Geochemistry of a coral from Bermuda

We present a 55-year-long record (1928-1982) of Sr/Ca in a Bermuda coral (Diploria strigosa), which we use to reconstruct local twentieth century climate features. The clearest climate signal emerges for the late-year Sr/Ca. Although the coral was collected in shallow water (12 m), the correlation with station data is highest for temperatures at 50 m depth (r = -0.70), suggesting that local temperatures at the collection site are not representative for the sea surface temperatures in the adjacent open ocean. The most striking feature of the coral record is the persistent and significant correlation (r = -0.50) with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. Field correlations of fall Sr/Ca with the winter sea level pressure (SLP) show the typical spatial NAO pattern. The stable relationship with the NAO shows that Sr/Ca in Bermuda corals is a suitable tool for the reconstruction of North Atlantic climate variability.



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