Anthropogenic climate change revealed by coral gray values in the South China Sea

The authors analyze the coral growth band from a colony in the northwestern South China Sea. The coral growth band can provide comprehensive environmental information on climate. The trend from the two-century-long annual density of the coral is in a good agreement with that of the global CO2 concentration. Both trends were small prior to the end of the 19th century; after that, trends became clear, more so from the 1960s to the 1990s (the end of the coral record). The overall coral density shows a steady decrease from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. Therefore, the trend from the annual density of the coral reveals the history of the anthropogenic climate change, which is coherent with instrumental and other proxy records. We propose a simple coral-based proxy for reconstructing the anthropogenic climate change over the past two centuries.

Wang, X., Wang, D. X., Gao, R. Z., & Sun, D. H., 2010. Anthropogenic climate change revealed by coral gray values in the South China Sea. Chinese Science Bulletin 55(13):1304-1310. Article (subscription required).

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