17 Aug 2022
17 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

The CoralHydro2k Database: a global, actively curated compilation of coral δ18O and Sr / Ca proxy records of tropical ocean hydrology and temperature for the Common Era

Rachel M. Walter1, Hussein R. Sayani1,a, Thomas Felis2, Kim M. Cobb1, Nerilie J. Abram3,4, Ariella K. Arzey5, Alyssa R. Atwood6, Logan D. Brenner7, Émilie P. Dassié8, Kristine L. DeLong9, Bethany Ellis4,10, Matthew J. Fischer11, Nathalie F. Goodkin12, Jessica A. Hargreaves3,4, K. Halimeda Kilbourne13, Hedwig Krawczyk14, Nicholas P. McKay15, Sujata A. Murty16, Riovie D. Ramos17, Emma V. Reed18, Dhrubajyoti Samanta19, Sara C. Sanchez20, Jens Zinke14, and the PAGES CoralHydro2k Project Members Rachel M. Walter et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, 30332, USA
  • 2MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • 3ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, The Australian National University, Canberra, 2601, Australia
  • 4Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, 2601, Australia
  • 5School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, 2522, Australia
  • 6Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 32306, USA
  • 7Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College, New York, 10027, USA
  • 8UMR 5805 EPOC - CNRS - OASU - Université de Bordeaux, Pessac, 33615, France
  • 9Department of Geography and Anthropology and Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 70803, USA
  • 10New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Orange, 2800, Australia
  • 11NST Environment, ANSTO, Lucas Heights, 2234, Australia
  • 12Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, American Museum of Natural History, New York, 10021, USA
  • 13Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Solomons, 20657, USA
  • 14School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
  • 15School of Earth and Sustainability, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, 86011, USA
  • 16Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, 12222, USA
  • 17Department of Environmental Science, William Paterson University of New Jersey, Wayne, 07470, USA
  • 18Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, 85721, USA
  • 19Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 639798, Singapore
  • 20Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, 80309, USA
  • aPresently at the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 32306, FL, USA
  • A full list of authors appears at the end of the paper.

Abstract. The response of the hydrological cycle to anthropogenic climate change, especially across the tropical oceans, remains poorly understood due to the scarcity of long instrumental temperature and hydrological records. Massive shallow-water corals are ideally suited to reconstructing past oceanic variability as they are widely distributed across the tropics, rapidly deposit calcium carbonate skeletons that continuously record ambient environmental conditions, and can be sampled at monthly to annual resolution. Most coral-based reconstructions utilize stable oxygen isotope composition (δ18O) that tracks the combined change in sea surface temperature (SST) and the oxygen isotopic composition of seawater (δ18Osw), a measure of hydrologic variability. Increasingly, coral δ18O time series are paired with time series of strontium-to-calcium ratios (Sr / Ca), a proxy for SST, from the same coral to quantify temperature and δ18Osw variability through time. To increase the utility of such reconstructions, we present the CoralHydro2k database: a compilation of published, peer-reviewed coral Sr / Ca and δ18O records from the Common Era. The database contains 54 paired Sr / Ca-δ18O records and 125 unpaired Sr / Ca or δ18O records, with 88 % of these records providing data coverage from 1800 CE to present. A quality-controlled set of metadata with standardized vocabulary and units accompanies each record, informing the use of the database. The CoralHydro2k database tracks large-scale temperature and hydrological variability. As such, it is well-suited for investigations of past climate variability, comparisons with climate model simulations including isotope-enabled models – and application in paleo-data assimilation projects.The CoralHydro2k database will be available on the NOAA National Center for Environmental Information’s Paleoclimate data service with serializations in MATLAB, R, Python, and LiPD.

Rachel M. Walter et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-172', Oliver Bothe, 26 Aug 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-172', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Sep 2022

Rachel M. Walter et al.

Data sets

CoralHydro2k Database Walter, R. M.; Sayani, H. R.; Felis, T.; Cobb, K. M.; Abram, N. J.; Arzey, A. K.; Atwood, A.; Brenner, L. D.; Dassié, E. P.; DeLong, K. L.; Ellis, B.; Fischer, M. J.; Goodkin, N. F.; Hargreaves, J. A.; Kilbourne, K. H.; Krawczyk, H. A.; McKay, N. P.; Murty, S. A.; Ramos, R. D.; Reed, E. V.; Samanta, D.; Sanchez, S. C.; Zinke, J.; PAGES CoralHydro2k Project Members

Rachel M. Walter et al.


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Short summary
Accurately quantifying how the global hydrological cycle will change in the future remains challenging due to the limited availability of historical climate data from the tropics. Here we present the CoralHydro2k database – a new compilation of peer-reviewed coral-based climate records from the last 2,000 years. This paper details the records included in the database, where the database can be accessed, and demonstrates how the database can be used investigate past tropical climate variability.