A Fiji multi-coral δ¹⁸O composite approach to obtaining a more accurate reconstruction of the last two-centuries of the ocean-climate variability...
The limited availability of oceanographic data in the tropical Pacific Ocean prior to the satellite era makes coral-based climate reconstructions a key tool for extending the instrumental record back in time, thereby providing a much needed test for climate models and projections. We have generated a unique regional network consisting of five Porites coral δ¹⁸O time series from different locations in the Fijian archipelago. Our results indicate that using a minimum of three Porites coral δ¹⁸O records from Fiji is statistically sufficient to obtain a reliable signal for climate reconstruction, and that application of an approach used in tree ring studies is a suitable tool to determine this number. The coral δ¹⁸O composite indicates that while sea surface temperature (SST) variability is the primary driver of seasonal δ¹⁸O variability in these Fiji corals, annual average coral δ¹⁸O is more closely correlated to sea surface salinity (SSS) as previously reported. Our results highlight the importance of water mass advection in controlling Fiji coral δ¹⁸O and salinity variability at interannual and decadal time scales despite being located in the heavy rainfall region of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ). The Fiji δ¹⁸O composite presents a secular freshening and warming trend since the 1850s coupled with changes in both interannual (IA) and decadal/interdecadal (D/I) variance. The changes in IA and D/I variance suggest a re-organization of climatic variability in the SPCZ region beginning in the late 1800s to period of a more dominant interannual variability, which could correspond to a southeast expansion of the SPCZ.
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Full title: "A Fiji multi-coral δ¹⁸O composite approach to obtaining a more accurate reconstruction of the last two-centuries of the ocean-climate variability in the South Pacific Convergence Zone region""