Report

Tropical Pacific Forcing of Decadal SST Variability in the Western Indian Ocean over the Past Two Centuries

Science  28 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5453, pp. 617-619
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5453.617

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Abstract

A 194-year annual record of skeletal δ18O from a coral growing at Malindi, Kenya, preserves a history of sea surface temperature (SST) change that is coherent with instrumental and proxy records of tropical Pacific climate variability over interannual to decadal periods. This variability is superimposed on a warming of as much as 1.3°C since the early 1800s. These results suggest that the tropical Pacific imparts substantial decadal climate variability to the western Indian Ocean and, by implication, may force decadal variability in other regions with strong El Niño–Southern Oscillation teleconnections.

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