Impacts of climate change on tropical cyclones and induced storm surges in the Pearl River Delta region using pseudo-global-warming method

Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 6;10(1):1965. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-58824-8.


We have investigated changes of western North Pacific land-falling tropical cyclone (TC) characteristics due to warmer climate conditions, using the pseudo-global-warming (PGW) technique. Historical simulations of three intense TCs making landfall in Pearl River Delta (PRD) were first conducted using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The same cases were then re-simulated by superimposing near- (2015-2039) and far- (2075-2099) future temperature and humidity changes onto the background climate; these changes were derived from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) multi-model projections according to the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario. Peak intensities of TCs (maximum surface wind in their lifetimes) are expected to increase by ~ (3) 10% in the (near) far future. Further experiments indicate that surface warming alone acts to intensify TCs by enhancing sea surface heat flux, while warmer atmosphere acts in the opposite way by increasing the stability. In the far future, associated storm surges are also estimated to increase by about 8.5%, computed by the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model. Combined with sea level rise and estimated land vertical displacement, TC-induced storm tide affecting PRD will increase by ~1 m in the future 2075-2099 period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't