Is a Changing Climate Impacting the Intensity and Frequency of Hurricanes?

Find out at the Oyster Pond Environmental Trust (OPET) Annual Meeting on Thursday, July 27th at 7pm. Dr. Jeffrey Donnelly of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will present a talk titled “Chasing Ancient Hurricanes in Oyster Pond and Beyond.” Dr. Donnelly’s talk will be preceded by a short OPET business meeting.  The meeting will be held at the SEA Education Association at 171 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth.

Dr. Donnelly will explain how he uses sediment cores from the bottom of Oyster Pond and elsewhere to study the long term record of hurricanes.  Wind and waves from these storms carry sand into the ponds where it settles to the bottom.  Over time, the sand is covered by black organic mud that accumulates during non-event years.  These dark and light layers tell the hurricane history of a location while radiocarbon dating can pinpoint the date the storms occurred.  Dr. Donnelly uses this history to study how hurricane activity has varied over the last few thousand years and whether a changing climate is impacting the rate and intensity of these storms.  Studying this environmental past can help predict what future storms might bring.