Coastal cooling and increased productivity in the main upwelling zone off Peru since the mid-twentieth century

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Gutierrez, D
Bouloubassi, I
Sifeddine, A
Purca, S
Goubanova, K
Graco, M
Field, D
Mejanelle, L
Velazco, F
Lorre, A
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We reconstructed a high-resolution, alkenone-based sea surface temperature (SST) record spanning the last ca. 150 years, from a sediment core retrieved within the main upwelling zone off Peru. A conspicuous SST decline is evidenced since the 1950s despite interdecadal SST variability. Instrumental SST data and reanalysis of ECMWF ERA 40 winds suggest that the recent coastal cooling corresponds mainly to an intensification of alongshore winds and associated increase of upwelling in spring. Consistently, both proxy and instrumental data evidence increased productivity in phase with the SST cooling. Our data expand on previous reports on recent SST cooling in other Eastern Boundary upwelling systems and support scenarios that relate coastal upwelling intensification to global warming. Yet, further investigations are needed to assess the role of different mechanisms and forcings (enhanced local winds vs. spin-up of the South Pacific High Pressure cell).
This study was supported by IMARPE(Peru), the research unit LOCEAN‐IPSL (UMR 7192 CNRS/IRD/UPMC/MNHN) in France and the projects JEAI MIXPALEO,PALEOPECES, PALEOTRACES, DISCOH, PCCC and the‘CátedraCONCYTEC en Ciencias del Mar’. We thank Jorge Vasquez (JPL) for pro-viding the 4km resolution GHRSST‐PP SST data and David Correa forperforming the objective interpolation of these data. Finally, we thankFrancisco Chavez and Monique Messié, with whom we sustained sounddiscussions that helped us for the preparation of this paper.
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coastal cooling, alkenone-based sea surface temperature