ENSO Drove 2500-Year Collapse of Eastern Pacific Coral Reefs

TitleENSO Drove 2500-Year Collapse of Eastern Pacific Coral Reefs
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsToth, LT, Aronson, RB, Vollmer, SV, Hobbs, JW, Urrego, DH, Cheng, H, Enochs, IC, Combosch, DJ, van Woesik, R, Macintyre, IG
Volume337318333105323329353215234133898029327161272715118 119109123420422375802767219435149464823345354035608535771415
Pagination81 - 84
Date PublishedJun-07-2012

Cores of coral reef frameworks along an upwelling gradient in Panamá show that reef ecosystems in the tropical eastern Pacific collapsed for 2500 years, representing as much as 40% of their history, beginning about 4000 years ago. The principal cause of this millennial-scale hiatus in reef growth was increased variability of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its coupling with the Intertropical Convergence Zone. The hiatus was a Pacific-wide phenomenon with an underlying climatology similar to probable scenarios for the next century. Global climate change is probably driving eastern Pacific reefs toward another regional collapse.