Monday, 12 January 2009: 4:30 PM
Simulating the effects of climate change on parameters for tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic basin
Room 129A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Many studies have suggested that climate change, induced by increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, could potentially lead to more tropical cyclones and storms of greater intensity. Warming of sea surface temperatures and the lower troposphere would cause increasing frequency and severity of storms. Although there has been much previous work linking increasing greenhouse gas concentrations to warming, it is less clear if the effects of warming would dominate other processes that could limit increases in tropical cyclone strength and frequency.
The NASA GISS Model II was used to simulate several scenarios in which carbon dioxide increased exponentially at different rates from 1991 to 2050. An ensemble with six members was simulated for each of the scenarios. Each ensemble member varied in only in the initial conditions used, with no difference in the forcing or model parameterizations within each ensemble. Although the grid spacing of the model is much too coarse to resolve tropical cyclones, it is sufficient to simulate environmental parameters that are influential in the development of storms. This study focuses on the tropical north Atlantic and examines both dynamic and thermodynamic quantities that affect tropical cyclone development.