Nov 14, 2018

Anthropogenic influences on major tropical cyclone events

Christina M. Patricola, Michael F. Wehner
  • States that 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
  • Uses 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
  • Finds 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
    • Future anthropogenic warming would robustly increase the wind speed and rainfall of 11 of 13 intense tropical cyclones (of 15 events sampled globally)