Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Climate Change
Daneisha Blair - Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College
Co-Author(s): Jenni L. Evans and Alex M. Kowaleski, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
A consequential issue of global warming is that it increases sea surface temperature (SST), potentially increasing the energy available to tropical cyclones (TCs). This raises the question of whether TCs are able to become more intense due to increases in SST. The aim of this study is to document the relationship between SST and TC intensity in five ocean basins. TC position and intensity data are obtained for a 33-year period (1982-2014) from the North Atlantic, East Pacific, western North Pacific, North Indian, and Southern Hemisphere basins. SST and SST anomaly data for each TC position and time (as well as two days before and two days after TC passage) are obtained from the 0.25˚ NOAA Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (OISST) dataset. We examine the relationship between SST and intensity at all times for all TCs, as well as the relationship between SST and TC maximum intensity. We also investigate how TC passage affects SST by analyzing how SST changes from two days before to two days after TC passage. We find stronger TCs are associated with higher SST values, though the vast majority of TCs are much weaker than the maximum intensity observed at each SST. The North Atlantic basin is unique in that a substantial number of TCs attain their maximum intensity at SST values below 25˚C. We also find that the degree of SST reduction during TC passage shows weakly positive correlations with TC intensity and with pre-storm SST.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bagayoko, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I did all part of this research.