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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  04 Mar 2020

04 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

ENSO and internal sea surface temperature variability in the tropical Indian Ocean since the Maunder Minimum

Maike Leupold1, Miriam Pfeiffer2, Takaaki K. Watanabe3, Lars Reuning2, Dieter Garbe-Schönberg2, Chuan-Chou Shen4,5,6, and Geert-Jan A. Brummer7 Maike Leupold et al.
  • 1EMR-Group, Geological Institute, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, 52062, Germany
  • 2Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University, Kiel, 24118, Germany
  • 3Department of Natural History Sciences, Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo,060-0810,Japan
  • 4High-Precision Mass Spectrometry and Environment Change Laboratory (HISPEC), Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan ROC
  • 5Research Center for Future Earth, National Taiwan University, Taipei, LC6L73, Taiwan ROC
  • 6Global Change Research Center, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan, ROC
  • 7Department of Ocean Systems, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research(NIOZ), and Utrecht University, 1790 ABDen Burg, the Netherlands

Abstract. The dominant modes of climate variability on interannual timescales in the tropical Indian Ocean are the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole. El Niño events have occurred more frequently during recent decades and it has been suggested that an asymmetric ENSO teleconnection (warming during El Niño events is stronger than cooling during La Niña events) caused the pronounced warming of the western Indian Ocean. In this study, we test this hypothesis using coral Sr / Ca records from the central Indian Ocean (Chagos Archipelago) to reconstruct past sea surface temperatures (SST) in time windows from the Maunder Minimum to the present. Three sub-fossil massive Porites corals were dated to the 17–18th century (one sample) and 19–20th century (two samples), and were compared with a published, modern coral Sr / Ca record from the same site. All corals were sub-sampled at a monthly resolution for Sr / Ca measurements, which were measured using a simultaneous ICP-OES. All four coral records show typical ENSO periodicities, suggesting that the ENSO-SST teleconnection in the central Indian Ocean was stationary since the 17th century. To determine the symmetry of ENSO events, we compiled composite records of positive and negative ENSO-driven SST anomaly events. We find similar magnitudes of warm and cold anomalies indicating a symmetric ENSO response in the tropical Indian Ocean. This suggests that ENSO is not the main driver of central Indian Ocean warming.

Maike Leupold et al.

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Maike Leupold et al.

Maike Leupold et al.


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