Cancel
Advanced Search
KEYWORDS
CATEGORY
AUTHOR
MONTH

Please click here to take a brief survey

Pine Trees and Hurricanes
Jamais Cascio, 10 Aug 05

As we mentioned a few days ago, although the argument that global warming is increasing the intensity of hurricanes is becoming more accepted, there's still a great deal of dispute over whether climate disruption is increasing the frequency of hurricanes. Human records aren't terribly helpful for more than a couple of hundred years at most, and hurricanes don't leave permanent and identifiable marks on the environment... or do they?

University of Tennessee, Knoxville researcher Claudia Mora and her team think they've found the key to unlocking a record of past hurricanes. It turns out that hurricanes have a strong tendency to deplete the air of Oxygen-18 (or 18O), a rare isotope of Oxygen. The rain that falls from hurricanes has measurably less 18O in the water; this is "recorded" in the rings of late-season-growth trees such as Georgia Pines. By measuring the 18O in the tree rings, Mora and team were able to positively identify every hurricane that hit the region over the past century, and have mapped out a tropical cyclone record going back 277 years. They claim to have spottier information going back to 1450 AD.

More details on this research will be released tomorrow at the Earth System Processes 2 conference in Alberta, Canada.

Bookmark and Share




EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO:

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS:


MESSAGE (optional):


Search Worldchanging

Worldchanging Newsletter Get good news for a change —
Click here to sign up!


Worldchanging2.0


Website Design by Eben Design | Logo Design by Egg Hosting | Hosted by Amazon AWS | Problems with the site? Send email to tech /at/ worldchanging.com
©2012
Architecture for Humanity - all rights reserved except where otherwise indicated.

Find_us_on_facebook_badge.gif twitter-logo.jpg