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Tropical cyclone genesis across palaeoclimates

Koh, JH; Brierley, CM; (2015) Tropical cyclone genesis across palaeoclimates. Climate of the Past Discussions , 11 (1) pp. 181-220. 10.5194/cpd-11-181-2015. Green open access

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Abstract

Tropical cyclone genesis is investigated for the Pliocene, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the mid-Holocene through analysis of five climate models. The genesis potential index is used to estimate this from large scale atmospheric properties. The mid-Pliocene and LGM characterise periods where carbon dioxide levels were higher and lower than pre-industrial respectively, while the mid-Holocene differed primarily in its orbital configuration. The number of tropical cyclones formed each year is found to be fairly consistent across the various palaeoclimates. Although there is some model uncertainty in the change of global annual tropical cyclone frequency, there are coherent changes in the spatial patterns of tropical cyclogenesis. During the Pliocene and LGM, changes in carbon dioxide led to sea surface temperature changes throughout the tropics, yet the potential intensity of tropical cyclones appears relatively insensitive to these variations. Changes in tropical cyclone genesis during the mid-Holocene are observed to be asymmetric about the Equator: genesis is reduced in the Northern Hemisphere, but enhanced in the Southern Hemisphere. This is clearly driven by the altered seasonal insolation. Nonetheless, the enhanced seasonality may have driven localised effects on tropical cyclone genesis, through changes to the strength of monsoons and shifting of the inter-tropical convergence zone. Trends in future tropical cyclone genesis are neither consistent between the five models studied, nor with the palaeoclimate results. It is not clear why this should be the case.

Type: Article
Title: Tropical cyclone genesis across palaeoclimates
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5194/cpd-11-181-2015
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/cpd-11-181-2015
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470787
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