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Original Research Papers

Tropospheric transport of continental tracers towards Antarctica under varying climatic conditions

Authors:

G. Krinner ,

Laboratoire de Glaciologie de de Géophysique de l’Environnement, FR
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C. Genthon

Laboratoire de Glaciologie de de Géophysique de l’Environnement, FR
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Abstract

We present a method to analyse tracer transit time climatologies based on the concept of tracer age.The method consists of introducing idealized, short-lived radioactively decaying tracers in a generalcirculation model of the atmosphere. Tracer age since emission is calculated at any given place in theatmosphere from the ratio of the concentrations of tracers with different lifetimes emitted over thesame source area. An obvious use of this method is the analysis of transport of real tracers with similarlifetimes (such as dust particles) during different climatic periods. Here, this method is applied totransport from southern hemisphere continental source areas towards Antarctica at the present, the lastglacial maximum (21 kyr BP) and the last glacial inception (115 kyr BP). It is found that the variationover time of atmospheric transport efficiency towards Antarctica depends on the tracer source region:changes for Patagonian tracers differ from those for tracers originating over Australia and southernAfrica. Transport towards Antarctica during the last glacial maximum (LGM) is faster for Patagonian, but not for Australian and Southern African tracers. It is shown that for the time of the last glacialinception, tracer transit time towards Antarctica is not significantly different from the present, althoughsigns of a more vigorous atmospheric circulation can be seen in the simulation.

How to Cite: Krinner, G. and Genthon, C., 2003. Tropospheric transport of continental tracers towards Antarctica under varying climatic conditions. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 55(1), pp.54–70. DOI: http://doi.org/10.3402/tellusb.v55i1.16354
  Published on 01 Jan 2003
 Accepted on 11 Sep 2002            Submitted on 26 Nov 2001

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