Exploring Records of Saharan Dust Transport and Hurricanes in the Western North Atlantic Over the Holocene

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Marine Science


Despite evidence for an anti-correlation between African dust emissions and Atlantic hurricane activity in the instrumental period, there is debate as to whether there is any direct causal relationship between these two parameters. In this study, we provide a focused review of available African dust and storm activity records over 3 increasing timescales: the past 200 years, the past 3000 years and the past 12,000 years. In all three timescales, we find evidence for non-stationary, weak or unexpected relationships between African dust emissions and tropical cyclone activity. We suggest future storm record compilations that can better distinguish the relative frequency of storms generated in the eastern versus western development region of the tropical North Atlantic will provide a better test of the radiative impact of African dust over the past 3000 years and Holocene. Additionally, high resolution dust deposition records from the western Atlantic measured in the same cores used to derive storm records may provide much more detailed insight into how the variability in magnitude and spatial extent of the African dust plume has co-evolved with Atlantic storm tracks over recent millennia.

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Quaternary Science Reviews



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