Abrupt decrease in tropical Pacific sea surface salinity at end of Little Ice Age

Hendy, Erica J., Gagan, Michael K., Alibert, Chantal A., McCulloch, Malcolm T., Lough, Janice M, and Isdale, Peter J. (2002) Abrupt decrease in tropical Pacific sea surface salinity at end of Little Ice Age. Science, 295 (5559). pp. 1511-1514.

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Abstract

A 420-year history of strontium/calcium, uranium/calcium, and oxygen isotope ratios in eight coral cores from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, indicates that sea surface temperature and salinity were higher in the 18th century than in the 20th century. An abrupt freshening after 1870 occurred simultaneously throughout the southwestern Pacific, coinciding with cooling tropical temperatures. Higher salinities between 1565 and 1870 are best explained by a combination of advection and wind-induced evaporation resulting from a strong latitudinal temperature gradient and intensified circulation. The global Little Ice Age glacial expansion may have been driven, in part, by greater poleward transport of water vapor from the tropical Pacific.

Item ID: 1534
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
Keywords: Little Ice Age, Great Barrier Reef, sea surface temperature, salinity, coral cores
ISSN: 1095-9203
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2007
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040501 Biological Oceanography @ 0%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 0%
04 EARTH SCIENCES @ 0%
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