Review Article | Published:

Antarctic and global climate history viewed from ice cores

Naturevolume 558pages200208 (2018) | Download Citation


A growing network of ice cores reveals the past 800,000 years of Antarctic climate and atmospheric composition. The data show tight links among greenhouse gases, aerosols and global climate on many timescales, demonstrate connections between Antarctica and distant locations, and reveal the extraordinary differences between the composition of our present atmosphere and its natural range of variability as revealed in the ice core record. Further coring in extremely challenging locations is now being planned, with the goal of finding older ice and resolving the mechanisms underlying the shift of glacial cycles from 40,000-year to 100,000-year cycles about a million years ago, one of the great mysteries of climate science.

  • Subscribe to Nature for full access:



Additional access options:

Already a subscriber?  Log in  now or  Register  for online access.

Additional information

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


  1. 1.

    Galeotti, S. et al. Antarctic Ice Sheet variability across the Eocene-Oligocene boundary climate transition. Science 352, 76–80 (2016).

  2. 2.

    Flower, B. P. & Kennett, J. P. Relations between Monterey Formation deposition and middle Miocene global cooling: Naples Beach section. Calif. Geol. 21, 877–880 (1993).

  3. 3.

    Higgins, J. A. et al. Atmospheric composition 1 million years ago from blue ice in the Allan Hills, Antarctica. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 112, 6887–6891 (2015). This study reports the first greenhouse gas data from ice older than 800,000 years.

  4. 4.

    Jouzel, J. et al. Validity of the temperature reconstruction from water isotopes in ice cores. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 102, 26471–26487 (1997).

  5. 5.

    Wolff, E., Fischer, H. & Röthlisberger, R. Glacial terminations as southern warmings without northern control. Nat. Geosci. 2, 206–209 (2009).

  6. 6.

    Schüpbach, S. et al. High-resolution mineral dust and sea ice proxy records from the Talos Dome ice core. Clim. Past 9, 2789–2807 (2013).

  7. 7.

    McConnell, J. R. et al. Antarctic-wide array of high-resolution ice core records reveals pervasive lead pollution began in 1889 and persists today. Sci. Rep. 4, 5848 (2014).

  8. 8.

    Brook, E. J., Kurz, M. D. & Curtice, J. Flux and size fractionation of 3He in interplanetary dust from Antarctic ice core samples. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 286, 565–569 (2009).

  9. 9.

    Van Ommen, T. D., Morgan, V. & Curran, M. A. Deglacial and Holocene changes in accumulation at Law Dome, East Antarctica. Ann. Glaciol. 39, 359–365 (2004).

  10. 10.

    Cuffey, K. M. et al. Deglacial temperature history of West Antarctica. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, 14249–14254 (2016). This work provides the first accurate borehole-based temperature reconstruction from Antarctica, indicating a glacial–interglacial temperature change of 11.3 ± 1.8 °C.

  11. 11.

    Jouzel, J. et al. Orbital and millennial Antarctic climate variability over the past 800,000 years. Science 317, 793–796 (2007). This paper reports the full 800,000-year temperature reconstruction from the EPICA Dome C ice core, the longest such record.

  12. 12.

    Dome Fuji Project Members. State dependence of climatic instability over the past 720,000 years from Antarctic ice cores and climate modeling. Sci. Adv. 3, e1600446 (2017).

  13. 13.

    Petit, J. R. et al. Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature 399, 429–436 (1999).

  14. 14.

    Lisiecki, L. E. & Raymo, M. E. A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ18O records. Paleoceanography 20, 1–17 (2005).

  15. 15.

    Shakun, J. D. et al. Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation. Nat. Geosci. 484, 49–55 (2012).

  16. 16.

    Hays, J. D., Imbrie, J. & Shackleton, N. J. Variations in the Earth’s orbit: pacemaker of the ice ages. Science 194, 1121–1132 (1976).

  17. 17.

    Imbrie, J. et al. On the structure and origin of major glaciation cycles. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 8, 699–735 (1993).

  18. 18.

    Raymo, M. The timing of major climate terminations. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 12, 577–585 (1997).

  19. 19.

    Paillard, D. The timing of Pleistocene glaciations from a simple multiple-state climate model. Nature 391, 378–381 (1998).

