, Volume 14, Issue 11, pp 827-838

North Atlantic cyclones in CO2-induced warm climate simulations: frequency, intensity, and tracks

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The effect of CO2-induced climate change on the North Atlantic storm and cyclone tracks in winter is analysed using time slice experiments of the Hamburg atmospheric general circulation model (ECHAM3) with triangular truncation at wave number 42 (T42) and 19 levels. The sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice boundary conditions for these experiments are taken from a transient Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenario A run of ECHAM1/LSG at the times where the 1×CO2 (control run), the 2×CO2 and the 3×CO2 concentrations are reached. Using a cyclone identification and tracking scheme, we detect the low pressure systems as relative minima in the 1000 hPa geopotential height field and connect them to cyclone tracks. The results of the Eulerian analysis of the storm track using filtered variances and the Lagrangian analysis of the cyclone trajectories from the three climate runs are discussed and compared with each other. In the 2×CO2 experiment, the storm track shifts eastward, whereas the cyclone density shifts northeastward. In the 3×CO2 experiment the storm track shows a southeastward shift, whereas the cyclone density shifts northward. The variability of the cyclone tracks is determined by a cluster analysis of their relative trajectories considering the first three days of the cyclones. The relative cyclone tracks are grouped into stationary, zonal and northeastward travelling cyclones. This analysis provides a method to assess the model quality and to detect changes of the cyclone trajectories in different climates. In the 2×CO2 (but not in the 3×CO2) run the occupation number of northeastward cyclones increases.

Received: 27 January 1998 / Accepted: 19 May 1998