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Changes in the frequency and intensity of North Atlantic Extra-tropical Cyclones under future climate change

PI: Clair Hanson
Institution: University of East Anglia
Abstract:
There are two main objects to this exercise. The first is to assess the ability of a suite of atmosphere-ocean coupled GCMs to simulate the current North Atlantic storm track. Comparisons will be made with ERA-40 reanalysis data. Low pressure centres will be identified from mean sea level pressure data using an objective detection algorithm as described in Hanson et al (2004). The second aim is to identify any changes in cyclone frequency, intensity and distribution across the North Atlantic. This has implications for society as a whole both in terms of loss of life and economic losses.

A similar study has been carried out based solely on the Hadley Centre HadAM3H and HadCM3 models (Hanson et al (2003)). A more robust study would incorporate uncertainty which would be addressed by analysing a suite of GCMs.

Hanson, C.E., Palutikof, J.P. and Davies, T.D. (2004) Objective Cyclone Climatology of the North Atlantic A Comparison between the ECMWF and NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Models, Climate Dynamics 22, 757-769

Hanson, C.E., Holt, T., and Palutikof, J.P. (2003) An Integrated Assessment for the Potential for Change in Storm Activity over Europe: Implications for Insurance and Forestry in the UK. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Project IT1.4 Final Report, University of East Anglia.

Model data required:

Variables: Daily mean sea level pressure

Simulations: 20th century historical run, 21st century scenario runs (SRES A1FI, A2 and B2), all ensemble members (where available) in order to assess the significance of any identified changes, and the control run.
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