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.
The authors write that "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, we might add, 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.
What was done
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.
What was learned
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)."
What it means
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. And for more of the same on this subject as it pertains to other parts of the world, see Storms in our Subject Index.
Aagaard, T., Orford, J. and Murray, A.S. 2007. Environmental controls on coastal dune formation; Skallingen Spit, Denmark. Geomorphology 83: 29-47.
Bailey, S.D., Wintle, A.G., Duller, G.A.T. and Bristow, C.S. 2001. Sand deposition during the last millennium at Aberffraw, Anglesey, North Wales as determined by OSL dating of quartz. Quaternary Science Reviews 20: 701-704.
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Clarke, M.L. and Rendell, H.M. 2006. Effects of storminess, sand supply and the North Atlantic oscillation on sand invasion and coastal dune accretion in western Portugal. The Holocene 16: 10.1191/0959683606h1932rp.
Clarke, M.L. and Rendell, H.M. 2009. The impact of North Atlantic storminess on western European coasts: a review. Quaternary International 195: 31-41.
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Clemmensen, L.B., Pye, K., Murray, A. and Heinemeier, J. 2001. Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and landscape evolution of a Holocene coastal dune system, Lodbjerg, NW Jutland, Denmark. Sedimentology 48: 3-27.
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Zazo, C., Mercier, N., Silva, P.G., Dabrio, C.J., Goy, J.L., Roquero, E., Soler, V., Boria, F., Lario, J., Polo, D. and de Luque, L. 2005. Landscape evolution and geodynamic controls in the Gulf of Cadiz (Huelva coast, SW Spain) during the Late Quaternary. Geomorphology 68: 269-290.Reviewed 5 September 2012