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Title: Impact of tropical cyclones on modeled extreme wind-wave climate

Abstract

Here, the effect of forcing wind resolution on the extremes of global wind-wave climate are investigated in numerical simulations. Forcing winds from the Community Atmosphere Model at horizontal resolutions of ~1.0° and ~0.25° are used to drive Wavewatch III. Differences in extreme wave height are found to manifest most strongly in tropical cyclone (TC) regions, emphasizing the need for high-resolution forcing in those areas. Comparison with observations typically show improvement in performance with increased forcing resolution, with a strong influence in the tail of the distribution, although simulated extremes can exceed observations. A simulation for the end of the 21st century under a RCP 8.5 type emission scenario suggests further increases in extreme wave height in TC regions.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Supercomputing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1436150
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1402165
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 44; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; wind waves; climate; modeling; extremes; tropical cyclone

Citation Formats

Timmermans, Ben, Stone, Daithi, Wehner, Michael, and Krishnan, Harinarayan. Impact of tropical cyclones on modeled extreme wind-wave climate. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2016GL071681.
Timmermans, Ben, Stone, Daithi, Wehner, Michael, & Krishnan, Harinarayan. Impact of tropical cyclones on modeled extreme wind-wave climate. United States. doi:10.1002/2016GL071681.
Timmermans, Ben, Stone, Daithi, Wehner, Michael, and Krishnan, Harinarayan. Thu . "Impact of tropical cyclones on modeled extreme wind-wave climate". United States. doi:10.1002/2016GL071681. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1436150.
@article{osti_1436150,
title = {Impact of tropical cyclones on modeled extreme wind-wave climate},
author = {Timmermans, Ben and Stone, Daithi and Wehner, Michael and Krishnan, Harinarayan},
abstractNote = {Here, the effect of forcing wind resolution on the extremes of global wind-wave climate are investigated in numerical simulations. Forcing winds from the Community Atmosphere Model at horizontal resolutions of ~1.0° and ~0.25° are used to drive Wavewatch III. Differences in extreme wave height are found to manifest most strongly in tropical cyclone (TC) regions, emphasizing the need for high-resolution forcing in those areas. Comparison with observations typically show improvement in performance with increased forcing resolution, with a strong influence in the tail of the distribution, although simulated extremes can exceed observations. A simulation for the end of the 21st century under a RCP 8.5 type emission scenario suggests further increases in extreme wave height in TC regions.},
doi = {10.1002/2016GL071681},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 3,
volume = 44,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 16 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Thu Feb 16 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • Cited by 1
  • This paper offers an overview of the authors's studies during a specialized international symposium where they aimed at making an objective assessment of whether climate changes, consequent on an expected doubling of atmospheric CO[sub 2] in the next six or seven decades, are likely to increase significantly the frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones (TC). Out of three methodologies available for addressing the question they employ two, discarding the third for reasons set out in the appendix. In the first methodology, the authors enumerate reasons why, in tropical oceans, the increase in sea surface temperature (SST) suggested by climate changemore » models might be expected to affect either (i) TC frequency, because a well-established set of six conditions for TC formation include a condition that SST should exceed 26[degrees]C, or (ii) TC intensity, because this is indicated by thermodynamic analysis to depend critically on the temperature at which energy transfer to air near the sea surface takes place. But careful study of both suggestions indicates that the expected effects of increased SST would be largely self-limiting (i) because the other five conditions strictly control how far the band of latitudes for TC formation can be further widened, and (ii) because intense winds at the sea surface may receive their energy input at a temperature significantly depressed by evaporation of spray, and possibly through sea surface cooling. In the second methodology, the authors study available historical records that have very large year-to-year variability in TC statistics. They find practically no consistent statistical relationships with temperature anomalies; also, a thorough analysis of how the El Nino-Southern Oscillation cycle influences the frequency and distribution of TCs shows any direct effects of local SST changes to be negligible. 28 refs., 4 figs.« less
  • The global characteristics of tropical cyclones (TCs) simulated by several climate models are analyzed and compared with observations. The global climate models were forced by the same sea surface temperature (SST) fields in two types of experiments, using climatological SST and interannually varying SST. TC tracks and intensities are derived from each model's output fields by the group who ran that model, using their own preferred tracking scheme; the study considers the combination of model and tracking scheme as a single modeling system, and compares the properties derived from the different systems. Overall, the observed geographic distribution of global TCmore » frequency was reasonably well reproduced. As expected, with the exception of one model, intensities of the simulated TC were lower than in observations, to a degree that varies considerably across models.« less
  • The global characteristics of tropical cyclones (TCs) simulated by several climate models are analyzed and compared with observations. The global climate models were forced by the same sea surface temperature (SST) fields in two types of experiments, using climatological SST and interannually varying SST. TC tracks and intensities are derived from each model's output fields by the group who ran that model, using their own preferred tracking scheme; the study considers the combination of model and tracking scheme as a single modeling system, and compares the properties derived from the different systems. Overall, the observed geographic distribution of global TCmore » frequency was reasonably well reproduced. As expected, with the exception of one model, intensities of the simulated TC were lower than in observations, to a degree that varies considerably across models.« less
    Cited by 29