  20. 20.

    Cheng, H. et al. The Asian monsoon over the past 640,000 years and ice age terminations. Nature 534, 640–646 (2016).

  21. 21.

    Tzedakis, P., Crucifix, M., Mitsui, T. & Wolff, E. W. A simple rule to determine which insolation cycles lead to interglacials. Nature 542, 427–432 (2017).

  22. 22.

    Bintanja, R. & Van de Wal, R. North American ice-sheet dynamics and the onset of 100,000-year glacial cycles. Nature 454, 869–872 (2008).

  23. 23.

    Abe-Ouchi, A. et al. Insolation-driven 100,000-year glacial cycles and hysteresis of ice-sheet volume. Nature 500, 190–193 (2013).

  24. 24.

    Ganopolski, A. & Brovkin, V. Simulation of climate, ice sheets and CO2 evolution during the last four glacial cycles with an Earth system model of intermediate complexity. Clim. Past 13, 1695–1716 (2017).

  25. 25.

    Broecker, W. S. & Denton, G. H. The role of ocean-atmosphere reorganizations in glacial cycles. Quat. Sci. Rev. 9, 305–341 (1990).

  26. 26.

    Kawamura, K. et al. Northern Hemisphere forcing of climatic cycles in Antarctica over the past 360,000 years. Nature 448, 912–916 (2007). This study links variations in the O2/N2 ratio of trapped air in the Dome Fuji ice core to local summer insolation, thereby dating the core and showing that glacial terminations in Antarctica closely followed Northern Hemisphere summer insolation.

  27. 27.

    Stocker, T. F. & Johnsen, S. J. A minimum thermodynamic model for the bipolar seesaw. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 18, (2003).

  28. 28.

    Huybers, P. & Denton, G. Antarctic temperature at orbital timescales controlled by local summer duration. Nat. Geosci. 1, 787–792 (2008).

  29. 29.

    WAIS Divide Project Members. Onset of deglacial warming in West Antarctica driven by local orbital forcing. Nature 500, 440–444 (2013).

  30. 30.

    Loulergue, L. et al. Orbital and millennial-scale features of atmospheric CH4 over the past 800,000 years. Nature 453, 383–386 (2008). This paper reports the full 800,000-year atmospheric methane record from the EPICA Dome C ice core, showing variations on orbital and millennial timescales.

  31. 31.

    Yin, Q. Insolation-induced mid-Brunhes transition in Southern Ocean ventilation and deep-ocean temperature. Nature 494, 222–225 (2013).

  32. 32.

    Wolff, E. W. et al. Southern Ocean sea-ice extent, productivity and iron flux over the past eight glacial cycles. Nature 440, 491–496 (2006). Chemical measurements from the EPICA Dome C ice core indicate that both the flux of iron (from wind-blown dust) and sea ice extent increased during glacial periods over the past 740,000 years.

  33. 33.

    Lambert, F. et al. Dust–climate couplings over the past 800,000 years from the EPICA Dome C ice core. Nature 452, 616–619 (2008).

  34. 34.

    Fischer, H., Siggaard-Andersen, M. L., Ruth, U., Röthlisberger, R. & Wolff, E. Glacial/interglacial changes in mineral dust and sea-salt records in polar ice cores: sources, transport, and deposition. Rev. Geophys. 45, 1–26 (2007).

  35. 35.

    Martínez-Garcia, A. et al. Links between iron supply, marine productivity, sea surface temperature, and CO2 over the last 1.1 Ma. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 24, PA1207 (2009).

  36. 36.

    Jaccard, S. et al. Two modes of change in Southern Ocean productivity over the past million years. Science 339, 1419–1423 (2013).

  37. 37.

    Abram, N. J., Wolff, E. W. & Curran, M. A. A review of sea ice proxy information from polar ice cores. Quat. Sci. Rev. 79, 168–183 (2013).

  38. 38.

    Lüthi, D. et al. High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000–800,000 years before present. Nature 453, 379–382 (2008). This paper completed the 800,000-year-long EPICA Dome C CO 2 record shown in Fig. 1, demonstrating the variation of CO 2 maxima during interglacial times.

  39. 39.

