A lattice statistics model for the age distribution of air bubbles in polar ice

Abstract

Measurements of CO2 in bubbles in polar ice have been used to establish a pre-industrial concentration1–4. Similar measurements have been made for other atmospheric constituents5,6. However, in order to use ice-core measurements to determine the increase in CO2 over the last 200 years, it is necessary to consider the time delay between the deposition of the original snow and the bubble trapping and also the distribution of trapping times over several decades7. The percolation model from lattice statistics describes the static geometrical aspects of trapping and reproduces various aspects of recent observations. The observations of large seasonal fluctuations in trapped bubble volume reflect the enhanced susceptibility to perturbations near the percolation transition. The critical exponent of the percolation probability largely determines the stability of the deconvolution of observed concentrations, indicating that the bubble deconvolution problem is less poorly posed than typical geochemical source deduction problems.

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Enting, I. A lattice statistics model for the age distribution of air bubbles in polar ice. Nature 315, 654–655 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1038/315654a0

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