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Tropical disturbances in a GCM

RJ Haarsma, JFB Mitchell, CA Senior

We have analyzed the tropical disturbances in a 11-layer atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) on a 2.5 x 3.75 horizontal grid coupled to a 50 m mixed layer ocean. Due to the coarse resolution, the GCM is unable to resolve adequately tropical cyclones. The tropical disturbances simulated by the GCM are much weaker and have a much larger horizontal extent. However, they still display much of the essential physiscs of tropical cyclones, including low-level convergence of mass and moisture, upper tropospheric outflow and a warm core. For most ocean basins the spatial and temporal distribution of the simulated tropical disturbances compares well with the observed tropical cyclones. On doubling the CO2 concentration, the number of simulated tropical disturbances increases by about 50%. There is a relative increase in the number of more intense tropical disturbances, whose maximum windspeed increases by about 20%. This agrees with the theoretical estimate of Emanuel. However, because the low-resolution of the GCM severely restricts their maximum possible intensity, simulated changes in tropical disturbance intensity should be interpreted cautiously.

Bibliografische gegevens

RJ Haarsma, JFB Mitchell, CA Senior. Tropical disturbances in a GCM
published, Clim. Dyn., 1993, 8

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