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Mon Mar 7, 2016, 04:28 PM

What these ancient shipwrecks could be telling us about climate change

Last edited Tue Mar 8, 2016, 01:32 AM - Edit history (2)

What these ancient shipwrecks could be telling us about climate change
By Chris Mooney March 7 at 3:11 PM



Inventive new research has found a surprising way of investigating the relationship between hurricanes and climate change — by examining the history of Spanish shipwrecks in the Caribbean Sea during a planetary cool period in the late 17th and 18th century.

The result, based on comparisons between tree rings from the Florida Keys and a historical record of shipwrecks, finds that there were far fewer hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, from 1645 through 1715, when the planet went through what is called the “Maunder Minimum.” This was an era in which very low sunspot activity correlated with relatively cooler temperatures here on the Earth (the Maunder Minimum was part of a cooler period known to climate history as the “Little Ice Age”).

“We see a severe reduction in the hurricane activity that overlaps perfectly with the Maunder Minimum,” said Valerie Trouet, a researcher with the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, who conducted the work with colleagues from the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The study appeared Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The result does not lead to any forecast when it comes to the hurricanes of the future, but at the same time, it’s certainly suggestive. After all, hurricanes derive their energy from the heat stored in tropical oceans. If seas are cooler — as they were between 1645 and 1715, when the Earth received less radiation from the sun — then there’s less explosive energy for storms to draw upon. If they’re warmer, as they are today, then all else being equal, there’s more opportunity for extreme storm intensification.

More:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/03/07/what-these-ancient-shipwrecks-could-be-telling-us-about-climate-change/

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Reply What these ancient shipwrecks could be telling us about climate change (Original post)
Judi Lynn Mar 2016 OP
eppur_se_muova Mar 2016 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 06:34 PM

1. Odd way to violate the four-paragraph limit. :^) nt

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