    Schilt, A. et al. Glacial-interglacial and millennial-scale variations in the atmospheric nitrous oxide concentration during the last 800,000 years. Quat. Sci. Rev. 29, 182–192 (2010).

  40. 40.

    Sigman, D. M. & Boyle, E. A. Glacial/interglacial variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Nature 407, 859–869 (2000).

  41. 41.

    Sigman, D. M., Hain, M. P. & Haug, G. H. The polar ocean and glacial cycles in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Nature 466, 47–55 (2010).

  42. 42.

    Stephens, B. B. & Keeling, R. F. The influence of Antarctic sea ice on glacial–interglacial CO2 variations. Nature 404, 171–174 (2000).

  43. 43.

    Skinner, L., Fallon, S., Waelbroeck, C., Michel, E. & Barker, S. Ventilation of the deep Southern Ocean and deglacial CO2 rise. Science 328, 1147–1151 (2010).

  44. 44.

    Ferrari, R. et al. Antarctic sea ice control on ocean circulation in present and glacial climates. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 111, 8753–8758 (2014).

  45. 45.

    Martin, J. H. Glacial-interglacial CO2 change: the iron hypothesis. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 5, 1–13 (1990).

  46. 46.

    Franois, R. et al. Contribution of Southern Ocean surface-water stratification to low atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the last glacial period. Nature 389, 929–935 (1997).

  47. 47.

    Anderson, R. et al. Wind-driven upwelling in the Southern Ocean and the deglacial rise in atmospheric CO2. Science 323, 1443–1448 (2009).

  48. 48.

    Bauska, T. K. et al. Carbon isotopes characterize rapid changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide during the last deglaciation. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, 3465–3470 (2016).

  49. 49.

    Galbraith, E. & Eggleston, S. A lower limit to atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the past 800,000 years. Nat. Geosci. 10, 295–298 (2017).

  50. 50.

    Brook, E. J., Sowers, T. & Orchardo, J. Rapid variations in atmospheric methane concentration during the past 110,000 years. Science 273, 1087–1091 (1996).

  51. 51.

    Petrenko, V. V. et al. Minimal geological methane emissions during the Younger Dryas–Preboreal abrupt warming event. Nature 548, 443–446 (2017).

  52. 52.

    Sowers, T. Late quaternary atmospheric CH4 isotope record suggests marine clathrates are stable. Science 311, 838–840 (2006).

  53. 53.

    Bock, M. et al. Hydrogen isotopes preclude marine hydrate CH4 emissions at the onset of Dansgaard-Oeschger events. Science 328, 1686–1689 (2010).

  54. 54.

    Levine, J. et al. Reconciling the changes in atmospheric methane sources and sinks between the Last Glacial Maximum and the pre-industrial era. Geophys. Res. Lett. 38, L23804 (2011).

  55. 55.

    Murray, L. T. et al. Factors controlling variability in the oxidative capacity of the troposphere since the Last Glacial Maximum. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 14, 3589–3622 (2014).

  56. 56.

    Fischer, H. et al. Changing boreal methane sources and constant biomass burning during the last termination. Nature 452, 864–867 (2008).

  57. 57.

    Brook, E., Archer, D., Dlugokencky, E., Frolking, S. & Lawrence, D. in Abrupt Climate Change. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (ed. McGeehin, J. P.) Ch. 5, 163–201 (US Geological Survey, Reston, 2008).

  58. 58.

    Schmittner, A. & Galbraith, E. D. Glacial greenhouse-gas fluctuations controlled by ocean circulation changes. Nature 456, 373–376 (2008).

  59. 59.

    Schilt, A. et al. Isotopic constraints on marine and terrestrial N2O emissions during the last deglaciation. Nature 516, 234–237 (2014).

  60. 60.

    Severinghaus, J. P., Beaudette, R., Headly, M. A., Taylor, K. & Brook, E. J. Oxygen-18 of O2 records the impact of abrupt climate change on the terrestrial biosphere. Science 324, 1431–1434 (2009).

  61. 61.

    Stolper, D., Bender, M., Dreyfus, G., Yan, Y. & Higgins, J. A Pleistocene ice core record of atmospheric O2 concentrations. Science 353, 1427–1430 (2016).

  62. 62.

