Skip to main content
placeholder image

Oxygen isotopes in western Australian coral reveal Pinatubo aerosol¿induced cooling in the Western Pacific Warm Pool

Journal Article


Abstract


  • We present a 12‐year (1981–93) near‐weekly oxygen‐isotope (δ18O) record from a western Australian (Ningaloo Reef) Porites lobata coral precisely positioned to record the sea‐surface temperature (SST) variation of the Leeuwin Current. The predictability of the Ningaloo Reef coral‐based SSTs may be unparalleled since it can be shown that SST changes in the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) are strongly correlated with, and lead by about 2.5 years, SST changes in the Leeuwin Current. Consequently, the ordinary SST variation in the Ningaloo coral record can be anticipated and removed to reveal unexpected cooling of 0.6°C (1992) and 0.9°C (1993) following the June 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. This cooling signal at Ningaloo Reef is likely to be produced by Pinatubo aerosol‐induced cooling of the southwestern WPWP averaging 0.5°C by early 1992 which is sustained at least through early 1993. It is suggested that this magnitude of volcanic cooling in the southwestern WPWP could have prolonged, in part, the extended 4‐year (1991–94) negative phase of the Southern Oscillation. Copyright 1995 by the American Geophysical Union.

Publication Date


  • 1995

Citation


  • Gagan, M. K., & Chivas, A. R. (1995). Oxygen isotopes in western Australian coral reveal Pinatubo aerosol¿induced cooling in the Western Pacific Warm Pool. Geophysical Research Letters, 22(9), 1069-1072. doi:10.1029/95GL00607

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0028794352

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 1069

End Page


  • 1072

Volume


  • 22

Issue


  • 9

Abstract


  • We present a 12‐year (1981–93) near‐weekly oxygen‐isotope (δ18O) record from a western Australian (Ningaloo Reef) Porites lobata coral precisely positioned to record the sea‐surface temperature (SST) variation of the Leeuwin Current. The predictability of the Ningaloo Reef coral‐based SSTs may be unparalleled since it can be shown that SST changes in the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) are strongly correlated with, and lead by about 2.5 years, SST changes in the Leeuwin Current. Consequently, the ordinary SST variation in the Ningaloo coral record can be anticipated and removed to reveal unexpected cooling of 0.6°C (1992) and 0.9°C (1993) following the June 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. This cooling signal at Ningaloo Reef is likely to be produced by Pinatubo aerosol‐induced cooling of the southwestern WPWP averaging 0.5°C by early 1992 which is sustained at least through early 1993. It is suggested that this magnitude of volcanic cooling in the southwestern WPWP could have prolonged, in part, the extended 4‐year (1991–94) negative phase of the Southern Oscillation. Copyright 1995 by the American Geophysical Union.

Publication Date


  • 1995

Citation


  • Gagan, M. K., & Chivas, A. R. (1995). Oxygen isotopes in western Australian coral reveal Pinatubo aerosol¿induced cooling in the Western Pacific Warm Pool. Geophysical Research Letters, 22(9), 1069-1072. doi:10.1029/95GL00607

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0028794352

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 1069

End Page


  • 1072

Volume


  • 22

Issue


  • 9