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First sulfur isotope measurements in central Greenland ice cores along the preindustrial and industrial periods

Abstract : Sulfur isotopes of sulfate have been measured in a discontinuous set of polar ice core samples from Summit, central Greenland, covering the preindustrial (from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century) and industrial (from 1872 to 1969 A.D.) periods. Results have been used to estimate the different source contributions to the deposited sulfate and their evolution along the last centuries. They indicate that the preindustrial background sulfate budget is slightly dominated on a year‐round average by marine biogenic emissions, amounting to close to half of the non‐sea‐salt sulfate (49%). The second contribution is provided by continental sources of secondary sulfate, including background volcanism and, to a lesser extent, continental biota (44% of the non‐sea‐salt sulfate). Sulfur emitted by relatively weak eruptions is found to be largely depleted in 34S compared to bulk volcanic S, suggesting an efficient washout of the heavier isotope during the tropospheric transport. The impact of human‐driven emissions on the sulfate deposited in central Greenland ice is visible in isotope data as early as 1870 A.D. The isotopic signature of anthropogenic sulfur deposited during the twentieth century is found to be constant (δ34S ≈ +3.0 ± 1.5‰), regardless of the changes of dominant source regions and emission processes. This signature is slightly but measurably lighter than the one reported for Arctic haze pollution events.
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Nicolas Patris, Robert Delmas, Michel Legrand, Martine de Angelis, Francisco Ferron, et al.. First sulfur isotope measurements in central Greenland ice cores along the preindustrial and industrial periods. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2002, 107 (D11), pp.ACH 6-1-ACH 6-11. ⟨10.1029/2001JD000672⟩. ⟨hal-03110089⟩

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