Indian Ocean corals reveal crucial role of World War II bias for twentieth century warming estimates

Pfeiffer, Miriam, Zinke, Jens, Dullo, Wolf-Christian, Garbe-Schönberg, Dieter, Latif, Mojib and Weber, M. E. (2017) Indian Ocean corals reveal crucial role of World War II bias for twentieth century warming estimates Scientific Reports, 7 (art. no. 14434). DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-14352-6.

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Abstract

The western Indian Ocean has been warming faster than any other tropical ocean during the 20th century, and is the largest contributor to the global mean sea surface temperature (SST) rise. However, the temporal pattern of Indian Ocean warming is poorly constrained and depends on the historical SST product. As all SST products are derived from the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere dataset (ICOADS), it is challenging to evaluate which product is superior. Here, we present a new, independent SST reconstruction from a set of Porites coral geochemical records from the western Indian Ocean. Our coral reconstruction shows that the World War II bias in the historical sea surface temperature record is the main reason for the differences between the SST products, and affects western Indian Ocean and global mean temperature trends. The 20th century Indian Ocean warming pattern portrayed by the corals is consistent with the SST product from the Hadley Centre (HadSST3), and suggests that the latter should be used in climate studies that include Indian Ocean SSTs. Our data shows that multi-core coral temperature reconstructions help to evaluate the SST products. Proxy records can provide estimates of 20th century SST that are truly independent from the ICOADS data base.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: The coral data have been deposited in the World Data Centres for Marine Environmental Sciences and Paleoclimatology, respectively.
Keywords: atmosphere, climate, coral, Indian Ocean, information processing, sea surface temperature, war, warming
Research affiliation: Kiel University
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
UNSPECIFIED
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/s41598-017-14352-6
ISSN: 2045-2322
Projects: TESTREEF
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2017 09:32
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:51
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/40168

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