Core sediment samples from a shallow boreal lake have revealed that storm activity has increased substantially over the past 150 years.
The rise in storm frequency appears to be linked to solar activity, but may also be linked to an increase in greenhouse gases.
The study focused on diatoms, unicellular algae with shells of silica, which remain in the sediment. High winds cause the water column to circulate and mix the diatoms and nutrients in the water and by comparing the diatom community structures to wind records from a nearby weather station researchers found they matched.
“The diatoms do not show a temperature effect. They show wind. We are looking at climate change, not just temperature differences.” Professor of geosciences at the University of Arkansas Sonja Hausmann said.