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Past hurricane activity reconstructed using cave deposits: Have humans increased storm risk?

Objective

The proposed research would utilise various geochemical proxies (oxygen, carbon, and trace elements) in cave calcite deposits (stalagmites) to develop extraordinarily high-resolution North Atlantic hurricane activity records for the past five hundred years, extending existing historical datasets by hundreds of years. This new stalagmite record would be the first high resolution record to extend beyond 1850, thus permit more statistically robust comparisons of hurricane activity between pre- and post-anthropogenic greenhouse gas climatic states, and help to constrain any natural cyclicities inherent in North Atlantic hurricane activity. Additionally, the three study sites were chosen to test the hypothesis that variations in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index may influence hurricane track direction. The records will also be used to reconstruct El Nino-Southern Oscillation variability back through time, something that on its own would be an important result. The research would help evaluate the risk of stronger/more frequent future hurricanes associated with global climate change by allowing more rigorous testing of currently conflicting climate models.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/climatology/climatic changes/north atlantic oscillation

Call for proposal

ERC-2009-StG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM
Address
Stockton Road The Palatine Centre
DH1 3LE Durham
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 200 219,40
Principal investigator
James Baldini (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Wendy Harle (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (4)

UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 200 219,40
Address
Stockton Road The Palatine Centre
DH1 3LE Durham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
James Baldini (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Wendy Harle (Ms.)
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 36 960
Address
Beacon House Queens Road
BS8 1QU Bristol
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Audrey Michael (Mrs.)
Skidmore College
United States
EU contribution
€ 38 633,62
Address
North Broadway 815
12866-1632 Saratoga Springs
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Michael D. Thomas (Mr.)
EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 112 000,80
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Timothy Ian Eglinton (Prof.)