Are greenhouse gas signals of Northern Hemisphere winter extra-tropical cyclone activity dependent on the identification and tracking algorithm?

Uwe Ulbrich, Gregor C. Leckebusch, Jens Grieger, Mareike Schuster, Mirseid Akperov, Mikhail Yu Bardin, Yang Feng, Sergey Gulev, Masaru Inatsu, Kevin Keay, Sarah F. Kew, Margarida L R Liberato, Piero Lionello, Igor I. Mokhov, Urs Neu, Joaquim G. Pinto, Christoph C. Raible, Marco Reale, Irina Rudeva, Ian SimmondsNatalia D. Tilinina, Isabel F. Trigo, Sven Ulbrich, Xiaolan L. Wang, Heini Wernli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    For Northern Hemisphere extra-tropical cyclone activity, the dependency of a potential anthropogenic climate change signal on the identification method applied is analysed. This study investigates the impact of the used algorithm on the changing signal, not the robustness of the climate change signal itself. Using one single transient AOGCM simulation as standard input for eleven state-of-the-art identification methods, the patterns of model simulated present day climatologies are found to be close to those computed from re-analysis, independent of the method applied. Although differences in the total number of cyclones identified exist, the climate change signals (IPCC SRES A1B) in the model run considered are largely similar between methods for all cyclones. Taking into account all tracks, decreasing numbers are found in the Mediterranean, the Arctic in the Barents and Greenland Seas, the mid-latitude Pacific and North America. Changing patterns are even more similar, if only the most severe systems are considered: the methods reveal a coherent statistically significant increase in frequency over the eastern North Atlantic and North Pacific. We found that the differences between the methods considered are largely due to the different role of weaker systems in the specific methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-68
    Number of pages8
    JournalMeteorologische Zeitschrift
    Volume22
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

    Keywords

    • Climate change
    • ECHAM5
    • Extra-tropical cyclones
    • IMILAST

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Atmospheric Science

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