Feb 28, 2010

Tropical cyclones and climate change

Thomas R. Knutson, John L. McBride, Johnny Chan, Kerry Emanuel, Greg Holland, Chris Landsea, Isaac Held, James P. Kossin, A. K. Srivastava, Masato Sugi
Nature Geoscience
  • States that it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone activity have exceeded the variability expected from natural causes due to substantial limitations in historical records, and large amplitude fluctuations in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones
  • States that, nonetheless, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100
  • States that existing modelling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6–34%
  • Holds that higher resolution modelling studies typically project substantial increases in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of 20% in the precipitation rate within 100 km of the storm centre