Stable water isotopes of precipitation and firn cores from the northern Antarctic Peninsula region as a proxy for climate reconstruction
In order to investigate the climate variability in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region, this paper focuses on the relationship between stable isotope content of precipitation and firn, and main meteorological variables (air temperature, relative humidity, sea surface temperature, and sea ice extent). Between 2008 and 2010, we collected precipitation samples and retrieved firn cores from several key sites in this region. We conclude that the deuterium excess oscillation represents a robust indicator of the meteorological variability on a seasonal to sub-seasonal scale. Low absolute deuterium excess values and the synchronous variation of both deuterium excess and air temperature imply that the evaporation of moisture occurs in the adjacent Southern Ocean. The δ 18O-air temperature relationship is complicated and significant only at a (multi)seasonal scale. Backward trajectory calculations show that air-parcels arriving at the region during precipitation events predominantly originate at the South Pacific Ocean and Bellingshausen Sea. These investigations will be used as a calibration for ongoing and future research in the area, suggesting that appropriate locations for future ice core research are located above 600 m a.s.l. We selected the Plateau Laclavere, Antarctic Peninsula as the most promising site for a deeper drilling campaign.