Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A professional regret

I was asked to send a copy of the 2001 Paleoceanography paper to somebody recently and I noticed this one figure that I wish I could do over again.

The dashed curve in the upper graph should really have been reproduced in the lower one. Unfortunately I was hidebound by my recent discovery that insolation (that is the amount of sunlight received at certain latitudes on earth) drove the rate of change of global ice volume, rather than the ice volume itself, as was commonly supposed. So I likewise compared insolation to the rate of change of temperature in Antarctica, as deduced from the Vostok ice core temperature series.

Here is what it would have looked like had I compared insolation to Antarctic temperatures

It looks like a reasonable comparison, in that geological arm-waving way. It is a bit curious that the Antarctic temperature responds to northern-hemisphere insolation, but that's part of the wonder of the world.

As an aside--just before publication, the journal editor questioned me very closely about the title. He presumably thought it was some kind of joke, and this was a serious journal that published serious science, and titles were definitely no joking matter. I managed to convince him that it was not a joke. But it was!

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