Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2012 Jul 6;337(6090):81-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1221168.

ENSO drove 2500-year collapse of eastern Pacific coral reefs.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901, USA.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk