North Atlantic Storms: Medieval Warm Period vs Little Ice Age
In the words of Trouet et al. (2012), "an increasing number of high-resolution proxy records covering the last millennium have become available in recent years, providing an increasingly powerful reference frame for assessing current and future climate conditions," and, as might be added, for assessing the validity of the climate-alarmist claim that warmer conditions typically lead to increases in the frequency and/or ferocity of stormy weather. In the present study, therefore, Trouet et al. searched the scientific literature for evidence pertinent to their climate modeling concern, which also happens to be pertinent to the concern about global warming and what it does or does not imply about concurrent storminess. So what did the search reveal?
Among other things, the three researchers report that (1) "the content of marine-source ssNa aerosols in the GISP2 ice core record, a proxy for storminess over the adjacent ocean through the advection of salt spray [ss], is high during the LIA with a marked transition from reduced levels during the MCA [hereafter MWP] (Meeker and Mayewski, 2002; Dawson et al., 2007)," (2) "the onset of the LIA in NW Europe is notably marked by coastal dune development across western European coastlines linked to very strong winds during storms (Clarke and Rendell, 2009; Hansom and Hall, 2009)" and often inundating local settlements and therefore with supporting archival evidence (Lamb, 1995; Bailey et al., 2001)," (3) "a number of studies of Aeolian sand deposition records from western Denmark exist that have recorded a period of destabilization of coastal sand dunes and sand migration during the LIA and have ascribed it to a combination of increased storminess and sea-level fluctuations (Szkornik et al., 2008; Clemmensen et al., 2001; Aagard et al., 2007)," (4) "similar records and interpretations are available for the British Isles (Hansom and Hall, 2009) and Scotland (Gilbertson et al., 1999; Wilson, 2002)," (5) "in an analysis of Royal Navy ships' log books from the English Channel and southwestern approaches covering the period between 1685 and 1750 CE, Wheeler et al. (2010) note a markedly enhanced gale frequency during one of the coldest episodes of the LIA ... towards the end of the Maunder Minimum [MM]," (6) "this late phase of the MM is also registered by the deflation of sand into the ombrotrophic peat bogs of Store mosse and Undarmosse in southwest Sweden (De Jong et al., 2006)," (7) "more evidence for increased storm severity during the MM is provided by an archive-based reconstruction of storminess over the Northwest Atlantic and the North Sea (Lamb and Frydendahl, 1991)," (8) "increased storm activity during the LIA was not restricted to northwestern Europe, but was also recorded further south along the Atlantic coast in The Netherlands (Jelgersma et al., 1995) and northern (Sorrel et al., 2009) and southwestern France (Clarke et al., 2002)," and (9) "sedimentary records of LIA coastal dune accretion have also been found further south on the French Mediterranean coast (Dezileau et al., 2011) and in the western Iberian Peninsula (Borja et al., 1999; Zazo et al., 2005; Clarke and Rendell, 2006)."
Given such findings, for this particular portion of the planet, it should be very clear that relative coolness, as opposed to relative warmth, typically leads to more extreme storms, which is just the opposite of what the world's climate alarmists continue to contend.
Trouet, V., Scourse, J.D. and Raible, C.C. 2012. North Atlantic storminess and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation during the last millennium: Reconciling contradictory proxy records of NAO variability. Global and Planetary Change 84-85: 48-55.
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