A 215-yr coral δ18O time series from Palau records dynamics of the West Pacific Warm Pool following the end of the Little Ice Age

Michael C. Osborne, Robert B. Dunbar, David A. Mucciarone, Ellen Druffel, Joan Albert Sanchez-Cabeza

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16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The West Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) is a critical region of the global climate system that is closely linked with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). We have generated two monthly resolved coral δ18O (δ18OCRL) records from a key region of the WPWP, the Republic of Palau (7′N, 135′E). The isotopic time series span the years 1793-2008 and 1899-2008. During the period of overlap, the two records are well correlated at interannual and annual periods. Multiple lines of evidence demonstrate a strong ENSO signal in Palau δ18OCRL. Our records are consistent with previous investigations of twentieth-century tropical Pacific climate variability. We identify a regionally coherent bi-decadal cycle in the WPWP following the termination of the Little Ice Age. The Palau δ18OCRL records show long-term trends towards warming/freshening, suggesting a century scale increase in the strength of the hydrologic cycle associated with the WPWP. Our study represents an important addition to the network of tropical paleo-archives. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-731
JournalCoral Reefs
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
  • Little Ice Age (LIA)
  • Oxygen isotopes
  • Palau
  • Paleoclimate

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