We present here a record of Atlantic major hurricane activity back to the early 18th century. We use a reconstruction technique based on the two principle factors that control the formation of major hurricanes: 1) the magnitudes of the vertical wind shear and, 2) sea-surface temperatures in the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic. The vertical wind shear is derived from luminescence in hermatypic corals and abundance of a planktonic foraminifer species. The sea-surface temperatures are derived from a multiproxy network. Our reconstruction correlates significantly with the reliable observed record back to 1944 and reveals five periods averaging 3-5 major hurricanes per year and lasting 40-60 years, and six other averaging 1.5-2.5 major hurricanes per year and lasting 10-20 years. These periods are associated with the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation. Throughout, a decadal oscillation related to solar irradiance was responsible for enhancing/dampening the number of major hurricanes by 1-2 per year.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2005
- 4999 General or miscellaneous