Impact of warming events on reef-scale temperature variability as captured in two Little Cayman coral Sr/Ca records.

von Reumont, Jonas, Hetzinger, Steffen, Garbe-Schönberg, Dieter, Manfrino, C. and Dullo, Wolf-Christian (2016) Impact of warming events on reef-scale temperature variability as captured in two Little Cayman coral Sr/Ca records. Open Access Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 17 (3). pp. 846-857. DOI 10.1002/2015GC006194.

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The rising temperature of the world’s oceans is affecting coral reef ecosystems by increasing
the frequency and severity of bleaching and mortality events. The susceptibility of corals to temperature stress varies on local and regional scales. Insights into potential controlling parameters are hampered by a
lack of long term in situ data in most coral reef environments and sea surface temperature (SST) products often do not resolve reef-scale variations. Here we use 42 years (1970–2012) of coral Sr/Ca data to reconstruct seasonal- to decadal-scale SST variations in two adjacent but distinct reef environments at Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. Our results indicate that two massive Diploria strigosa corals growing in the lagoon and in the fore reef responded differently to past warming events. Coral Sr/Ca data from the shallow lagoon successfully record high summer temperatures confirmed by in situ observations (>338C). Surprisingly, coral Sr/Ca from the deeper fore reef is strongly affected by thermal stress events, although seasonal temperature extremes and mean SSTs at this site are reduced compared to the lagoon. The shallow lagoon coral showed decadal variations in Sr/Ca, supposedly related to the modulation of lagoonal temperature through varying tidal water exchange, influenced by the 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle. Our results show that reef-scale SST variability can be much larger than suggested by satellite SST measurements. Thus, using coral SST proxy records from different reef zones combined with in situ observations will improve conservation programs that are developed to monitor and predict potential thermal stress on coral reefs.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: The data plotted in all figures will be available to the public over the Paleoclimatology Branch of NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI) (http://www.ncdc. paleoclimatology-data) after the completion of the dissertation of J. von Reumont. - WOS:000375144700011
Keywords: coral Sr/Ca; Diploria strigosa; Caribbean; El Niño; coral reef
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R09
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 13:14
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:04

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