Projected increases in North Atlantic tropical cyclone intensity from CMIP5 models

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Tropical cyclones-particularly intense ones-are a hazard to life and property, so an assessment of the changes in North Atlantic tropical cyclone intensity has important socioeconomic implications. In this study, the authors focus on the seasonally integrated power dissipation index (PDI) as a metric to project changes in tropical cyclone intensity. Based on a recently developed statistical model, this study examines projections in North Atlantic PDI using output from 17 state-of-the-art global climate models and three radiative forcing scenarios. Overall, the authors find thatNorth Atlantic PDI is projected to increase with respect to the 1986-2005 period across all scenarios. The difference between the PDI projections and those of the number of North Atlantic tropical cyclones, which are not projected to increase significantly, indicates an intensification of North Atlantic tropical cyclones in response to both greenhouse gas (GHG) increases and aerosol changes over the current century. At the end of the twenty-first century, the magnitude of these increases shows a positive dependence on projected GHG forcing. The projected intensification is significantly enhanced by non-GHG (primarily aerosol) forcing in the first half of the twenty-first century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3231-3240
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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