12A.1 Impacts of Climate Change on Upper Ocean Warming and its Relationship to Hurricane Intensity

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 11:00 AM
608 (Washington State Convention Center)
Christine D. Standohar, University of Miami, Miami, FL; and B. Soden

We examine the impact of climate change on hurricane intensity using a combination of high-resolution hurricane model simulations and global coupled ocean-atmosphere models. Output from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Model simulations will be used to provide projections of the change in sub-surface ocean temperatures for the 21st century. These simulations will be used to explore the impact of sub-surface ocean warming on hurricane intensity using high resolution model simulations through the use of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled to a simple mixed-layer ocean model. The theory of Maximum Potential Intensity provides an estimate of the upper limit of intensity which a hurricane could achieve under ideal meteorological conditions. Changes in MPI over the past 50 years are highly correlated with the Power Dissipation Index (PDI) – a measure of the destructive potential of tropical cyclones. By using the relationship between SST and PDI and applying it to the 21st century SSTs from global climate models, we intend to provide better guidance on the impact of sub-surface ocean warming on future changes in North Atlantic hurricane activity.
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