Interdecadal-decadal climate variability from multicoral oxygen isotope records in the South Pacific Convergence Zone region since 1650 A.D.

Publication Type: 
Year of Publication: 
Journal Title: 
Journal Date: 
Jun 20
ISBN Number: 
Accession Number: 

[1] In the South Pacific, interdecadal-decadal oceanic and atmospheric variability, referred to as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), is most pronounced in the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) salinity front region. Here we have used annual average oxygen isotope (delta O-18) time series from five coral cores collected from Fiji and Tonga in this region to construct a Fiji-Tonga Interdecadal-Decadal Pacific Oscillation (F-T IDPO) index of low-frequency (> 9 and < 55 years) climate variability back to 1650 A. D. We first demonstrate the consistency between this F-T IDPO index and a mean sea level (MSL) pressure-based SPCZ position index (SPI) (1891-2000), thus verifying the ability of coral delta O-18 to record past interdecadal-decadal climatic variations in this region back to 1891. The F-T IDPO index is then shown to be synchronous with the IPO index (1856-2000), suggesting that this coral-based index effectively represents the interdecadal-decadal scale climate variance back to 1650. The regularity of the F-T IDPO index indicates that interdecadal-decadal variability in the SPCZ region has been relatively constant over the past 350 years with a mean frequency of similar to 20 years (variance peaks near 11 and 35 years). There is a consistent antiphase correlation of the F-T IDPO index and the interdecadal-decadal components in equatorial Pacific coral delta O-18 series from Maiana and Palmyra. This observation indicates that the eastward expansion ( westward contraction) of the eastern salinity front of the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) occurs simultaneously (+/-<= 1 year) with the westward ( eastward) shift of the SPCZ salinity front during positive IPO ( negative IPO) phases. This is the same relationship observed during the phases of the El Nino Southern Oscillation.


317ZXTimes Cited:1Cited References Count:57

Doi 10.1029/2007pa001539