Coral Records

Kim Cobb's Lab generates records of past tropical Pacific climate from corals and works across a broad-range of timescales that are relevant to anthropogenic climate change. By measuring the oxygen isotopic (δ18O) content of the coral skeletal aragonite every 1mm down-core, they obtain timeseries that reflect changes in past ocean temperature and/or changes in the oxygen isotopic content of the seawater (the latter linearly related to salinity, and thereby used as a proxy for hydrological balance).

Their long-term sites in the central equatorial Pacific are extremely sensitive to temperature and rainfall changes associated with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), so corals from these sites provide exceptional archives of past ENSO activity.

  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • P. Grothe, H. Sayani, E. Wiggins
  • Kim Cobb's Lab

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