Description: (i) Stable isotope (d18O) climate record derived from stalagmite YOK-I from Yok Balum Cave in Belize, representing regional palaeoclimate variation between 40 BC and 2006 AD. (ii) Reconstruction of tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs) spanning the last 2000 years using seasonally representative foraminifera from the Cariaco Basin.

Background: The stalagmite based stable isotope climate record from Belize represents variability in tropical rainfall over the last 2000 years. This variability is related to a displacement of the  Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which seems to be controlled by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) or changes in the tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs)

Original Purpose: The stable isotope record of stalagmite YOK-I is a reference record of regional past rainfall variability, used to investigate, e.g., droughts and their impact on politics, war, and population fluctuations of the Mayans. Related studies: 10.1126/science.1226299, 10.1038/srep45809, 10.1002/2013GL058458.

Questions: Is there a relationship between the SST variability of the tropical Atlantic and the rainfall variability in Belize (including leads and lags)? Does this relationship change over time? Consider uncertainties in the dating procedure and include them in the analysis.

Contact: Dr. Norbert Marwan (

Source: Data set 1, Data set 2

Explanatory slides from the Opening Day: here


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