300-year-old tree rings affirm current uptick in hurricane-driven rainfall

Image of a forest of tall fir trees.

Enlarge / Towering longleaf pines within the Inexperienced Swamp of North Carolina. (credit score: Jared Lloyd / Getty Pictures)

Tropical cyclones like Hurricane Ida could cause extreme flooding, producing disruptions, harm, and lack of life. Like many different forms of climate, tropical cyclones and hurricanes on the US East Coast have change into extra excessive over the previous a number of many years. Though there’s some controversy over the extent of the rise in depth, there’s proof that such storms are shifting extra slowly than up to now. This slower motion causes storms to last more and produce extra rain. Nevertheless, as a result of standard climate information solely go way back to 1948, it’s unclear how uncommon these slow-moving cyclones are in comparison with earlier climate patterns. 

A current examine addresses this query by utilizing tree rings to reconstruct a whole lot of years of seasonal cyclone precipitation ranges. The studied bushes, some over 300 years previous, present that precipitation extremes have been rising by 2 to four mm per decade, leading to a cumulative enhance in rainfall of as a lot as 128 mm (5 inches) in comparison with the early 1700s. The best will increase have occurred within the final 60 years, and up to date extremes are unmatched by any prior occasions. 

Past establishing these reconstructed historic information, researchers are working with these knowledge units to enhance forecasts of what this area may anticipate sooner or later. 

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