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A Continuous Record of Central Tropical Pacific Climate Since the Midnineteenth Century Reconstructed From Fanning and Palmyra Island Corals: A Case Study in Coral Data Reanalysis

Sanchez, S. C. and Westphal, N. and Haug, G. H. and Cheng, H. and Edwards, R. L. and Schneider, T. and Cobb, K. M. and Charles, C. D. (2020) A Continuous Record of Central Tropical Pacific Climate Since the Midnineteenth Century Reconstructed From Fanning and Palmyra Island Corals: A Case Study in Coral Data Reanalysis. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 35 (8). Art. No. e2020PA003848. ISSN 2572-4517. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200819-095025315

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Abstract

Accurate estimation of central tropical Pacific (CTP) climate variability on interannual to centennial time scales is required for robust projections of future global climate trends. Here we outline an approach that blends instrumental and coral proxy observations to yield a continuous, monthly resolved record of climate evolution in the CTP spanning the past 160 years. We concatenate coral oxygen isotope (δ¹⁸O) records from multiple living and fossil corals collected from Fanning Island (4°N, 160°W) and Palmyra Island (5°N; 162°W) located in the heart of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. We use the regularized expectation maximization (RegEM) method to impute missing data across short gaps of 5 to 23 years within and beyond individual coral records. The resulting monthly resolved Fanning/Palmyra Island climate record spans continuously from 1863 to 2016 and provides an example of how extended time series can be built from shorter coral segments. The extended record highlights the strong trend toward warmer and wetter mean conditions in late twentieth century, in agreement with the majority of climate model hindcast simulations. The continuous reconstruction also enables a direct comparison of four exceptionally strong El Niño events (1877–1878, 1940–1941, 1997–1998, and 2015–2016). Three of these very strong El Niño events in the CTP featured a precursor warm event in the prior year and that may have favored the development of a strong El Niño event.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1029/2020pa003848DOIArticle
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/study/30493Related ItemData
https://github.com/tapios/RegEMRelated ItemCode
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Sanchez, S. C.0000-0002-1923-1218
Westphal, N.0000-0001-6343-5755
Schneider, T.0000-0001-5687-2287
Cobb, K. M.0000-0002-2125-9164
Charles, C. D.0000-0003-4016-2365
Alternate Title:A continuous record of central tropical Pacific climate since the mid 19th century reconstructed from Fanning and Palmyra Island corals: a case study in coral data reanalysis
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 22 August 2020; Version of Record online: 22 August 2020; Accepted manuscript online: 04 August 2020; Manuscript accepted: 23 July 2020; Manuscript revised: 21 July 2020; Manuscript received: 08 January 2020. We thank the three anonymous reviewers whose constructive comments added to the clarity and quality of this work. S. C. S. was supported by a JISAO Postdoctoral Fellowship. We thank The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium, for logistical support and access to the refuge. This research was conducted under special use Permit 12533‐16024. The authors declare no competing interests. Data Availability Statement: Data will be available on NOAA paleoclimate (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/study/30493) upon publication. Code and information behind the RegEM algorithm can be found at GitHub (https://github.com/tapios/RegEM).
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of WashingtonWE0145B062019
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200819-095025315
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200819-095025315
Official Citation:Sanchez, S.C., Westphal, N., Haug, G.H., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Schneider, T., Cobb, K.M. and Charles, C.D. (2020), A Continuous Record of Central Tropical Pacific Climate Since the Midnineteenth Century Reconstructed From Fanning and Palmyra Island Corals: A Case Study in Coral Data Reanalysis. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 35: e2020PA003848. doi:10.1029/2020PA003848
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105023
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Aug 2020 17:10
Last Modified:27 Aug 2020 21:07

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