New data on the variability of the oxygen isotope composition of water on a coral reef reveal that there are large changes in δ18O linked to high evaporation rates and precipitation. This together with variation in growth rate is sufficient to mask large water temperature variations, which otherwise would be reflected in the skeletal oxygen isotope ratio. The carbon isotope ratio in the skeleton, however, does vary probably as a result of growth rate. In contrast to previous studies only the most recently formed part of the skeleton was used to reduce the possibility of diagenetic additions which would distort the results.
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