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Are Tropical Cyclones Really Slowing Down?

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Wednesday, 10 October 2018, 12:00


Wednesday, October 10, 2018. 12:00PM. Are Tropical Cyclones Really Slowing Down? John Lanzante, GFDL. Sponsored by NOAA GFDL. More information here.


A recent study by James Kossin examined the speed of movement of tropical cyclones. He concluded that over about the past 70 years tropical cyclones have slowed their movement by about 10%. Hurricane Harvey, whose devastation was due in large part to its slow movement, provided timely motivation for this work. Also, prior studies suggest slower movement due to anthropogenic climate change. In this seminar I present a reexamination of the data and conclude that most if not all of the apparent slowdown is likely due to a combination of natural internal variability and observational artifacts. In particular, the limited observing capabilities during the pre-satellite era have probably biased the climate record, rendering a spurious decrease in estimated tropical cyclone translation speed.



Location  NOAA GFDL, Smagorinsky Seminar Room, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