Decoupling of coral skeletal δ13C and solar irradiance over the past millennium caused by the oceanic Suess effect

Deng, Wenfeng, Chen, Xuefei, Wei, Gangjian, Zeng, Ti and Zhao, Jian-xin (2017) Decoupling of coral skeletal δ13C and solar irradiance over the past millennium caused by the oceanic Suess effect. Paleoceanography, 32 2: 161-171. doi:10.1002/2016PA003049


Author Deng, Wenfeng
Chen, Xuefei
Wei, Gangjian
Zeng, Ti
Zhao, Jian-xin
Title Decoupling of coral skeletal δ13C and solar irradiance over the past millennium caused by the oceanic Suess effect
Formatted title
Decoupling of coral skeletal δ13C and solar irradiance over the past millennium caused by the oceanic Suess effect
Journal name Paleoceanography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1944-9186
0883-8305
Publication date 2017-02-17
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/2016PA003049
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 32
Issue 2
Start page 161
End page 171
Total pages 11
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Many factors influence the seasonal changes in δ13C levels in coral skeletons; consequently, the climatic and environmental significance of such changes is complicated and controversial. However, it is widely accepted that the secular declining trend of coral δ13C over the past 200 years reflects the changes in the additional flux of anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere into the surface oceans. Even so, the centennial-scale variations, and their significance, of coral δ13C before the Industrial Revolution remain unclear. Based on an annually resolved coral δ13C record from the northern South China Sea, the centennial-scale variations of coral δ13C over the past millennium were studied. The coral δ13C and total solar irradiance (TSI) have a significant positive Pearson correlation and coupled variation during the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, when natural forcing controlled the climate and environment. This covariation suggests that TSI controls coral δ13C by affecting the photosynthetic activity of the endosymbiotic zooxanthellae over centennial timescales. However, there was a decoupling of the coral skeletal δ13C and TSI during the Current Warm Period, the period in which the climate and environment became linked to anthropogenic factors. Instead, coral δ13C levels have a significant Pearson correlation with both the atmospheric CO2 concentration and δ13C levels in atmospheric CO2. The correlation between coral δ13C and atmospheric CO2 suggests that the oceanic 13C Suess effect, caused by the addition of increasing amounts of anthropogenic 12CO2 to the surface ocean, has led to the decoupling of coral δ13C and TSI at the centennial scale.
Keyword Atmospheric CO2
Coral
Suess effect
Total solar irradiance
δ13C
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis Publications
 
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