Hurricanes Frequent in Cooler Times

The complicated connection between climate dynamics and hurricane strength and frequency continues to get more complex with each piece of research that is released.The latest research, as published in the journal “Nature”, indicates that even during periods when ocean waters were cooler, hurricanes were more frequent.

While this doesn’t directly dispute the popular belief that hurricane frequency increases with warmer ocean waters, it certainly complicates things:

May 24, 2007

Study Finds Hurricanes Frequent in Some Cooler Periods
By ANDREW C. REVKIN

Over the last 5,000 years, the eastern Caribbean has experienced several periods, lasting centuries, in which strong hurricanes occurred frequently even though ocean temperatures were cooler than those measured today, according to a new study.

The authors, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, say their findings do not necessarily conflict with recent papers asserting a link between the region’s hurricane activity and human-caused warming of the climate and seas.

But, they say, their work does imply that factors other than ocean temperature, at least for thousands of years, appear to have played a pivotal role in shaping storminess in the region.

The study compared a 5,000-year record of strong storms etched in lagoon mud on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques with data on ocean temperatures and climate and storm patterns. The analysis is being published today in the journal Nature.

Read more.
[tags]Hurricanes, Global Warming, Climate Change[/tags]

2 comments

A bigger temperature differential may spawn a greater number/frequency of tornadoes. Notice that the number of sunspots/area of sunspots is, roughly, inversely related to the number of tornadoes (for the last few sunspot cycles).

As absurd as this sounds, could there be a connection, not just via the lack or presence of solar wind, but some type of conservation of energy process in play between the planets and the sun (for example, a fluctuating conservation of angular momentum may stimulate a rise and fall of temperature flux from the Earth’s molten or semi-molten core)?

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