Sunday, August 30, 2009

Big Tropical Storms in Atlantic Hit 1,000-Year High

The people of U.S. Gulf Coast have felt unusually battered by big storms during the past few years. Now, it turns out their instincts are right.

More PhotosA new report in the scientific journal Nature indicates that the last decade has seen, on average, more frequent hurricanes than any time in the last 1,000 years. The last period of similar activity occurred during the Medieval Warm Period.

The study is not definitive, but it is a unique piece of work that combines an analysis of sediment cores from inland lakes and tidal marshes with computer modeling and finds a "striking consistency" between the two, the authors suggest.

The use of sediment cores to place and date ancient storms -- called "paeleotempestology" -- is becoming an increasingly useful tool in the broader effort to try to reconstruct the history of hurricane activity in order to better predict a future potentially influenced by climate change.

No comments: