Geophysical Research Letters

Recent 121-year variability of western boundary upwelling in the northern South China Sea

Authors

  • Yi Liu,

    Corresponding author
    1. CAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Material and Environment, School of Earth and Space Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
    • Corresponding author:

      Y. Liu, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, No.96, JinZhai Rd. Baohe District, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, China. (gee@ustc.edu.cn)

      C.-C. Shen, High-Precision Mass Spectrometry and Environment Change Laboratory (HISPEC), Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan. (river@ntu.edu.tw)

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  • Zicheng Peng,

    1. CAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Material and Environment, School of Earth and Space Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
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  • Chuan-Chou Shen,

    Corresponding author
    1. High-Precision Mass Spectrometry and Environment Change Laboratory (HISPEC), Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Corresponding author:

      Y. Liu, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, No.96, JinZhai Rd. Baohe District, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, China. (gee@ustc.edu.cn)

      C.-C. Shen, High-Precision Mass Spectrometry and Environment Change Laboratory (HISPEC), Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan. (river@ntu.edu.tw)

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  • Renjun Zhou,

    1. CAS Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, China
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  • Shaohua Song,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
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  • Zhengguo Shi,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
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  • Tegu Chen,

    1. South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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  • Gangjian Wei,

    1. Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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  • Kristine L. DeLong

    1. Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, Louisiana, USA
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Abstract

[1] Coastal upwelling is typically related to the eastern boundary upwelling system, whereas the powerful southwest Asian summer monsoon can also generate significant cold, nutrient-rich deep water in western coastal zones. Here we present a sea surface temperature record (A.D. 1876–1996) derived from coral Porites Sr/Ca for an upwelling zone in the northern South China Sea. The upwelling-induced sea surface temperature anomaly record reveals prominent multidecadal variability driven by Asian summer monsoon dynamics with an abrupt transition from warmer to colder conditions in 1930, and a return to warmer conditions after 1960. Previous studies suggest the expected increase in atmospheric CO2 for the coming decades may result in intensification in the eastern boundary upwelling system, which could enhance upwelling of CO2-rich deep water thus exacerbating the impact of acidification in these productive zones. In contrast, the weakening trend since 1961 in the upwelling time series from the northern South China Sea suggests moderate regional ocean acidification from upwelling thus a stress relief for marine life in this region.

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