Chemical Exchange Between the Atmosphere and Polar Snow by Eric W. Wolff (auth.), Eric W. Wolff, Roger C. Bales (eds.)

By Eric W. Wolff (auth.), Eric W. Wolff, Roger C. Bales (eds.)

Polar ice cores have supplied great advances in our wisdom of earlier weather switch. additionally they comprise an archive of geochemical facts, that could definitely delineate the various forcing elements that govern weather swap. although, our skill to interpret those information is critically curtailed through lack of knowledge of the techniques governing the move of chemical species from the air to the snow. This e-book outlines the aptitude and difficulties of ice center chemistry and discusses the techniques inquisitive about air-snow move. It supplies the kingdom of present wisdom and an time table for destiny research.

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Ice, that remains well below the freezing point, offers two clearly distinguishable ways of preserving information ofthe past: a) Composition of the gas which is enclosed in bubbles at the firn - ice transition, thus in the depth interval where the density increases from 800 kg/m 3 to 840 kg/m 3 (Schwander and Stauffer, 1984) b) Trace species in the ice matrix and/or at grain boundaries. For the further discussion, let me assume that the reported results correspond to the real gas composition in the bubbles or the real concentration in the ice respectively.

It has to be noted, that the trend is relatively small compared to the year to year fluctuation . 55 Sigg (1990) showed that the mean annual concentration of the Summit and Dye 3 core are weakly correlated, whereas the cross correlation between Summit and Siple yielded no correlation. This has to be expected in view of the atmospheric lifetime of a few days of H20 2. Consequently atmospheric H 20 2 concentrations in the Southern and Northern hemisphere are not connected. The Siple record from Antarctica does not show an increase over the last 50 years.

CSnow . CFirn . c. (t) Ice CFim C Ice Each of these steps will varie with time beginning on a diurnal scale. This scheme will serve as a guideline for the further discussion. Let us have first a look at C02 and other non reactive trace gases such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20). These three gases are together with the CFC's the main greenhouse gases and are responsible for the predicted global warming. ) How reliable are the records of the Greenhouse gases taken from polar ice cores? 1990 I wrote in an other contribution to a NATO ARW: (Neftel, 1991) " The statement that C02 is a "chemically boring" substance in snow and ice can be safely made".

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