Predicting and understanding extreme weather events will become increasingly important with future climate change. DOE-funded scientist Michael Wehner and his team analyzed the behavior of tropical cyclones in a version of the NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) Community Atmospheric Model. Their results are reported in the journal Advances in Meteorology. The authors report that tropical cyclones and hurricanes are realistically simulated in high-resolution configurations of the model and that they also form spontaneously throughout the simulation. Under a climate warming scenario the authors report that the distribution and number of tropical cyclones at the end of 21st century changes relative to the present day in all ocean basins. In agreement with previous studies, they found that the most intense storms become both stronger and more frequent. However, unlike previous studies, they found that weaker storms occur more frequently. Additional studies using the latest versions of the model are underway to attempt to explain this difference.
Reference: Michael F. Wehner, G. Bala, Phillip Duffy, Arthur A. Mirin, and Raquel Romano, "Towards Direct Simulation of Future Tropical Cyclone Statistics in a High-Resolution Global Atmospheric Model," Advances in Meteorology, vol. 2010, Article ID 915303, 13 pages, 2010. doi:10.1155/2010/915303 Available via open access.
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