Summary: Oceanic evidence of climate change in southern Australia over the last
Stephen R. Rintoul,1,2
J. Anthony Koslow,1
and Craig Proctor1
Received 18 October 2003; accepted 11 March 2004; published 13 April 2004.
 Chemical analysis of deepwater octocorals collected at
1000 m depth off southern Australia indicates long-term
cooling, beginning in the mid-18th century. This cooling
appears to reflect shoaling of isotherms along the
continental shelf, that can be related statistically,
observationally and by modeling to increasing coastal sea-
surface temperatures, that in turn reflect a poleward
extension of the SW Pacific boundary current (the East
Australian Current). The oceanographic changes implied by
the coral record suggest climate change in temperate
Australia starting about the time of European settlement.