Dec 31, 2014

Quantifying the Effects of Long-Term Climate Change on Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Using a Cloud-Resolving Model: Examples of Two Landfall Typhoons in Taiwan

by
Chung-Chieh Wang, Bo-Xun Lin, Cheng-Ta Chen, and Shih-How Lo
,
American Meteorological Society
  • Quantifies the effects of long-term climate change on typhoon rainfall near Taiwan by performing cloud-resolving simulations of Typhoon (TY) Sinlaku and TY Jangmi, both in September 2008
  • Compares the simulations with sensitivity tests where these same typhoons are placed in the climate background of 1950–69, which is slightly cooler and drier compared to the modern climate of 1990–2009 computed using NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data.
  • Finds largely consistent responses in the model although only two cases are studied
  • Finds that in control experiments, both modern-day typhoons yield more rainfall than their counterpart in the sensitivity test using past climate, by about 5%–6% at 200–500 km from the center for Sinlaku and roughly 4%–7% within 300 km of Jangmi, throughout much of the periods simulated
  • Finds that in both cases, the frequency of more-intense rainfall (20 to >50 mm h−1) also increases by about 5%–25% and the increase tends to be larger toward higher rain rates
  • Results from the water budget analysis, again quite consistent between the two cases, indicate that the increased rainfall from the typhoons in the modern climate is attributable to both a moister environment (by 2.5%–4%) as well as, on average, a more active secondary circulation of the storm
  • Results suggest a changing climate may already have had a discernible impact on TC rainfall near Taiwan
  • Statse that while an overall increase in TC rainfall of roughly 5% may not seem large, it is certainly not insignificant considering that the long-term trend observed in the past 40–50 yr, whatever the causes might be, may continue for many decades in the foreseeable future