Tropical cyclones in the GISS ModelE2

Camargo, Suzana J.; Sobel, Adam H.; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Jonas, Jeffrey A.; Kelley, Maxwell; Lu, Yun; Shaevitz, Daniel A.; Henderson, Naomi L.

The authors describe the characteristics of tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the GISS general circulation ModelE2 with a horizontal resolution 1°×1°. Four model simulations are analysed. In the first, the model is forced with sea surface temperature (SST) from the recent historical climatology. The other three have different idealised climate change simulations, namely (1) a uniform increase of SST by 2 degrees, (2) doubling of the CO2 concentration and (3) a combination of the two. These simulations were performed as part of the US Climate Variability and Predictability Program Hurricane Working Group. Diagnostics of standard measures of TC activity are computed from the recent historical climatological SST simulation and compared with the same measures computed from observations. The changes in TC activity in the three idealised climate change simulations, by comparison with that in the historical climatological SST simulation, are also described. Similar to previous results in the literature, the changes in TC frequency in the simulation with a doubling CO2 and an increase in SST are approximately the linear sum of the TC frequency in the other two simulations. However, in contrast with previous results, in these simulations the effects of CO2 and SST on TC frequency oppose each other. Large-scale environmental variables associated with TC activity are then analysed for the present and future simulations. Model biases in the large-scale fields are identified through a comparison with ERA-Interim reanalysis. Changes in the environmental fields in the future climate simulations are shown and their association with changes in TC activity discussed.


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Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography