The Carrington Event not observed in most ice core nitrate records

Wolff, E. W. and Bigler, M. and Curran, M. A. J. and Dibb, J. E. and Frey, M. M. and Legrand, M. and McConnell, J. R. (2012) The Carrington Event not observed in most ice core nitrate records. Geophysical Research Letters, 39. L08503. ISSN 0094–8276 DOI

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[1] The Carrington Event of 1859 is considered to be among the largest space weather events of the last 150 years. We show that only one out of 14 well-resolved ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica has a nitrate spike dated to 1859. No sharp spikes are observed in the Antarctic cores studied here. In Greenland numerous spikes are observed in the 40 years surrounding 1859, but where other chemistry was measured, all large spikes have the unequivocal signal, including co-located spikes in ammonium, formate, black carbon and vanillic acid, of biomass burning plumes. It seems certain that most spikes in an earlier core, including that claimed for 1859, are also due to biomass burning plumes, and not to solar energetic particle (SEP) events. We conclude that an event as large as the Carrington Event did not leave an observable, widespread imprint in nitrate in polar ice. Nitrate spikes cannot be used to derive the statistics of SEPs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union
Uncontrolled Keywords: NIL AREP
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 39
Page Range: L08503
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2013 14:03
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2013 14:03

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