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Fine-resolution regional climate model simulations of the impact of climate change on tropical cyclones near Australia



Fine-resolution regional climate simulations of tropical cyclones (TCs) are performed over the eastern Australian region. The horizontal resolution (30 km) is fine enough that a good climatological simulation of observed tropical cyclone formation is obtained using the observed tropical cyclone lower wind speed threshold (17 m s –1 ). This simulation is performed without the insertion of artificial vortices (“bogussing”). The simulated occurrence of cyclones, measured in numbers of days of cyclone activity, is slightly greater than observed. While the model-simulated distribution of central pressures resembles that observed, simulated wind speeds are generally rather lower, due to weaker than observed pressure gradients close to the centres of the simulated storms. Simulations of the effect of climate change are performed. Under enhanced greenhouse conditions, simulated numbers of TCs do not change very much compared with those simulated for the current climate, nor do regions of occurrence. There is a 56% increase in the number of simulated storms with maximum winds greater than 30 m s –1 (alternatively, a 26% increase in the number of storms with central pressures less than 970 hPa). In addition, there is an increase in the number of intense storms simulated south of 30°S. This increase in simulated maximum storm intensity is consistent with previous studies of the impact of climate change on tropical cyclone wind speeds.



Climate DynamicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 1, 2004

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-003-0362-0

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