Coral Networking

Just as a single buoy or weather station does not tell us everything we need to know about modern climate variability, one coral core does not explain past global climatic variability. A network of corals from all over the world is required to understand how our climate has changed through time. NOAA and the National Science Foundation are supporting research at universities across the U.S. that are working to establish this network of coral-based climate observations.

Figure courtesy of Dr. Robert Dunbar (Stanford University) and Dr. Julie Cole (University of Colorado).

ARTS (Annual Records of Tropical Systems), a PAGES (Past Global Changes) /CLIVAR (Climate Variability and Predictability) initiative, involves a network of sites from which valuable instrumental and paleoclimate data can be extracted. Corals, tree rings, and ice cores can all provide annually resolved records which would help to improve our understanding of past and present tropical climate variability. Shown to the left is a prioritized series of cruise transects designed to efficiently sample key features of the tropical and subtropical Pacific.

Figure courtesy of Dr. Richard Fairbanks, Lamont-Doherty Geological Institute, Columbia University.

This figure shows delta 18O series extracted from various coral sites in the Indo-Pacific. This network of sites was produced by the Lamont-Scripps Consortium (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Scripps Institution of Oceanography).

Figure courtesy of Dr. Robert Dunbar, Stanford University.

Shown here is a network of Eastern Pacific coral drilling sites, including existing sea surface temperature and precipitation records that have been obtained from some of these sites.

Figure courtesy of Dr. Thomas Crowley, Texas A & M University.

This is a network of sites in the Western Pacific Warm Pool with respect to the mean annual SST field of Levitus (1982). This Western Pacific network includes sites for analysis of existing samples and proposed drilling.


Back to Coral Paleoclimatology

Back to top of this page

On to Coral References

Coral Paleoclimatology website by Heather Benway, NOAA Office of Global Programs, hosted by the NOAA Paleoclimatology Program. Please contact us if you have any comments and/or suggestions.