Climate modeling, climate change, themohaline circulation, hurricanes
The current cycle of climate change along with increases in hurricane activity, changing precipitation patterns, glacial melt, and other extremes of weather has led to interest and research into the global correlation or teleconnection between these events. Examination of historical climate records, proxies and observations is leading to formulation of hypotheses of climate dynamics with modeling and simulation being used to test these hypotheses as well as making projections. Ocean currents are believed to be an important factor in climate change with thermohaline circulation (THC) fluctuations being implicated in past cycles of abrupt change. Freshwater water discharge into high-latitude oceans attributed to changing precipitation patterns and glacial melt, particularly the North Atlantic, has also been associated with historical abrupt climate changes and is believed to have inhibited or shut down the THC overturning mechanism by diluting saline surface waters transported from the tropics. Here we analyze outputs of general circulation model (GCM) simulations parameterized by different levels of freshwater flux (no flux (control), 0.1 Sverdrup (Sv) and 1.0 Sv) with respect to tropical cyclone-like vortices (TCLVs) to determine any trend in simulated tropical storm frequency, duration, and location relative to flux level, as well as considering the applicability of using GCMs for tropical weather research. Increasing flux levels produced fewer storms and storm days, increased storm duration, a southerly and westerly shift (more pronounced for the 0.1 Sv level) in geographic distribution and increased activity near the African coast (more pronounced for the 1.0 Sv level). Storm intensities and tracks were not realistic compared to observational (real-life) values and is attributed to the GCM resolution not being fine enough to realistically simulate storm (microscale) dynamics.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Modeling and Simulation
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Paulis, Victor, "The Response Of A General Circulation Climate Model Tohigh Latitude Freshwater Forcing In The Atlantic Basinwith Respect Totropi" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3295.