Articles | Volume 27, issue 5
04 May 2009
 | 04 May 2009

Arctic and Antarctic Oscillation signatures in tropical coral proxies over the South China Sea

D.-Y. Gong, S.-J. Kim, and C.-H. Ho

Abstract. Arctic Oscillation (AO) and Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) are the leading modes of atmospheric circulation in mid-high latitudes. Previous studies have revealed that the climatic influences of the two modes are dominant in extra-tropical regions. This study finds that AO and AAO signals are also well recorded in coral proxies in the tropical South China Sea. There are significant interannual signals of AO and AAO in the strontium (Sr) content, which represents the sea surface temperature (SST). Among all the seasons, the most significant correlation occurs during winter in both hemispheres: the strongest AO-Sr and AAO-Sr coral correlations occur in January and August, respectively. This study also determined that the Sr content lags behind AO and AAO by 1–3 months. Large-scale anomalies in sea level pressure and horizontal wind at 850 hPa level support the strength of AO/AAO-coral teleconnections. In addition, a comparison with oxygen isotope records from two coral sites in neighboring oceans yields significant AO and AAO signatures with similar time lags. These results help to better understand monsoon climates and their teleconnection to high-latitude climate changes.