Increased hurricane frequency near Florida during Younger Dryas Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation slowdown
Toomey, Michael R.
Donnelly, Jeffrey P.
van Hengstum, Peter
Curry, William B.
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The risk posed by intensification of North Atlantic hurricane activity remains controversial, in part due to a lack of available storm proxy records that extend beyond the relatively stable climates of the late Holocene. Here we present a record of storm-triggered turbidite deposition offshore the Dry Tortugas, south Florida, USA, that spans abrupt transitions in North Atlantic sea-surface temperature and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) during the Younger Dryas (12.9–11.7 k.y. B.P.). Despite potentially hostile conditions for cyclogenesis in the tropical North Atlantic at this time, our record and numerical experiments suggest that strong hurricanes may have regularly impacted Florida. Less severe surface cooling at mid-latitudes (~20–40°N) than across much of the tropical North Atlantic (~10–20°N) in response to AMOC reduction may best explain strong hurricane activity during the Younger Dryas near the Dry Tortugas and, potentially, along the entire southeastern coast of the United States.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here under a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license granted to WHOI. It is made available for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geology 45 (2017): 1047-1050, doi:10.1130/G39270.1.