Osman Matthew B.

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Matthew B.

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  • Thesis
    Greenlandic ice archives of North Atlantic Common Era climate
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09) Osman, Matthew B.
    The Common Era (A.D. 1– present) represents a crucial period for climatic studies, documenting the timespan over which human activities have become an increasingly domineering force in shaping Earth’s landscape, climate, and ecology. Direct, quantifiable records of climatic phenomena are severely limited over much of the Common Era, necessitating high-resolution, naturally-derived proxies to extend climatic insights beyond the satellite and instrumental era, particularly across remote high-latitude and maritime regions of the North Atlantic. Here, I use modern, data-driven and physically-based modeling approaches to gain new insights into North Atlantic climate variability from the Greenlandic ice core archive. First, I investigate the climatic fidelity of ice core glaciochemical climate proxies at the microphysical-scale. I show that several soluble chemical species – key among them methanesulfonic acid (MSA) – undergo rapid vertical migration through a super-cooled liquidadvection process along ice crystal grain-boundaries. I demonstrate that significant multi-year MSA changes occur only under low snow-accumulation and high-impurity-content conditions, thus mitigating the phenomenon over much of Greenland. Building upon these findings, I then investigate the cause of declining 19th and 20th-century MSA concentrations across the interior Greenland Ice Sheet. My results illustrate that Greenlandic MSA records provide a new proxy for North Atlantic planktonic biomass changes, illuminating a 10 ± 7% decline in marine productivity over the Industrialera. I next present a new climate record from a previously-unexplored coastal ice cap in west-central Greenland. Using a physically-constrained ice cap flowline inversion model, I identify marked centennial-scale changes in coastal precipitation during the last millennium, including a ~40% increase in coastal precipitation since the industrial-onset. These changes are drastically larger than those observed from inland Greenland records, revealing enhanced sensitivity in west Greenlandic hydroclimates to regional Atlantic and Arctic-wide temperature variability. Finally, leveraging a compilation of nearly 30 annual-resolution Greenland water-isotope records, I isolate coherent signatures of atmospheric circulation variability to reconstruct changes in the North Atlantic eddydriven jet-stream over the last millennium, exposing progressively enhanced variability during the past two-centuries consistent with amplified Arctic thermal-wind forcing. This thesis thus illuminates new Common Era climatic and ecologic changes, and expands the scope of the Greenlandic ice archive as proxies of the coupled North Atlantic climate system.
  • Article
    Real-time analysis of insoluble particles in glacial ice using single-particle mass spectrometry
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2017-11-21) Osman, Matthew B. ; Zawadowicz, Maria ; Das, Sarah B. ; Cziczo, Daniel J.
    Insoluble aerosol particles trapped in glacial ice provide insight into past climates, but analysis requires information on climatically relevant particle properties, such as size, abundance, and internal mixing. We present a new analytical method using a time-of-flight single-particle mass spectrometer (SPMS) to determine the composition and size of insoluble particles in glacial ice over an aerodynamic size range of  ∼  0.2–3.0 µm diameter. Using samples from two Greenland ice cores, we developed a procedure to nebulize insoluble particles suspended in melted ice, evaporate condensed liquid from those particles, and transport them to the SPMS for analysis. We further determined size-dependent extraction and instrument transmission efficiencies to investigate the feasibility of determining particle-class-specific mass concentrations. We find SPMS can be used to provide constraints on the aerodynamic size, composition, and relative abundance of most insoluble particulate classes in ice core samples. We describe the importance of post-aqueous processing to particles, a process which occurs due to nebulization of aerosols from an aqueous suspension of originally soluble and insoluble aerosol components. This study represents an initial attempt to use SPMS as an emerging technique for the study of insoluble particulates in ice cores.
  • Article
    Methanesulfonic acid (MSA) migration in polar ice : data synthesis and theory
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2017-11-03) Osman, Matthew B. ; Das, Sarah B. ; Marchal, Olivier ; Evans, Matthew J.
    Methanesulfonic acid (MSA; CH3SO3H) in polar ice is a unique proxy of marine primary productivity, synoptic atmospheric transport, and regional sea-ice behavior. However, MSA can be mobile within the firn and ice matrix, a post-depositional process that is well known but poorly understood and documented, leading to uncertainties in the integrity of the MSA paleoclimatic signal. Here, we use a compilation of 22 ice core MSA records from Greenland and Antarctica and a model of soluble impurity transport in order to comprehensively investigate the vertical migration of MSA from summer layers, where MSA is originally deposited, to adjacent winter layers in polar ice. We find that the shallowest depth of MSA migration in our compilation varies over a wide range (∼ 2 to 400 m) and is positively correlated with snow accumulation rate and negatively correlated with ice concentration of Na+ (typically the most abundant marine cation). Although the considered soluble impurity transport model provides a useful mechanistic framework for studying MSA migration, it remains limited by inadequate constraints on key physico-chemical parameters – most notably, the diffusion coefficient of MSA in cold ice (DMS). We derive a simplified version of the model, which includes DMS as the sole parameter, in order to illuminate aspects of the migration process. Using this model, we show that the progressive phase alignment of MSA and Na+ concentration peaks observed along a high-resolution West Antarctic core is most consistent with 10−12 m2 s−1 < DMS < 10−11 m2 s−1, which is 1 order of magnitude greater than the DMS values previously estimated from laboratory studies. More generally, our data synthesis and model results suggest that (i) MSA migration may be fairly ubiquitous, particularly at coastal and (or) high-accumulation regions across Greenland and Antarctica; and (ii) can significantly change annual and multiyear MSA concentration averages. Thus, in most cases, caution should be exercised when interpreting polar ice core MSA records, although records that have undergone severe migration could still be useful for inferring decadal and lower-frequency climate variability.