    Bender, M. L., Barnett, B., Dreyfus, G., Jouzel, J. & Porcelli, D. The contemporary degassing rate of 40Ar from the solid Earth. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 8232–8237 (2008). Precise measurements of argon isotope ratios in trapped air are used in this study to develop a chronometer for old ice based on the accumulation of 40Ar in the atmosphere from 40K decay in the crust.

  63. 63.

    Headly, M. A. & Severinghaus, J. P. A method to measure Kr/N2 ratios in air bubbles trapped in ice cores and its application in reconstructing past mean ocean temperature. J. Geophys. Res. 112, D19105 (2007).

  64. 64.

    Bereiter, B., Shackleton, S., Baggenstos, D., Kawamura, K. & Severinghaus, J. Mean global ocean temperatures during the last glacial transition. Nature 553, 39–44 (2018). Measurements of Kr, Xe, Ar, and N are used in this study to make the first precise estimates of changes in global deep-ocean temperature across the last glacial–interglacial transition, showing that these are mostly synchronous with changes in Antarctic air temperature and atmospheric CO 2 .

  65. 65.

    Grootes, P., Stuiver, M., White, J., Johnsen, S. & Jouzel, J. Comparison of oxygen isotope records from the GISP2 and GRIP Greenlandice cores. Nature 366, 552–554 (1993).

  66. 66.

    Dansgaard, W. et al. Evidence for general instability of past climate from a 250-kyr ice-core record. Nature 364, 218–220 (1993). This paper reports the first detailed record of abrupt changes in temperature in Greenland.

  67. 67.

    Andersen, K. K. et al. High-resolution record of Northern Hemisphere climate extending into the last interglacial period. Nature 431, 147–151 (2004).

  68. 68.

    Blunier, T. & Brook, E. J. Timing of millennial-scale climate change in Antarctica and Greenland during the last glacial period. Science 291, 109–112 (2001). This paper used methane variations to make a common timescale for ice cores in Greenland and Antarctica, and showed the bi-polar seesaw pattern for the larger climate variations during the last ice age.

  69. 69.

    Brook, E. J. et al. Timing of millennial-scale climate change at Siple Dome, West Antarctica, during the last glacial period. Quat. Sci. Rev. 24, 1333–1343 (2005).

  70. 70.

    EPICA Community Members. One-to-one coupling of glacial climate variability in Greenland and Antarctica. Nature 444, 195–198 (2006). This paper demonstrated that all abrupt climate events in the Greenland record have counterparts in Antarctica.

  71. 71.

    Stenni, B. et al. Expression of the bipolar see-saw in Antarctic climate records during the last deglaciation. Nat. Geosci. 4, 46–49 (2011).

  72. 72.

    Landais, A. et al. A review of the bipolar see–saw from synchronized and high resolution ice core water stable isotope records from Greenland and East Antarctica. Quat. Sci. Rev. 114, 18–32 (2015).

  73. 73.

    WAIS Divide Project Members. Precise interpolar phasing of abrupt climate change during the last ice age. Nature 520, 661–665 (2015). Using very precise chronological constraints, this paper demonstrated that millennial-scale warming and cooling in Antarctica lagged counterpart events in Greenland by about 200 years on average.

  74. 74.

    Bender, M. et al. Climate correlations between Greenland and Antarctica during the past 100,000 years. Nature 372, 663–666 (1994).

  75. 75.

    Broecker, W. S. Paleocean circulation during the last deglaciation: a bipolar seesaw? Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 13, 119–121 (1998).

  76. 76.

    Vellinga, M. & Wood, R. A. Global climatic impacts of a collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation. Clim. Change 54, 251–267 (2002).

  77. 77.

    Schmittner, A., Saenko, O. & Weaver, A. Coupling of the hemispheres in observations and simulations of glacial climate change. Quat. Sci. Rev. 22, 659–671 (2003).

  78. 78.

    Stouffer, R. J. et al. Investigating the causes of the response of the thermohaline circulation to past and future climate changes. J. Clim. 19, 1365–1387 (2006).

  79. 79.

    Markle, B. R. et al. Global atmospheric teleconnections during Dansgaard-Oeschger events. Nat. Geosci. 10, 36–40 (2017).

