87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 4:45 PM
Can we detect climate trends in extreme tropical cyclones?
214D (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Christopher W. Landsea, NOAA/NWS/TPC/NHC, Miami, FL; and B. A. Harper, K. Hoarau, and J. A. Knaff
Recent observationally-based studies have been published that analyze a large increase in tropical cyclone (TC) intensities linked to warming sea surface temperatures (SSTs), that may be associated with anthropogenic global warming. Having a jump in TC intensities today is quite surprising to those in the hurricane-climate field because all previous numerical modeling and theoretical work suggested quite small man-made changes might occur several decades in the future (on the order of 5% stronger near the end of the 21st Century). Several formal Comments and Replies have already been published regarding these new results. However, one key question has not yet been thoroughly addressed: are the global TC databases are reliable enough to correctly ascertain long-term trends in extreme (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Category 4 and 5) TCs?. This issue is addressed in this presentation.

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