Presentation on theme: "Atlantic Hurricanes and Climate Change Hurricane Katrina, Aug. 2005 GFDL 18km-grid simulation of Atlantic hurricane activity Tom Knutson Geophysical Fluid."— Presentation transcript:
Atlantic Hurricanes and Climate Change Hurricane Katrina, Aug GFDL 18km-grid simulation of Atlantic hurricane activity Tom Knutson Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab/NOAA Princeton, New Jersey U.S.A. NOTE: SOME SLIDES REMOVED FOR WEB VERSION
Focus questions for this talk Are there significant trends in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity? How well can we simulate past Atlantic hurricane activity? What are the prospects for future Atlantic hurricane activity?
Sources: NASA/GISS. The earths surface temperature has been increasing…. …but what about hurricanes?
There is some recent evidence that overall Atlantic hurricane activity may have increased since in the 1950s and 60s in association with increasing sea surface temperatures… Source: Kerry Emanuel, MIT, personal communication PDI is proportional to the time integral of the cube of the surface wind speeds accumulated across all storms over their entire life cycles.
Source: Chris Landsea, NOAA/NHC But a measure of annual U.S. landfalling hurricane activity shows no clear long-term trend since 1900…
The frequency of recorded storms (low-pass filtered) in the Atlantic basin is well-correlated with tropical Atlantic SSTs Source: Emanuel (2006); Mann and Emanuel (2006)
Statistical significance testing Method 1: Linear least-squares regression on annual storm count series. Adjust degrees of freedom for two-sided t-test based on lag- 1 autocorrelation. Method 2: Same as Method 1, but for the ranks rather than the original series. Addresses issue of skewness in storm count annual data. Method 3: Bootstrap resampling (with replacement) of series sug- segments of length L. Compute linear trends of resampled data sets as a control comparison. L values in range of 2-8 tested. (Recommended value of 2-3 based on Wilks text.) The three methods give roughly similar results here.
Source: Chris Landsea, NOAA/NHC Source: Chris Landsea, NHC/NOAA Pre-satellite era- 77% strike land …but some storms may have been missed and not recorded in the database.
Landsea: No significant trend from AMO warm phase to warm phase, or cold phase to cold phase.
Reconstructing past tropical cyclone counts Satellite-era ( ) storm tracks assumed perfect. Apply satellite-era storm tracks to documented ship tracks (ICOADS). Storm detected if ship within radius of tropical storm force winds (17 m/s). First detection must occur equatorward of 40N. Monte Carlo simulation, varying storm radii within reasonable bounds. All land assumed to be perfect detector of tropical storms (equatorward of 40N)planned to further test… Assume all relevant ship tracks are in data baseplan to further test with additional tracks. (First will look for evidence of storms in new ship data.)
Trend from : Not significant (p=0.05, 2-sided tests) Trend from : Significant
The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and Tropical Atlantic (Aug-Oct) SSTs GFDL Model: All Forcings (n=8) GFDL Model: Natural Forcings Only (n=4)GFDL Model: Anthropogenic Forcings (n=4) Sources: C. Landsea, NHC/NOAA update of Goldenberg et al. 2000; Knutson and Tuleya (2006; accepted for publication, Cambridge Univ. Press). Note: No indirect aerosol forcing is included in any of these runs.
A comparison of several climate change metrics: Global Mean Temperature Tropical Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature Atlantic Tropical Storm Counts (unadj.) Atlantic Trop. Storm Counts (Vecchi/Knut. Adj.) U.S. Landfalling Tropical Storms (unadj.) U.S. Landfalling Hurricanes (unadj.) Note: All time series are low-pass filtered (5-yr mean) and normalized to unit standard deviation (y-axis tic marks: 1 st. dev).
Sea surface temperatures have increased in the region where Atlantic hurricanes form and intensify, and they are projected to increase much more during the 21 st century…
NW Pacific Basin: Intensity vs. SST Source: Baik and Paek, J. Meteor. Soc. Japan (1998). Used with permission. Minimum surface pressure (mb) Sea surface temperature (deg C) The most intense storms occur at high SSTs
Hurricane models project increasing hurricane intensities and rainfall rates with climate warming … Sources: Knutson and Tuleya, J. Climate, 2004 (left); Knutson and Tuleya, 2007; accepted for publication, Cambridge Univ Press (right). See also Bengtsson et al. (Tellus 2007) and Oouchi et (J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 2006). ~Late 21 st century Current climate Hurricane Intensity Hurricane Rainfall Rates Current climate ~Late 21 st century 6-hr accumulated rainfall [cm] within ~100 km of storm center. Sensitivity: ~4% increase in wind speed per o C SST increase Sensitivity: ~12% increase in near-storm rainfall per o C SST increase
Late 21 st Century projections: increased vertical wind shear may lead to fewer Atlantic hurricanes Source: Vecchi and Soden (Geophysical Research Letters 2007) Percent change in shear per degree Celsius global warming
21 st Century Atlantic Hurricane Activity? Models indicate increased hurricane intensities with warmer ocean temperatures. Climate models project that greenhouse warming may be accompanied by increased vertical wind shear in some regions of the Atlantic, which should act to reduce storm frequency and intensification in those regions. How do we assess which of these competing effects will win out?
GFDL Zetac Model: A new high-resolution regional model for Atlantic hurricane season simulations… The model runs for entire hurricane seasons. The model generates its own sample of hurricanes during each season. These experiments push the limits of available computing resources.
Surface winds (m/s) and rainfall (mm/day) Atmospheric warm core and wind speeds Sample hurricane from the Zetac 18-km grid model
Note: Model uses large-scale interior nudging to NCEP Reanalysis The model captures both the increase in hurricane activity since the 1980s and the year-by-year fluctuations…. Source: Knutson et al (in review) North Atlantic Basin (August-October) Hurricane Frequency Correlations vs. Obs: Model1: 0.76 Model2: 0.76
Note: Model uses large-scale interior nudging to NCEP Reanalysis The model captures both the increase in hurricane activity since the 1980s and the year-by-year fluctuations…. Source: Knutson et al (BAMS, in press) North Atlantic Basin (August-October) Hurricane Frequency Correlation: 0.86
Note: Model uses large-scale interior nudging to NCEP Reanalysis The model captures both the increase in tropical storm activity since the 1980s and the year-by-year fluctuations…. Source: Knutson et al (BAMS, in press) North Atlantic Basin (August-October) Tropical Storm Frequency Correlation: 0.74
The Zetac model reproduces the observed reduction of N. Atlantic activity during El Nino events fairly well…
Conclusions Observed data give conflicting indications on whether humans might have caused significant increases in Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane numbers. Data quality issues reduce confidence in current assessments and statistical analyses of past Atlantic (and global) hurricane activity. Statistical techniques will be important both for addressing data quality issues and for assessing significance of trends and other features in the data. Models project increased intensities of the most intense hurricanes and increased hurricane rainfall rates for the late 21 st century. A new regional dynamical downscaling model reproduces the interannual and decadal scale variability of Atlantic hurricane activity during , and shows promise as a tool for exploring the causes of these changes and the possible future changes in Atlantic hurricane activity associated with 21 st century climate warming.