high Pacific native Tudhope

Core/Site name:

Madang Lagoon


Papa New Guinea







Proxy measurement:

Carbon and oxygen isotopes

Sampling resolution:


Climate sensitivity:


Dating resolution:

fluorescent banding and annual cycle in skeletal d18O; 1 fluro band per year and 4 d18O per year





All uncertainties:

+/- 0.076 per mil for d18O (internal)


The western equatorial Pacific warm pool is believed to be the source region of a substantial proportion of the world’sinter-annual climate variability, including the globally significant El Nifio-Southern Oscillation. Here new data are presentedon changes in the climate of this region over the past 70 yr, based on analysis of the stable oxygen isotopic composition ofannually banded, massive corals living on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. In this area, the coincidence of abundantand isotopically light rainfall with small seasonal and inter-annual changes in temperature means that the coral skeletal 6 “0record may be reliably interpreted in terms of rainfall variation. Since the abundance of rainfall is governed by the intensityof deep atmospheric convection, the coral records provide regionally significant, and regionally reproducible, climaticindices. In particular, the coral records indicate larger changes in the degree of coupling of the climate of the region with theSouthern Oscillation than have hitherto been described. These changes in coupling, which accompany shifts in the dominantperiodicities of inter-annual climate variation, are indicative of rapid and large-scale reorganisation of ocean-atmosphereinteractions. The data indicate that from the 1920s to 1950s the western equatorial Pacific was less important in modulatingPacific and global inter-annual climatic variability than it has appeared to be subsequently. The reproducibility of the coralclimate records, combined with the presence on the north coast of Papua New Guinea of extensive and well preserved raisedreef terraces, leads to the potential for extending understanding of climatic variability in this globally important region backinto the late Quaternary.

Data entered by name:

Ally May

Data entered by email:

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Main reference(s):

Tudhope, A.W., G.B. Shimmield, C.P. Chilcott, M. Jebb, A.E. Fallick, and A.N. Dalgleish. 1995. Recent changes in climate in the far western equatorial Pacific and their relationship to the Southern Oscillation; oxygen isotope records from massive corals, Papua New Guinea. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 136:575-590.

Link to reference 1:


Link to reference 2:


Data storage link 1:


Current dating method:

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Annual snow acc rate:

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Category: Ocean2k