  80. 80.

    Masson-Delmotte, V. et al. Abrupt change of Antarctic moisture origin at the end of Termination II. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 107, 12091–12094 (2010).

  81. 81.

    Lambert, F., Bigler, M., Steffensen, J. P., Hutterli, M. & Fischer, H. Centennial mineral dust variability in high-resolution ice core data from Dome C, Antarctica. Clim. Past 8, 609–623 (2012).

  82. 82.

    Menviel, L., England, M. H., Meissner, K., Mouchet, A. & Yu, J. Atlantic-Pacific seesaw and its role in outgassing CO2 during Heinrich events. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 29, 58–70 (2014).

  83. 83.

    Ahn, J., Brook, E. J., Schmittner, A. & Kreutz, K. Abrupt change in atmospheric CO2 during the last ice age. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, GL053018 (2012).

  84. 84.

    Marcott, S. A. et al. Centennial-scale changes in the global carbon cycle during the last deglaciation. Nature 514, 616–619 (2014). The most detailed CO 2 record for the deglaciation to date is reported from the WAIS Divide ice core in this paper, showing the tight coupling of CO 2 and Antarctic climate (Box 2).

  85. 85.

    Rhodes, R. H. et al. Enhanced tropical methane production in response to iceberg discharge in the North Atlantic. Science 348, 1016–1019 (2015).

  86. 86.

    Sigl, M. et al. Timing and climate forcing of volcanic eruptions for the past 2,500 years. Nature 523, 543–549 (2015).

  87. 87.

    Veres, D. et al. The Antarctic ice core chronology (AICC2012): an optimized multi-parameter and multi-site dating approach for the last 120 thousand years. Clim. Past 9, 1733–1748 (2013).

  88. 88.

    Bazin, L. et al. An optimized multi-proxy, multi-site Antarctic ice and gas orbital chronology (AICC2012): 120–800 ka. Clim. Past Discuss. 8, 5963–6009 (2012).

  89. 89.

    Buizert, C. & Schmittner, A. Southern Ocean control of glacial AMOC stability and Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadial duration. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 30, 1595–1612 (2015).

  90. 90.

    McManus, J. F., Oppo, D. W. & Cullen, J. L. A. 0.5-million-year record of millennial-scale climate variability in the North Atlantic. Science 283, 971–975 (1999).

  91. 91.

    Schulz, M., Berger, W. H., Sarnthein, M. & Grootes, P. M. Amplitude variations of 1470-year climate oscillations during the last 100,000 years linked to fluctuations of continental ice mass. Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, 3385–3388 (1999).

  92. 92.

    Muglia, J. & Schmittner, A. Glacial Atlantic overturning increased by wind stress in climate models. Geophys. Res. Lett. 42, 9862–9868 (2015).

  93. 93.

    Oka, A., Hasumi, H. & Abe-Ouchi, A. The thermal threshold of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and its control by wind stress forcing during glacial climate. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, GL051421 (2012).

  94. 94.

    Wang, Z. & Mysak, L. A. Glacial abrupt climate changes and Dansgaard-Oeschger oscillations in a coupled climate model. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 21, PA001238 (2006).

  95. 95.

    Ahn, J. & Brook, E. J. Atmospheric CO2 and climate on millennial time scales during the last glacial period. Science 322, 83–85 (2008).

  96. 96.

    Liu, Z. et al. Transient simulation of last deglaciation with a new mechanism for Bølling-Allerød warming. Science 325, 310–314 (2009).

  97. 97.

    Dlugokencky, E. Trends in Atmospheric Methane. (Earth System Research Laboratory, 2018).

  98. 98.

    Toggweiler, J. & Russell, J. Ocean circulation in a warming climate. Nature 451, 286–288 (2008).

  99. 99.

    Fischer, H. et al. Where to find 1.5 million yr old ice for the IPICS “Oldest-Ice” ice core. Clim. Past 9, 2489–2505 (2013).

  100. 100.

    Raymo, M., Lisiecki, L. & Nisancioglu, K. H. Plio-Pleistocene ice volume, Antarctic climate, and the global δ18O record. Science 313, 492–495 (2006).

  101. 101.

