Harbott, Marie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1355-1499, Wu, Henry ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8975-5917, Kuhnert, H., Jimenez, C., González‐Díaz, P. and Rixen, Tim (2023) A Warming Southern Gulf of Mexico: Reconstruction of Anthropogenic Environmental Changes From a Siderastrea siderea Coral on the Northern Coast of Cuba. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 38 (12). DOI https://doi.org/10.1029/2023PA004717.

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Abstract

The Gulf of Mexico is a vital region for the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), that fuels the exchange of heat between the tropics and the polar regions. A weakening of the AMOC would have dire consequences for the planet. First observations and ocean models show that this process has already started. Very limited knowledge of the components that are part of the AMOC such as the Loop Current (LC) make it difficult to understand its dynamics as well as changes in strength or temperature since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Currently, there are no continuous in situ sea surface temperature or salinity measurements for the southeastern Gulf of Mexico or reconstruction attempts for this region, showing the necessity for high-resolution climate archives. A Siderastrea siderea coral core was retrieved from the northwestern Cuban coast and used as a sub-seasonally resolved sea surface temperature and hydroclimate archive. The approach is based on skeletal δ18O, and trace and minor element contents show an increase in temperature over 160 years since 1845 of 2.6–3.3°C. A possible stagnation of the warming trend set in after the 1980s, indicating a potential weakening of the Loop Current. Impacts in sea surface salinity such as El Niño events in the Pacific region can still be detected in the Gulf of Mexico as decreases in salinity in 1998 from the reconstructed δ18OSW coral record. In situ measurements remain crucial to understand the dynamics in the LC and its influence on the AMOC.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2
Research affiliation: Biogeochemistry and Geology > Carbon and Nutrient Cycling
Science Management > Office for Knowledge Exchange
Biogeochemistry and Geology > Coral Climatology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2023PA004717
ISSN: 2572-4517
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2024 07:49
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2024 11:08
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/5336

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