Future Changes in the Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Activity Projected by a Multidecadal Simulation with a 16-km Global Atmospheric GCM

Thomas.Jung [ at ] awi.de


How tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the northwestern Pacific might change in a future climate is assessed using multidecadal Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP)-style and time-slice simulations with the ECMWF Integrated Forecast System (IFS) at 16-km and 125-km global resolution. Both models reproduce many aspects of the present-day TC climatology and variability well, although the 16-km IFS is far more skillful in simulating the full intensity distribution and genesis locations, including their changes in response to El Niño–Southern Oscillation. Both IFS models project a small change in TC frequency at the end of the twenty-first century related to distinct shifts in genesis locations. In the 16-km IFS, this shift is southward and is likely driven by the southeastward penetration of the monsoon trough/subtropical high circulation system and the southward shift in activity of the synoptic-scale tropical disturbances in response to the strengthening of deep convective activity over the central equatorial Pacific in a future climate. The 16-km IFS also projects about a 50% increase in the power dissipation index, mainly due to significant increases in the frequency of the more intense storms, which is comparable to the natural variability in the model. Based on composite analysis of large samples of supertyphoons, both the development rate and the peak intensities of these storms increase in a future climate, which is consistent with their tendency to develop more to the south, within an environment that is thermodynamically more favorable for faster development and higher intensities. Coherent changes in the vertical structure of supertyphoon composites show system-scale amplification of the primary and secondary circulations with signs of contraction, a deeper warm core, and an upward shift in the outflow layer and the frequency of the most intense updrafts. Considering the large differences in the projections of TC intensity change between the 16-km and 125-km IFS, this study further emphasizes the need for high-resolution modeling in assessing potential changes in TC activity.

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DOI 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00678.1

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Manganello, J. V. , Hodges, K. I. , Dirmeyer, B. , Kinter III, J. L. , Cash, B. A. , Marx, L. , Jung, T. , Achuthavarier, D. , Adams, J. M. , Altshuler, E. L. , Huang, B. , Jin, E. K. , Towers, P. and Wedi, N. (2014): Future Changes in the Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Activity Projected by a Multidecadal Simulation with a 16-km Global Atmospheric GCM , Journal of Climate, 27 , pp. 7622-7646 . doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00678.1

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