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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Future Changes in Active and Inactive Atlantic Hurricane Seasons in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model


North Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) have considerable interannual variability, with La Niña and the positive phase of the Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM) tending to drive active hurricane seasons, and El Niño and the negative AMM often driving inactive seasons. Here, we analyze how active and inactive Atlantic hurricane seasons may change in the future using the high resolution Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM). We performed atmosphere-only simulations forced by sea-surface temperature patterns characteristic of La Niña and the positive AMM jointly, and El Niño and the negative AMM jointly, in historical and future climates. Projected Atlantic TCs become more frequent in the future by approximately 34% during El Niño and negative AMM and by 66% during La Niña and positive AMM, with a significant increase in the portion of intense TCs. Warmer SSTs increase TC potential intensity, with reduced wind shear and increased mid-tropospheric humidity further supporting TC activity.

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