School of Earth Sciences - Research Publications

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    Recent poleward shift of tropical cyclone formation linked to Hadley cell expansion
    Sharmila, S ; Walsh, KJE (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-08-01)
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    Impact of Large-Scale Dynamic versus Thermodynamic Climate Conditions on Contrasting Tropical Cyclone Genesis Frequency
    Sharmila, S ; Walsh, KJE (AMER METEOROLOGICAL SOC, 2017-11-01)
    Significant advances have been made in understanding the key climate factors responsible for tropical cyclone (TC) activity, yet any theory that estimates likelihood of observed TC formation rates from mean climate states remains elusive. The present study investigates how the extremes of observed TC genesis (TCG) frequency during peak TC seasons are interrelated with distinct changes in the large-scale climate conditions over different ocean basins using the global International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS) dataset and ERA-Interim for the period 1979–2014. Peak TC seasons with significantly high and low TCG frequency are identified for five major ocean basins, and their substantial spatial changes in TCG are noted with regionally distinct differences. To explore the possible climate link behind such changes, a suite of potentially relevant dynamic and thermodynamic climate conditions is analyzed. Results indicate that the observed changes in extreme TCG frequency are closely linked with distinct dominance of specific dynamic and thermodynamic climate conditions over different regions. While the combined influences of dynamic and thermodynamic climate conditions are found to be necessary for modulating TC formation rate over the North Atlantic, eastern Pacific, and southern Indian Oceans, significant changes in large-scale dynamic conditions appear to solely control the TCG frequency over the western Pacific and South Pacific basins. Estimation of the fractional changes in genesis-weighted climate conditions also indicates the coherent but distinct competing effects of different climate conditions on TCG frequency. The present study further points out the need for revising the existing genesis indices for estimating TCG frequency over individual basins.