Analysing present, past and future tropical cyclone activity as inferred from an ensemble of Coupled Global Climate Models

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Caron, Louis-Philippe ; Jones, Colin G. (2008)

Using the Yearly Genesis Parameter (YGP) and the Convective-YGP (CYGP), the main large-scale climatic fields controlling tropical cyclone (TC) formation are analysed and used to infer the number of TCs in a given basin using ERA40 reanalyses for the period 1983–2002. Both indices show a reasonable global number and spatial distribution of implied TCs compared to observations. Using the same approach, we evaluate TC activity in the last 20-yr period of the 20th century in an ensemble of nine Coupled Global Climate Model simulations submitted to the IPCC AR4. We extend this analysis backwards in time, through the 20th century, and find the ensemble derived CYGP suggests no trend in inferred TC numbers while the YGP, after applying a correction to compensate for its oversensitivity to sea surface temperature, suggests a small upward trend. Both indices give a fair geographical distribution of cyclogenesis. Finally, we assess future TC trends using three emission scenarios. Using the CYGP, which appears the most robust index for application to climate change, a small increase is predicted in the northwestern Pacific in the A1B and A2 scenarios.
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