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Title: Anthropogenic influences on major tropical cyclone events

Abstract

There is no consensus on whether climate change has yet affected the statistics of tropical cyclones, owing to their large natural variability and the limited period of consistent observations. In addition, projections of future tropical cyclone activity are uncertain, because they often rely on coarse-resolution climate models that parameterize convection and hence have difficulty in directly representing tropical cyclones. Here we used convection-permitting regional climate model simulations to investigate whether and how recent destructive tropical cyclones would change if these events had occurred in pre-industrial and in future climates. We found that, relative to pre-industrial conditions, climate change so far has enhanced the average and extreme rainfall of hurricanes Katrina, Irma and Maria, but did not change tropical cyclone wind-speed intensity. In addition, future anthropogenic warming would robustly increase the wind speed and rainfall of 11 of 13 intense tropical cyclones (of 15 events sampled globally). Additional regional climate model simulations suggest that convective parameterization introduces minimal uncertainty into the sign of projected changes in tropical cyclone intensity and rainfall, which allows us to have confidence in projections from global models with parameterized convection and resolution fine enough to include tropical cyclones.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Computational Research Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1526550
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature (London)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Nature (London); Journal Volume: 563; Journal Issue: 7731; Journal ID: ISSN 0028-0836
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Patricola, Christina M., and Wehner, Michael F. Anthropogenic influences on major tropical cyclone events. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0673-2.
Patricola, Christina M., & Wehner, Michael F. Anthropogenic influences on major tropical cyclone events. United States. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0673-2.
Patricola, Christina M., and Wehner, Michael F. Thu . "Anthropogenic influences on major tropical cyclone events". United States. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0673-2. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1526550.
@article{osti_1526550,
title = {Anthropogenic influences on major tropical cyclone events},
author = {Patricola, Christina M. and Wehner, Michael F.},
abstractNote = {There is no consensus on whether climate change has yet affected the statistics of tropical cyclones, owing to their large natural variability and the limited period of consistent observations. In addition, projections of future tropical cyclone activity are uncertain, because they often rely on coarse-resolution climate models that parameterize convection and hence have difficulty in directly representing tropical cyclones. Here we used convection-permitting regional climate model simulations to investigate whether and how recent destructive tropical cyclones would change if these events had occurred in pre-industrial and in future climates. We found that, relative to pre-industrial conditions, climate change so far has enhanced the average and extreme rainfall of hurricanes Katrina, Irma and Maria, but did not change tropical cyclone wind-speed intensity. In addition, future anthropogenic warming would robustly increase the wind speed and rainfall of 11 of 13 intense tropical cyclones (of 15 events sampled globally). Additional regional climate model simulations suggest that convective parameterization introduces minimal uncertainty into the sign of projected changes in tropical cyclone intensity and rainfall, which allows us to have confidence in projections from global models with parameterized convection and resolution fine enough to include tropical cyclones.},
doi = {10.1038/s41586-018-0673-2},
journal = {Nature (London)},
number = 7731,
volume = 563,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}

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