    Schwander, J., Marending, S., Stocker, T. & Fischer, H. RADIX: a minimal-resources rapid-access drilling system. Ann. Glaciol. 55, 34–38 (2014).

  102. 102.

    Alemany, O. et al. The SUBGLACIOR drilling probe: concept and design. Ann. Glaciol. 55, 233–242 (2014).

  103. 103.

    Goodge, J. W. & Severinghaus, J. P. Rapid Access Ice Drill: a new tool for exploration of the deep Antarctic ice sheets and subglacial geology. J. Glaciol. 62, 1049–1064 (2016).

  104. 104.

    Yan, Y. N. J. et al. 2.7-Million-Year-Old Ice from Allan Hills Blue Ice Areas, East Antarctica Reveals Climate Snapshots Since Early Pleistocene. Goldschmidt Conf. (Paris, France) 4359, (European Association of Geochemistry and the Geochemical Society, 2007).

  105. 105.

    Masson-Delmotte, V. et al. A comparison of the present and last interglacial periods in six Antarctic ice cores. Clim. Past 7, 397–423 (2011).

  106. 106.

    Pages 2k Consortium. Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia. Nat. Geosci. 6, 339–350 (2013).

  107. 107.

    Steig, E. J. et al. Influence of West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse on Antarctic surface climate. Geophys. Res. Lett. 42, 4862–4868 (2015).

  108. 108.

    Korotkikh, E. V. et al. The last interglacial as represented in the glaciochemical record from Mount Moulton Blue Ice Area, West Antarctica. Quat. Sci. Rev. 30, 1940–1947 (2011).

  109. 109.

    Bereiter, B. et al. Revision of the EPICA Dome C CO2 record from 800 to 600 kyr before present. Geophys. Res. Lett. 42, 542–549 (2015).

  110. 110.

    Bereiter, B. et al. Mode change of millennial CO2 variability during the last glacial cycle associated with a bipolar marine carbon seesaw. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 109, 9755–9760 (2012).

  111. 111.

    Gow, A. J., Ueda, H. T. & Garfield, D. E. Antarctic ice sheet: preliminary results of first core hole to bedrock. Science 161, 1011–1013 (1968).

  112. 112.

    EPICA Community Members. Eight glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core. Nature 429, 623–628 (2004).

  113. 113.

    Slawny, K. R. et al. Production drilling at WAIS Divide. Ann. Glaciol. 55, 147–155 (2014).

  114. 114.

    Neftel, A., Oeschger, H., Staffelbach, T. & Stauffer, B. CO2 record in the Byrd ice core 50,000–5,000 years BP. Nature 331, 609–611 (1988).

  115. 115.

    Barnola, J. M., Pimienta, P., Raynaud, D. & Korotkevich, Y. S. CO2-climate relationship as deduced from the Vostok Ice Core—a reexamination based on new measurements and on a reevaluation of the air dating. Tellus B 43, 83–90 (1991).

  116. 116.

    Fischer, H., Wahlen, M., Smith, J., Mastroianni, D. & Deck, B. Ice core records of atmospheric CO2 around the last three glacial terminations. Science 283, 1712–1714 (1999).

  117. 117.

    Monnin, E. et al. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last glacial termination. Science 291, 112–114 (2001).

  118. 118.

    Pedro, J. B., Rasmussen, S. O. & van Ommen, T. D. Tightened constraints on the time-lag between Antarctic temperature and CO2 during the last deglaciation. Clim. Past 8, 1213–1221 (2012).

  119. 119.

    Parrenin, F. et al. Synchronous change of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature during the last deglacial warming. Science 339, 1060–1063 (2013).

Download references


We thank J. Pedro for comments that improved the manuscript. The US National Science Foundation and US Antarctic Program have provided support for our research and acquisition of Antarctic ice cores that we have studied; we thank them, as well as numerous international agencies and colleagues who have contributed to ice core science.

Reviewer information

Nature thanks J. Pedro and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Author information


  1. College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA

    • Edward J. Brook
    •  & Christo Buizert


  1. Search for Edward J. Brook in:

  2. Search for Christo Buizert in:


The authors contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Edward J. Brook.

About this article

Publication history





Rights and permissions

To obtain permission to re-use content from this article visit RightsLink.


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.