We gratefully acknowledge the international modeling groups who made their data available for analysis and the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environement (LSCE) for collecting, archiving, and distributing these simulations. The analyses were performed using the version of the PMIP2 database present on 8 June 2011; additional information is available online (http://pmip2.lsce.ipsl.fr). We thank Bette Otto-Bliesner for her advice and support on the project and three anonymous reviewers for useful comments and suggestions. We also thank Kerry Emanuel for making available his potential intensity algorithm and Ryan Zamora and Nick Adams for their assistance with data processing. The National Science Foundation supported this study through Grants ATM-1064013, ATM-1064081, and ATM-1063837.
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We define the storm season to be the four most active months: July–October in the NH and January–April in the SH, though these results are qualitatively insensitive to other suitable choices (e.g., December–March in the SH).
Further evidence of the importance of this process can be inferred by contrasting the ease with which idealized simulations of dry atmospheres can spawn dry analogs of tropical cyclones with the time required for genesis in moist ones (Mrowiec et al. 2011).
Moist entropy is proportional to the natural logarithm of equivalent potential temperature θe. The precise definition we use to calculate s is given by Emanuel (1994, p. 120), which depends on water vapor mixing ratios r, relative humidity (hence, vapor pressure e), and latent heat of vaporization L, which vary slightly with temperature. Following the technique outlined in Korty and Schneider (2007), we first compute the vapor pressure and effective latent heat, using the relations of Simmons et al. (1999). These relations are based on saturation over ice and sublimation for temperatures colder than −23°C, on saturation over liquid water and vaporization for temperatures above 0°C, and on quadratic interpolations for temperatures in between.
We evaluate middle-tropospheric entropy using 600-hPa data and boundary layer entropy using 925 hPa. Surface saturation entropy is calculated from the SST and surface pressure.
We define the basins to include the regions most prone to genesis today, though the variability and deviations from the mean are not particularly sensitive to the precise boundaries selected. For the analysis here we defined the Atlantic to include all ocean points south of 31°N and west of 70°W to the North American continent as well as the strip of ocean between 8.5° and 20°N west of 20°W. The eastern Pacific includes all points both west of Central America and between 5° and 20°N, 85° and 125°W. The western Pacific was defined between 5° and 20°N, 110°E and 180°. The SH is defined between 5° and 20°S, 50°E and 130°W.
We define Smax from the reanalysis product to be the average of the years 1979–82, 1988–92, and 1999–2002 while Smin is the average over years 1984–87, 1994–97, and 2005–10. (Given the short duration of this period, we average over several years near each extremum). The peak of each solar cycle included in Smax from LM is taken as the local maximum in the TSI time series shown in Fig. 2, and the years for Smin are taken to be the minima that follow them. Intervals with low-amplitude or absent cycles in years surrounding the various solar minima (shown in gray in Fig. 2) were excluded.