, Volume 37, Issue 3-4, pp 737-758
Date: 15 Jun 2010

Future changes in tropical cyclone genesis in fully dynamic ocean- and mixed layer ocean-coupled climate models: a low-resolution model study

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The global and regional projected changes in tropical cyclone (TC) genesis due to increased CO2 concentrations has been investigated through a large-scale TC genesis parameter (convective seasonal genesis parameter, ConvGP) in two perturbed physics ensembles. The ensembles are based on the third generation Hadley Centre atmosphere–ocean general circulation model with the first ensemble using a coupled fully dynamic ocean (HadCM3) and the second coupled to a simplified mixed layer thermodynamic ocean (HadSM3) both consisting of 17 members. In each ensemble, parameters are identically perturbed to provide a wide range of climate sensitivity whilst retaining a credible present-day climate simulation. It is found, by comparing the ConvGP climatology from reanalysis data with the best track genesis, that it is possible to reproduce the observed genesis distribution. Future changes in the spatial ConvGP distribution are explored with respect to each tropical ocean basin. Whilst there is a similarity in the gross pattern of the ensemble-mean projected ConvGP change between HadCM3 and HadSM3, there is a non-trivial difference in the tropical Pacific Ocean, arising from different patterns of tropical Pacific sea surface temperature change. This indicates that ocean representation can be important for regional scale projections. The quantitative contribution of individual constituent parameters (i.e. vorticity parameter, shear parameter and convective potential) to the projected ConvGP change is estimated. It is found that all three large-scale parameters generally contribute constructively, but with different magnitude, in the regions where a large doubled CO2 response is found.