Paleoclimate proxy perspective on Caribbean climate since the year 1751: Evidence of cooler temperatures and multidecadal variability

Kilbourne, K. H., T. M. Quinn, R. Webb, T. Guilderson, J. Nyberg, and A. Winter. 2008. Paleoclimate proxy perspective on caribbean climate since the year 1751: Evidence of cooler temperatures and multidecadal variability RID A-5755-2008. Paleoceanography 23 (3) (SEP 19): PA3220.

Abstract: 
Annually resolved coral d18O and Sr/Ca records from southwestern Puerto Rico are used to investigate Caribbean climate variability between 1751 and 2004 C.E. Mean surface ocean temperatures in this region have increased steadily by about 2C since the year 1751, with Sr/Ca data indicating 2.1 ± 0.8C and d18O data indicating 2.7 ± 0.5C. Coral geochemical records from across the tropics demonstrate that regional variability is important for understanding climate variations at centennial time scales. A strong multidecadal salinity signal in the oxygen isotope data correlates with observed multidecadal temperature variations in the Northern Hemisphere. Instrumental wind and precipitation data indicate that the most recent coral isotopic variations are caused by expansion and contraction of the steep regional salinity gradient, forced by trade wind anomalies through meridional Ekman transport. The timing of the fluctuations suggests that the multidecadal-scale wind and surface circulation anomalies might play a role in Atlantic temperature variability and meridional overturning circulation, but further work is needed to confirm this suggestion.