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Tropical Cyclone Genesis Projected to Move Toward the Poles

Feb 08, 2024

In a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers revealed a poleward shift in tropical cyclone (TC) genesis on a global scale as a result of climate change. Led by Dr. CAO Xi from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, the research team collaborated with experts from institutions including the University of Tokyo, Zhejiang University, Yunnan University, the National Climate Center, and the University of New South Wales.
The impact of climate change on TC activity has been a subject of widespread concern due to the potential for disasters such as gales, heavy rainfall, and storm surges, leading to economic losses and casualties in coastal regions worldwide. However, the lack of consensus on changes in the frequency and location of TC occurrence under global warming has led to uncertainty in assessing the overall impact of climate change on TC activities.
While climate models have previously projected a decrease in the frequency of TC genesis in future warming, the global nature of the latitudinal change in TC genesis has remained uncertain. The researchers used d4PDF simulations to reveal a robust poleward shift of TC genesis during active seasons in both hemispheres, with the rate of TC genesis decreasing within latitudes equatorward of 15° and increasing poleward of 15° in each basin.
The projected shift is attributed to the weakening of the Hadley circulation, driven by increased upper tropospheric warming. The study estimates that the signal of TC genesis is expected to emerge over the high latitudes of the Arabian Sea, South Atlantic, and South Pacific Oceans at 2 K warming, with implications for assessing the reliability of future TC-related changes in climate models and for estimating increased TC-related hazards at higher latitudes under global warming.
"Our study underscores the dynamic nature of tropical cyclone genesis and reveals a significant shift towards the poles," said Dr. CAO Xi, lead and corresponding author of the study, "this highlights the critical link between climate change and the evolving patterns of these weather phenomena."
Contact

LIN Zheng

Institute of Atmospheric Physics

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The projected poleward shift of tropical cyclogenesis at a global scale under climate change in MRI-AGCM3.2H

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