Stable isotope record of sediment core MD98-2177, supplement to: Khider, D; Stott, Lowell D; Emile-Geay, J; Thunell, Robert C; Hammond, Douglas E (2011): Assessing El Niño Southern Oscillation variability during the past millennium. Paleoceanography, 26(3), PA3222


We present a reconstruction of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability spanning the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA, A.D. 800-1300) and the Little Ice Age (LIA, A.D. 1500-1850). Changes in ENSO are estimated by comparing the spread and symmetry of d18O values of individual specimens of the thermocline-dwelling planktonic foraminifer Pulleniatina obliquiloculata extracted from discrete time horizons of a sediment core collected in the Sulawesi Sea, at the edge of the western tropical Pacific warm pool. The spread of individual d18O values is interpreted to be a measure of the strength of both phases of ENSO while the symmetry of the d18O distributions is used to evaluate the relative strength/frequency of El Niño and La Niña events. In contrast to previous studies, we use robust and resistant statistics to quantify the spread and symmetry of the d18O distributions; an approach motivated by the relatively small sample size and the presence of outliers. Furthermore, we use a pseudo-proxy approach to investigate the effects of the different paleo-environmental factors on the statistics of the d18O distributions, which could bias the paleo-ENSO reconstruction. We find no systematic difference in the magnitude/strength of ENSO during the Northern Hemisphere MCA or LIA. However, our results suggest that ENSO during the MCA was skewed toward stronger/more frequent La Niña than El Niño, an observation consistent with the medieval megadroughts documented from sites in western North America.

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Metadata Access
Creator Khider, D; Stott, Lowell D; Emile-Geay, J; Thunell, Robert C; Hammond, Douglas E
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2011
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Collection of Datasets
Format application/zip
Size 3 datasets
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (119.080 LON, 1.400 LAT)