Description: Previous research has identified links between changes in sea surface temperature (SST) and hurricane intensity. We use climate models to study the possible causes of SST changes in Atlantic and Pacific tropical cyclogenesis regions. The observed SST increases in these regions range from 0.32 to 0.67 C over the 20th century. The 22 climate models examined here suggest that century-timescale SST changes of this magnitude cannot be explained solely by unforced variability of the climate system, even under conservative assumptions regarding the magnitude of this variability. Model simulations that include external forcing by combined anthropogenic and natural factors are generally capable of replicating observed SST changes in both tropical cyclogenesis regions.
Date: January 31, 2006
Creator: Santer, B.D.; Wigley, T.M.L.; Gleckler, P.J.; Bonfils, C.; Wehner, M.F.; AchutaRao, K. et al.
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