Surface-temperature trends and variability in the low-latitude North Atlantic since 1552

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/599819
Title:
Surface-temperature trends and variability in the low-latitude North Atlantic since 1552
Authors:
Saenger, Casey; Cohen, Anne L.; Oppo, Delia W.; Halley, Robert B.; Carilli, Jessica E.
Abstract:
Sea surface temperature variability in the North Atlantic Ocean recorded since about 1850 has been ascribed to a natural multidecadal oscillation superimposed on a background warming trend1-6. It has been suggested that the multidecadal variability may be a persistent feature6-8, raising the possibility that the associated climate impacts may be predictable7,8. owever, our understanding of the multidecadal ocean variability before the instrumental record is based on interpretations of high-latitude terrestrial proxy records. Here we present an absolutely dated and annually resolved record of sea surface temperature from the Bahamas, based on a 440-year time series of coral growth rates. The reconstruction indicates that temperatures were as warm as today from about 1552 to 1570, then cooled by about 1° C from 1650 to 1730 before warming until the present. Our estimates of background variability suggest that much of the warming since 1900 was driven by anthropogenic forcing. Interdecadal variability with a period of 15-25 years is superimposed on most of the record, but multidecadal variability becomes significant only after 1730. We conclude that the multidecadal variability in sea surface temperatures in the low-latitude western Atlantic Ocean may not be persistent, potentially making accurate decadal climate forecasts more difficult to achieve. © 2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Citation:
Saenger C, Cohen AL, Oppo DW, Halley RB, Carilli JE (2009) Surface-temperature trends and variability in the low-latitude North Atlantic since 1552. Nature Geosci 2: 492–495. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo552.
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Journal:
Nature Geoscience
Issue Date:
21-Jun-2009
DOI:
10.1038/ngeo552
Type:
Article
ISSN:
1752-0894; 1752-0908
Sponsors:
We thank T. Crowley, P. Huybers, P. Chang, Y. Kwon, J. Woodruff, J. T. Farrar, N. Goodkin and G. Hegerl for discussion. We also thank D. Ketten and J. Arruda for CAT scan support and R. Petitt for initial growth measurements. This work was supported by the US National Science Foundation, WHOI's Ocean and Climate Change Institute, WHOI's Ocean Life Institute, award No. USA-0002, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and the Inter-American Institute Global Change Research.
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Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorSaenger, Caseyen
dc.contributor.authorCohen, Anne L.en
dc.contributor.authorOppo, Delia W.en
dc.contributor.authorHalley, Robert B.en
dc.contributor.authorCarilli, Jessica E.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-28T06:10:33Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-28T06:10:33Zen
dc.date.issued2009-06-21en
dc.identifier.citationSaenger C, Cohen AL, Oppo DW, Halley RB, Carilli JE (2009) Surface-temperature trends and variability in the low-latitude North Atlantic since 1552. Nature Geosci 2: 492–495. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo552.en
dc.identifier.issn1752-0894en
dc.identifier.issn1752-0908en
dc.identifier.doi10.1038/ngeo552en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/599819en
dc.description.abstractSea surface temperature variability in the North Atlantic Ocean recorded since about 1850 has been ascribed to a natural multidecadal oscillation superimposed on a background warming trend1-6. It has been suggested that the multidecadal variability may be a persistent feature6-8, raising the possibility that the associated climate impacts may be predictable7,8. owever, our understanding of the multidecadal ocean variability before the instrumental record is based on interpretations of high-latitude terrestrial proxy records. Here we present an absolutely dated and annually resolved record of sea surface temperature from the Bahamas, based on a 440-year time series of coral growth rates. The reconstruction indicates that temperatures were as warm as today from about 1552 to 1570, then cooled by about 1° C from 1650 to 1730 before warming until the present. Our estimates of background variability suggest that much of the warming since 1900 was driven by anthropogenic forcing. Interdecadal variability with a period of 15-25 years is superimposed on most of the record, but multidecadal variability becomes significant only after 1730. We conclude that the multidecadal variability in sea surface temperatures in the low-latitude western Atlantic Ocean may not be persistent, potentially making accurate decadal climate forecasts more difficult to achieve. © 2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.en
dc.description.sponsorshipWe thank T. Crowley, P. Huybers, P. Chang, Y. Kwon, J. Woodruff, J. T. Farrar, N. Goodkin and G. Hegerl for discussion. We also thank D. Ketten and J. Arruda for CAT scan support and R. Petitt for initial growth measurements. This work was supported by the US National Science Foundation, WHOI's Ocean and Climate Change Institute, WHOI's Ocean Life Institute, award No. USA-0002, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and the Inter-American Institute Global Change Research.en
dc.publisherSpringer Natureen
dc.titleSurface-temperature trends and variability in the low-latitude North Atlantic since 1552en
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalNature Geoscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United Statesen
dc.contributor.institutionWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, United Statesen
dc.contributor.institutionUnited States Geological Survey Central Region, Denver, United Statesen
dc.contributor.institutionScripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, United Statesen
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