AbstractThe strong westerly shear to the south flank of the tropical upper-tropospheric trough (TUTT) limits the eastward extension of tropical cyclone (TC) formation over the western North Pacific (WNP) and thus the zonal shift of the TUTT in warming scenarios has an important implication for the mean formation location of TCs. The impact of global warming on the zonal shift of the TUTT is investigated by using output from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) of 36 climate models in this study. It is found that considerable spread exists in the zonal position, orientation, and intensity of the simulated-climatologic TUTT in the historical runs, which is forced by observed conditions such as changes in atmospheric composition, solar forcing, and aerosols. The large spread is closely related to the diversity in the simulated SST biases over the North Pacific. Based on the 15 models with relatively high skill in their historical runs, the near-term (2016–35) projection shows no significant change of the TUTT longitude, while the TUTT experiences an eastward shift of 1.9° and 3.2° longitude in the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios in the long-term (2081–2100) projection with considerable intermodel variability. Further examination indicates that the projected changes in the zonal location of the TUTT are also associated with the projected relative SST anomalies over the North Pacific. A stronger (weaker) relative SST warming over the North Pacific favors an eastward (westward) shift of the TUTT, suggesting that the spatial pattern of the future SST change is an important factor for the zonal shift of the mean formation location of TCs.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jan 4, 2018
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