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Extratropical Southern Hemisphere Cyclones: Harbingers of Climate Change?

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  • 1 Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Meteorological Service of Canada, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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Abstract

In concert with a poleward shift in baroclinicity, the synoptic environment south of 40°S appears to have changed significantly over recent decades. South of 40°S and north of the Antarctic Ocean the number of cyclones has dramatically decreased, while over the Antarctic Ocean a modest increase has occurred. A global climate model with anthropogenic forcing produces similar historical changes, and under a “business-as-usual” emissions scenario predicts that the number of sub-Antarctic Ocean cyclones will drop by over 30% between now and century's end.

Corresponding author address: Dr. J. C. Fyfe, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1700, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada. Email: John.Fyfe@ec.gc.ca

Abstract

In concert with a poleward shift in baroclinicity, the synoptic environment south of 40°S appears to have changed significantly over recent decades. South of 40°S and north of the Antarctic Ocean the number of cyclones has dramatically decreased, while over the Antarctic Ocean a modest increase has occurred. A global climate model with anthropogenic forcing produces similar historical changes, and under a “business-as-usual” emissions scenario predicts that the number of sub-Antarctic Ocean cyclones will drop by over 30% between now and century's end.

Corresponding author address: Dr. J. C. Fyfe, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1700, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada. Email: John.Fyfe@ec.gc.ca

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