Future anthropogenic climate forcing is forecast to increase storm intensity and frequency over Northern Europe, due to a northward shift of the storm tracks, and a positive North Atlantic Oscillation. However understanding the significance of such a change is difficult because the natural variability of storminess beyond the range of instrumental data is poorly known. Here we present a decadal-resolution record of storminess covering the Late Holocene, based on a 4-m-long core taken from the peat bog of Cors Fochno in mid-Wales, UK. Storminess is indicated by variations in the minerogenic content as well as bromine deposited from sea spray. Twelve episodes of enhanced storm activity are identified during the last 4.5 cal ka BP. Although the age model gives some uncertainty in the timings, it appears that storminess increased at the onset and close of North Atlantic cold events associated with oceanic changes, with reduced storm activity at their peak. Cors Fochno is strongly influenced by westerly moving storms, so it is suggested that the patterns were due to variations in the intensity of westerly airflow and atmospheric circulation during times when the latitudinal temperature gradient was steepened. Document embargo 03/07/2016.
- North Atlantic Oscillation
- storm track