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Our research in Bermuda initially focused on demonstrating that Sr/Ca serves as an accurate SST proxy in slow-growing Diploria corals (Goodkin et al., 2005; 2007). Resulting paleotemperature records showed that SST during the Little Ice Age (LIA) was at least 1.5 ˚C cooler than today, and that salinity was reduced (Goodkin et al., 2008a). These records further showed that low-frequency (multidecadal) variability in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) increased during the warm late 20th century compared to the end of the LIA (Goodkin et al., 2008b). Trace metal analyses on corals from the inshore waters of Castle Harbor showed higher levels of pollutants (mercury, lead, zinc) than corals from an open-water location (Prouty et al., 2013; Lamborg et al., 2013).

Large colony of Diploria labyrinthiformis brain coral in Bermuda

Relevant Publications

  • Goodkin, N.F., Wang, B.S., You, C.F., Hughen, K., Prouty, N., Bates, N.R., Doney, S., 2015, Water Advection and Biogeochemistry Moderate Inter-annual and Decadal Surface Water pH Changes in the Sargasso Sea, Geophys. Res. Lett. 42, 4931-4939, doi:10.1002/2015GL064431.
  • Lamborg, C.H., Swarr, G., Hughen, K., Jones, R.J., Birdwhistell, S., Furby, K., Murty, S., Prouty, N., Tseng, C-H., 2013, Determination of low-level mercury in coralline aragonite by calcination-isotope dilution-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and its application to Diploria specimens from Castle Harbour, Bermuda, Geochimica et  Cosmochimica Acta 109, 27-37.
  • Prouty, N., Goodkin, N., Lamborg, C., Jones, R., Hughen, K., 2013, Environmental Assessment of Metal Exposure to Corals Living in Castle Harbour, Bermuda, Marine Chemistry, doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2013.05.002.
  • Goodkin, N., Druffel, E., Hughen, K., Doney, S., 2012, Two Centuries of Limited Variability in Subtropical North Atlantic Thermocline Ventilation, Nature Communications (doi: 10.1038/ncomms1811).
  • Goodkin, N. F., Hughen, K. A., Doney, S. ,Curry, W., 2008b, Increased Multidecadal Variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation Since 1781, Nature Geoscience 1, 844-848, doi:10.1038/ngeo352.
  • Goodkin, N. F., Hughen, K. A., Curry, W., Doney, S., Ostermann, D. R., 2008a, Sea Surface Temperature and Salinity Variability at Bermuda during the End of the Little Ice Age, Paleoceanography 23, doi:10.1029/2007PA001532.
  • Goodkin, N. F., Hughen, K. A., Cohen, A. L., 2007, A Multi-Coral Calibration Method to Approximate a Universal Equation relating Sr/Ca and Growth Rate to Sea Surface Temperature, Paleoceanography, doi: 2006PA001312.
  • Goodkin, N., Hughen, K., Cohen, A., Smith, S., 2005, Record of Little Ice Age Sea Surface Temperatures at Bermuda using a Growth-Dependent Calibration of Coral Sr/Ca, Paleoceanography 20, PA4016.

Funding provided by:

NSF OCE (ESH), WHOI Internal awards and Academic Programs



  • Nathalie Goodkin, EOS, NTU, Singapore
  • Nancy Prouty, USGS, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Carl Lamborg, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA