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An annually dated ice core recovered from South Pole (2850 m a.s.l.) in 1995, that covers the period 1487–1992, was analyzed for the marine biogenic sulfur species methanesulfonate (MS). Empirical orthogonal function analysis is used to calibrate the high-resolution MS series with associated environmental series for the period of overlap (1973–92). Utilizing this calibration we present a ~500 year long proxy record of the polar expression of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and southeastern Pacific sea-ice extent variations. These records reveal short-term periods of increased (1800–50, 1900–40) and decreased sea-ice extent (1550–1610, 1660–1710, 1760–1800). In general, increased (decreased) sea-ice extent is associated with a higher (lower) frequency of El Niño events.

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Annals of Glaciology


Cambridge University Press

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© the Author(s) 2002. This is an article published by Cambridge University Press.