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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/p5547t05n

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  • Reconstructions of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are often created using the oxygen isotopic ratio in tropical coral skeletons (δ¹⁸O). However, coral δ¹⁸O can be difficult to interpret quantitatively, as it reflects changes in both temperature and the δ¹⁸O value of seawater. Small-scale (10–100 km) processes affecting local temperature and seawater δ¹⁸O are also poorly quantified and contribute an unknown amount to intercoral δ¹⁸O offsets. A new version of the Regional Ocean Modeling System capable of directly simulating seawater δ¹⁸O (isoROMS) is therefore presented to address these issues. The model is used to simulate δ¹⁸O variations over the 1979–2009 period throughout the Pacific at coarse (O(50 km)) resolution, in addition to 10 km downscaling experiments covering the central equatorial Pacific Line Islands, a preferred site for paleo-ENSO reconstruction from corals. A major impact of downscaling at the Line Islands is the ability to resolve fronts associated with tropical instability waves (TIWs), which generate large excursions in both temperature and seawater δ¹⁸O at Palmyra Atoll (5.9°N, 162.1°W). TIW-related sea surface temperature gradients are smaller at neighboring Christmas Island (1.9°N, 157.5°W), but the interaction of mesoscale features with the steep island topography nonetheless generates cross-island temperature differences of up to 1°C. These nonlinear processes alter the slope of the salinity:seawater δ¹⁸O relationship at Palmyra and Christmas, as well as affect the relation between coral δ¹⁸O and indices of ENSO variability. Consideration of the full physical oceanographic context of reef environments is therefore crucial for improving δ¹⁸O-based ENSO reconstructions.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2016-02-29T14:55:55Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2 NooneDCEOASCharacterizingSeawaterOxygen.pdf: 5994099 bytes, checksum: 16fedc1e4880ba2298abc89ec2f9babc (MD5) NooneDCEOASCharacterizingSeawaterOxygen(SupportingInfoFiguresS1-S4).pdf: 478774 bytes, checksum: 1201a1904688840422873fa4aa5681f9 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2015-11
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