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Shipwreck records and tree rings show hurricanes reduced in Maunder Minimum

University of Arizona researchers have shown that the number of hurricanes in the Caribbean Sea was 75% lower during the Maunder Minimum, a time period from roughly 1645-1715 AD.  This is called the Maunder Minimum because there were fewer sunspots in that time period, which is also linked to a time of low solar activity.

The researchers looked at tree rings, which show less growth in years with hurricanes, and the number of shipwrecks due to storms and found that years with many shipwrecks corresponded with years that had a high number of hurricanes.  Spain kept careful record of the ships because they carried gold and other valuables from the New World back to the Old World.

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