Sunday, 22 January 2012
The Effects of Stratospheric Aerosols on Tropical Cyclone Activity in the North Atlantic Basin
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
This study examines how fluctuations in stratospheric ozone levels have affected the energy of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin between 1979 and 2010. We postulate that there is a correlation between stratospheric ozone concentration and tropical cyclone energy. As a result of ozone depletion from anthropogenic activities (namely chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) emissions), UV light retained near the ozone layer has decreased, leading to lower stratospheric cooling. An increase in the temperature differential between the warm sea surface and the cooler atmosphere results. This differential creates unstable air masses, hindering tropical cyclone development (Emanuel, 1986). Previous research (Rowland, 1990) has shown that a strong negative correlation exists between CFCs and ozone levels. The team's research has shown a strong positive correlation between stratospheric ozone concentrations in the Atlantic Basin to stratospheric temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere from 1979-2010 (0.5977). Finally, a strong correlation value exists between stratospheric temperatures and tropical cyclone energy in the North Atlantic Basin from 1979-2010 (-0.47384). Ozone layer depletion should be a factor to consider when forecasting tropical cyclone development.
Emanuel, K.A.,1986. An air-sea interaction theory for tropical cyclones. Part I. J. Atmos. Sci., 43, 585-604.
Rowland, F. S., 1990. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion by Chlorofluorocarbons. Ambio, 19, 281-292.