Preindustrial to Modern Interdecadal Variability in Coral Reef pH

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Science  30 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5744, pp. 2204-2207
DOI: 10.1126/science.1113692

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  1. Fig. 1.

    Distribution of present-day surface-ocean pH, location of the Flinders Reef coral site, and record of coral δ13C since 1708 A.D. (Top) Map showing present-day mean annual surface pH (24). (Left) Locality map showing Flinders Reef and approximate path of the SEC and sketch showing the location and dimensions of Flinders Reef. Coral core FL02A was drilled on the North West Reef (17.5°S, 148.3°E; red circle). (Right) The δ13C data for the Flinders Reef coral and coralline sponges, Ceratoporella nicholsoni (Jamaica) (25) and Acanthochaetes wellsi (Vanuatu) (26), show a progressive depletion of 13C in surface seawater, which can be ascribed to the Suess effect.

  2. Fig. 2.

    Record of Flinders Reef coral δ11B, reconstructed oceanic pH, aragonite saturation state, PDO and IPO indices, and coral calcification parameters. (A) Flinders Reef coral δ11B as a proxy for surface-ocean pH (24); δ11B measurements for all 5-year intervals are available in table S1. (B) Indices of the PDO (28, 39) and the IPO (27) averaged over the same 5-year intervals as the coral pH data. Gray curves in panels (A) and (B) are the outputs of Gaussian filtering of coral pH and IPO values, respectively, at a frequency of 0.02 ± 0.01 year–1, which represent the 1/50-year component of the pH variation (fig. S2). (C) Comparison of high-resolution coral Sr/Ca (plotted to identify the seasonal cycle of SST) (32), δ11B-derived pH, and wind speed recorded at the Willis Island meteorological station (data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology) (40). Note the covariation of wind speed and seawater pH; strong winds generally occur at times of high pH, and weak winds generally occur at times of low pH. All high-resolution δ11B measurements are available in table S2. (D) Aragonite saturation state, Embedded Image, where Embedded Image is the stoichiometric solubility product of aragonite, calculated from our reconstructed pH assuming constant alkalinity (24). (E) Coral extension and calcification rates obtained from coral density measured by gamma ray densitometry (38).

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