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Atlantic hurricane activity during the last millennium.

Burn MJ, Palmer SE - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: Hurricanes are a persistent socio-economic hazard for countries situated in and around the Main Development Region (MDR) of Atlantic tropical cyclones.However, the attribution of hurricane activity to specific forcing factors is hampered by the short observational record of Atlantic storms.Here, we present the Extended Hurricane Activity (EHA) index, the first empirical reconstruction of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity for the last millennium, derived from a high-resolution lake sediment geochemical record from Jamaica.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography and Geology, The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica, W.I.

ABSTRACT
Hurricanes are a persistent socio-economic hazard for countries situated in and around the Main Development Region (MDR) of Atlantic tropical cyclones. Climate-model simulations have attributed their interdecadal variability to changes in solar and volcanic activity, Saharan dust flux, anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions and heat transport within the global ocean conveyor belt. However, the attribution of hurricane activity to specific forcing factors is hampered by the short observational record of Atlantic storms. Here, we present the Extended Hurricane Activity (EHA) index, the first empirical reconstruction of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity for the last millennium, derived from a high-resolution lake sediment geochemical record from Jamaica. The EHA correlates significantly with decadal changes in tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs; r = 0.68; 1854-2008), the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index (ACE; r = 0.90; 1851-2010), and two annually-resolved coral-based SST reconstructions (1773-2008) from within the MDR. Our results corroborate evidence for the increasing trend of hurricane activity during the Industrial Era; however, we show that contemporary activity has not exceeded the range of natural climate variability exhibited during the last millennium.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

SST map of the tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Regions.Map showing location of sites discussed in the text situated within the Main Developing Region (MDR; 10°–20°N; 15°–85°W) of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity. 1. Grape Tree Pond, Jamaica27; 2. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico30; 3. Los Roques, Venezuela31; 4. SW Puerto Rico32 5. MDR. Map created by Suzanne Palmer using Adobe Illustrator CC 2014.1.0 Release.
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f1: SST map of the tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Regions.Map showing location of sites discussed in the text situated within the Main Developing Region (MDR; 10°–20°N; 15°–85°W) of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity. 1. Grape Tree Pond, Jamaica27; 2. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico30; 3. Los Roques, Venezuela31; 4. SW Puerto Rico32 5. MDR. Map created by Suzanne Palmer using Adobe Illustrator CC 2014.1.0 Release.

Mentions: Atlantic tropical cyclones occur within the Atlantic warm pool, a region of warm water (>28.5 °C) that encompasses the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the western tropical North Atlantic (Fig. 1) and varies spatially on interannual and interdecadal timescales5. Their activity is controlled by thermodynamic factors that govern heat exchange between the surface ocean and atmosphere, and dynamical factors that control vertical wind shear, a measure of the difference in average wind speed between the upper and lower layers of the atmosphere5678. In general, a large (small) warm pool is associated with higher (lower) SSTs, tropospheric instability and precipitation, and lower (higher) vertical wind shear5 resulting in enhanced (subdued) tropical cyclone activity.


Atlantic hurricane activity during the last millennium.

Burn MJ, Palmer SE - Sci Rep (2015)

SST map of the tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Regions.Map showing location of sites discussed in the text situated within the Main Developing Region (MDR; 10°–20°N; 15°–85°W) of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity. 1. Grape Tree Pond, Jamaica27; 2. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico30; 3. Los Roques, Venezuela31; 4. SW Puerto Rico32 5. MDR. Map created by Suzanne Palmer using Adobe Illustrator CC 2014.1.0 Release.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4525293&req=5

f1: SST map of the tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Regions.Map showing location of sites discussed in the text situated within the Main Developing Region (MDR; 10°–20°N; 15°–85°W) of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity. 1. Grape Tree Pond, Jamaica27; 2. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico30; 3. Los Roques, Venezuela31; 4. SW Puerto Rico32 5. MDR. Map created by Suzanne Palmer using Adobe Illustrator CC 2014.1.0 Release.
Mentions: Atlantic tropical cyclones occur within the Atlantic warm pool, a region of warm water (>28.5 °C) that encompasses the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the western tropical North Atlantic (Fig. 1) and varies spatially on interannual and interdecadal timescales5. Their activity is controlled by thermodynamic factors that govern heat exchange between the surface ocean and atmosphere, and dynamical factors that control vertical wind shear, a measure of the difference in average wind speed between the upper and lower layers of the atmosphere5678. In general, a large (small) warm pool is associated with higher (lower) SSTs, tropospheric instability and precipitation, and lower (higher) vertical wind shear5 resulting in enhanced (subdued) tropical cyclone activity.

Bottom Line: Hurricanes are a persistent socio-economic hazard for countries situated in and around the Main Development Region (MDR) of Atlantic tropical cyclones.However, the attribution of hurricane activity to specific forcing factors is hampered by the short observational record of Atlantic storms.Here, we present the Extended Hurricane Activity (EHA) index, the first empirical reconstruction of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity for the last millennium, derived from a high-resolution lake sediment geochemical record from Jamaica.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography and Geology, The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica, W.I.

ABSTRACT
Hurricanes are a persistent socio-economic hazard for countries situated in and around the Main Development Region (MDR) of Atlantic tropical cyclones. Climate-model simulations have attributed their interdecadal variability to changes in solar and volcanic activity, Saharan dust flux, anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions and heat transport within the global ocean conveyor belt. However, the attribution of hurricane activity to specific forcing factors is hampered by the short observational record of Atlantic storms. Here, we present the Extended Hurricane Activity (EHA) index, the first empirical reconstruction of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity for the last millennium, derived from a high-resolution lake sediment geochemical record from Jamaica. The EHA correlates significantly with decadal changes in tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs; r = 0.68; 1854-2008), the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index (ACE; r = 0.90; 1851-2010), and two annually-resolved coral-based SST reconstructions (1773-2008) from within the MDR. Our results corroborate evidence for the increasing trend of hurricane activity during the Industrial Era; however, we show that contemporary activity has not exceeded the range of natural climate variability exhibited during the last millennium.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus