Author(s): Emanuel KA
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Abstract A recently developed technique for simulating large [O(10(4))] numbers of tropical cyclones in climate states described by global gridded data is applied to simulations of historical and future climate states simulated by six Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) global climate models. Tropical cyclones downscaled from the climate of the period 1950-2005 are compared with those of the 21st century in simulations that stipulate that the radiative forcing from greenhouse gases increases by over preindustrial values. In contrast to storms that appear explicitly in most global models, the frequency of downscaled tropical cyclones increases during the 21st century in most locations. The intensity of such storms, as measured by their maximum wind speeds, also increases, in agreement with previous results. Increases in tropical cyclone activity are most prominent in the western North Pacific, but are evident in other regions except for the southwestern Pacific. The increased frequency of events is consistent with increases in a genesis potential index based on monthly mean global model output. These results are compared and contrasted with other inferences concerning the effect of global warming on tropical cyclones.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Geography & Natural Disasters