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.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call