EGU2020-19578
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19578
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Reconstruction of anthropogenic environmental changes from a Cuban coral over the last 175 years

Marie Harbott1, Henry C. Wu1, Henning Kuhnert2, Simone A. Kasemann2,3, Carlos Jimenez4,5, Patricia Gonzales Diaz6, and Tim Rixen1,7
Marie Harbott et al.
  • 1Leibniz Institute of Tropical Marine Research, Germany (marie.harbott@leibniz-zmt.de)
  • 2MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 3Faculty of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 4Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre (ENALIA), Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 5The Cyprus Institute (CyI), Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 6Centro de Investigaciones Marinas, Universidad de la Habana, Havana, Cuba
  • 7Institute for Geology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA) are increasingly influencing marine life. Parts of the increasing amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will eventually get absorbed by the ocean, which changes the oceans carbonate chemistry and threatens the ecological competitiveness of calcareous marine organisms. Currently,  the global coverage of studies on the development of pH since preindustrial times is sparse. An important region to study environmental and climate variations is the northwestern coastal part of Cuba where the Loop Current (LC) joins the Florida Current and contributes to the Gulf Stream. The tropical Atlantic is a primary region for the formation of warm surface water of the thermohaline ocean circulation and the Caribbean in particular as a habitat for coral reefs in the Atlantic making them susceptible to changes in water temperatures and carbonate chemistry. This provides a unique chance to study multiple aspects of the implications of anthropogenic activities such as changes in SST, ocean pH, and carbonate chemistry using the coral skeletal geochemistry as an archive of climate and environmental changes. Here we present results from a multi-proxy approach for the reconstruction of environmental change and natural climate variability from a North Cuban Siderastrea siderea coral. The sub-seasonally resolved records indicate interannual to decadal changes in SST and seawater carbonate chemistry since 1830 CE. The comparison with pH will provide clues on whether the regional climate variability has been directly affected by atmospheric CO2 forcing.

How to cite: Harbott, M., Wu, H. C., Kuhnert, H., Kasemann, S. A., Jimenez, C., Gonzales Diaz, P., and Rixen, T.: Reconstruction of anthropogenic environmental changes from a Cuban coral over the last 175 years, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19578, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19578, 2020

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