Climatic controls on hurricane patterns: a 1200-y near-annual record from Lighthouse Reef, Belize
Tropical cyclones (TCs) are powerful agents of destruction, and understanding climatic controls on TC patterns is of great importance. Over timescales of seasons to several decades, relationships among TC track, frequency, intensity and basin-scale climate changes are well documented by instrumental records. Over centuries to millennia, climate-shift influence on TC regimes remains poorly constrained. To better understand these relationships, records from multiple locations of TC strikes spanning millennia with high temporal resolution are required, but such records are rare. Here we report on a highly detailed sedimentary proxy record of paleo-TC strikes from the Blue Hole of Lighthouse Reef, Belize. Our findings provide an important addition to other high-resolution records, which collectively demonstrate that shifts between active and inactive TC regimes have occurred contemporaneously with shifts hemispheric-scale oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns such as MDR SSTs and NAO mode, rather than with changes in local climate phenomena as has previously been suggested.