Northern Galápagos Corals Reveal Twentieth Century Warming in the Eastern Tropical Pacific

Gloria Jimenez, Julia E. Cole, Diane M. Thompson, Alexander W. Tudhope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Models and observations disagree regarding sea surface temperature (SST) trends in the eastern tropical Pacific. We present a new Sr/Ca-SST record that spans 1940–2010 from two Wolf Island corals (northern Galápagos). Trend analysis of the Wolf record shows significant warming on multiple timescales, which is also present in several other records and gridded instrumental products. Together, these data sets suggest that most of the eastern tropical Pacific has warmed over the twentieth century. In contrast, recent decades have been characterized by warming during boreal spring and summer (especially north of the equator), and subtropical cooling during boreal fall and winter (especially south of the equator). These SST trends are consistent with the effects of radiative forcing, mitigated by cooling due to wind forcing during boreal winter, as well as intensified upwelling and a strengthened Equatorial Undercurrent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1981-1988
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 28 2018


  • climate change
  • corals
  • eastern tropical Pacific
  • ocean dynamical thermostat
  • sea surface temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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