Persistent northward North Atlantic tropical cyclone track migration over the past five centuries

Lisa M. Baldini, James U. L. Baldini, Jim N. McElwaine, Amy Benoit Frappier, Yemane Asmerom, Kam-biu Liu, Keith M. Prufer, Harriet E. Ridley, Victor Polyak, Douglas J. Kennett, Colin G. Macpherson, Valorie V. Aquino, Jaime Awe, Sebastian F. M. Breitenbach

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Accurately predicting future tropical cyclone risk requires understanding the fundamental controls on
    tropical cyclone dynamics. Here we present an annually-resolved 450-year reconstruction of western
    Caribbean tropical cyclone activity developed using a new coupled carbon and oxygen isotope ratio
    technique in an exceptionally well-dated stalagmite from Belize. Western Caribbean tropical cyclone
    activity peaked at 1650 A.D., coincident with maximum Little Ice Age cooling, and decreased gradually
    until the end of the record in 1983. Considered with other reconstructions, the new record suggests
    that the mean track of Cape Verde tropical cyclones shifted gradually north-eastward from the western
    Caribbean toward the North American east coast over the last 450 years. Since ~1870 A.D., these shifts
    were largely driven by anthropogenic greenhouse gas and sulphate aerosol emissions. Our results
    strongly suggest that future emission scenarios will result in more frequent tropical cyclone impacts on
    the financial and population centres of the northeastern United States.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-8
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2016


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