|The first contribution of this paper presents data on coral growth rates from the Abrolhos Islands along the east coast of Brazil and correlates them with SST anomaly data from the same region. The second contribution of the paper is exploring correlations among SST values for the region and potential drivers of those SST anomalies. In effect, the coral data don’t have much at all to do with the climate data, so it’s almost as if there are two very distinct papers here. I will comment on each one in turn.|
In the first part of the paper, we learn that coral growth responds negatively to increasing temperature, but this pattern has already been noted in the literature many times. However, the absence of such a pattern has also been noted. There is no fundamental advance in our understanding of coral growth in this paper, other than another example of a negative correlation between SST anomaly and coral growth. This part of the paper would have benefited greatly from some discussion of the contrasting reports of the relationship between coral growth and SST found in the literature and potential reasons why the Brazilian corals show such a trend. I found the treatment of this aspect of the work to be superficial.
In the second part of the paper the authors run through a series of arguments, invoking high correlations, to link the SST signal from the Brazilian coast with regional and global oceanographic and atmospheric patterns. The arguments, although logically consistent, do not seem to rest in any way on the coral growth patterns, but rather the SST patterns, so I fail to see how these two aspects of the paper are related.
L69. What is ‘proper coral growth’?
L99. Change to ‘a substantial’.
L19. You assert here that you ‘combined measurements of coral growth rate and climate-oceanography modeled data’ but the growth rate data were only correlated with SST anomaly data.
L123-128. Seems odd to refer to Figure 2 here, especially since you haven’t yet referenced Figure 1.
L135 Digitized, not ‘digitalized’.
L145 Shows, not ‘show’.
L159. Beginning, not ‘begging’.
L162-163. If you want the work to have broader appeal I would provide a succinct summary of what a ‘reanalysis’ of the NCEP-NCAR data is and who conducted it and how. By the way, I don't think these acronyms are ever spelled out – which they should be at least upon first usage in the text.
L169. Add ‘corals’ after Atlantic. Check reference parentheses.
L179. You state that coral growth is ‘quote coincident’ with SST anomaly for Abrolhos, but it would be better if you regressed coral growth on SST and provided a statistical test for this.
L188. Should be concomitant ‘with’ not ‘to’.
L188-89. This assertion needs to be substantiated with an analysis. Can the ‘zonal wind changes’ be regressed with SST anomaly or coral growth?
L189. Should be Fig 3a, not 2a.
L230. You mention tropical Brazilian coast experienced increased zonal winds since 1979, so why are anomalies negative in Fig. 3e?
L253. ‘...a significant parameterization’ doesn’t make sense to me.
L264. You say r-Pearson values between SST and ozone at the Brazilian site are +0.6 to +0.7, but Fig 5 shows them to be negative. Did you mean SST and PDO values shown in Fig 4?
L284-85. This should be stated the other way around: ‘Records of coral growth anomaly for Abrolhos site/Brazil evidenced changes (from positive to negative growth rate anomaly) were highly correlated to SST increases at coral living sites which in turn were concomitant with ozone area evolution’.
Fig 1. The gray box on the left panel is distracting – is that a data point or is that just to tell us that the other filled boxes are from the CS1 sample? I would remove this. Also the black box at year 1915 on the right panel is also confusing – what is this all about?
Fig. 2. Panels should be shown in reverse order as to how they are not – panel a at the top and panel e at the bottom.
Figure 3. Why the red box in Fig 3b? it obscures the underlying signal at the Abrolhos – can you make the box not filled in? For Fig 3d, what is the significance of the blue shading? Caption for 3a should start ‘zonal wind changes around...’
Fig. 5a. Again, the filled in black box depicting Abrolhos obscures underlying data – use an open symbol.