Coral records of temperature and salinity in the tropical western Pacific reveal influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation since the late nineteenth century
Goodkin, Nathalie F.
Siringan, Fernando P.
Hughen, Konrad A.
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The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a complex aggregate of different atmospheric and oceanographic forcings spanning the extratropical and tropical Pacific. The PDO has widespread climatic and societal impacts, thus understanding the processes contributing to PDO variability is critical. Distinguishing PDO‐related variability is particularly challenging in the tropical Pacific due to the dominance of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and influence of anthropogenic warming signals. Century‐long western Pacific records of subannual sea surface temperature (SST) and sea surface salinity (SSS), derived from coral Sr/Ca and δ18O profiles, respectively, allow for evaluating different climatic sensitivities and identifying PDO‐related variability in the region. The summer Sr/Ca‐SST record provides evidence of a significant SST increase, likely tied to greenhouse gas emissions. Anthropogenic warming is masked in the winter Sr/Ca‐SST record by interannual to multidecadal scale changes driven by the East‐Asian Winter Monsoon and the PDO. Decadal climate variability during winter is strongly correlated to the PDO, in agreement with other PDO records in the region. The PDO also exerts influence on the SSS difference between the dry and wet season coral δ18O (δ18Oc)‐SSS records through water advection. The PDO and El Niño–Southern Oscillation constructively combine to enhance/reduce advection of saline Kuroshio waters at our site. Overall, we are able to demonstrate that climate records from a tropical reef environment significantly capture PDO variability and related changes over the period of a century. This implies that the tropical western Pacific is a key site in understanding multifrequency climate variability, including its impact on tropical climate at longer timescales.
© The Author(s), 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Ramos, R. D., Goodkin, N. F., Siringan, F. P., & Hughen, K. A. Coral records of temperature and salinity in the tropical western Pacific reveal influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation since the late nineteenth century. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 34(8), (2019): 1344-1358, doi: 10.1029/2019PA003684.
Suggested CitationRamos, R. D., Goodkin, N. F., Siringan, F. P., & Hughen, K. A. (2019). Coral records of temperature and salinity in the tropical western Pacific reveal influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation since the late nineteenth century. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 34(8), 1344-1358.
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