A coral oxygen isotope record from the northern Red Sea documenting NAO, ENSO, and North Pacific teleconnections on Middle East climate variability since the year 1750

Thomas Felis*, Jürgen Pätzold, Yossi Loya, Maoz Fine, Ahmed H. Nawar, Gerold Wefer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations

Abstract

A 245-year coral oxygen isotope record from the northern Red Sea (Ras Umm Sidd/Egypt, Ο28°N) in bimonthly resolution is presented. The mean annual coral δ18O signal apparently reflects varying proportions of both sea surface temperature and δ18Oseawater variability. In conjunction with instrumental observations of climate the coral record suggests for interannual and longer timescales that colder periods are accompanied by more arid conditions in the northern Red Sea but increased rainfall in the southeastern Mediterranean, whereas warmer periods are accompanied by decreased rainfall in the latter and less arid conditions in the northern Red Sea. A ∼70-year oscillation of probably North Atlantic origin dominates the coral time series. Interannual to interdecadal variability is correlated with instrumental indices of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and North Pacific climate variability. The results suggest that these modes contributed consistently to Middle East climate variability since at least 1750, preferentially at a period of ∼5.7 years.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)679-694
Number of pages16
JournalPaleoceanography
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes

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