Climate change scientists continue to have low confidence in their understanding of storm intensity in the Arctic.
While it is likely that storm intensity has increased in this region and scientists expect storm intensity to continue to increase with additional climate change, more evidence is needed to decrease the uncertainty of the direction of storm intensity in the Arctic. This project aims to do that. Storm surge, how far waves rise on the land, will be used as a proxy for storm intensity. Driftwood deposits will be used as an indicator of a given storm’s intensity. This project aims to date driftwood deposits to show the direction of change in storm intensity over time.
Traditional ecological knowledge of storm events stored in the names of indigenous peoples in Savoonga and Gambell, Alaska will be used to identify the dates of large storms. These two Siberian Yupik villages name babies after significant events, like large storms, to retain knowledge of those events. This project catalogues the Siberian Yupik names of tribal members in Savoonga and Gambell to identify those names, and birthdates, of people named after large storms. Those dates will be used to date driftwood deposits and ultimately storm intensity.