core record. The analysis highlights a period of increased easterlies during 1720–1780 and an increase in westerlies for 1950–1980, the latter concomitant with a positive SAM trend and western Peninsula warming. The reconstruction also reveals periods when polynyas may have been present in the Weddell Sea.