Recent poleward shift of tropical cyclone formation linked to Hadley cell expansion

Sharmila, S. and Walsh, K. J. E. (2018) Recent poleward shift of tropical cyclone formation linked to Hadley cell expansion. Nature Climate Change, 8 (8). pp. 730-736. ISSN 1758-678X


Recent research indicates that the annual-mean locations of tropical cyclones have migrated toward higher latitudes. Concurrently, an anthropogenically forced tropical expansion has been observed, yet the connection between the two processes remains little-explored. Here, using observational and reanalysis data, we investigate how large-scale dynamical effects, combined with coherent changes in the regional Hadley circulation, explain recent changes in regional tropical cyclone genesis over 1980–2014. We show that the recent anomalous upper-level weakening of the rising branch of the Hadley circulation in the deep tropics, possibly induced by the increased vertical stability, has likely suppressed the low-latitude tropical cyclone genesis in most ocean basins via anomalous large-scale subsidence. Regional Hadley circulation variations have also favoured a poleward displacement of tropical-cyclone-favourable climate conditions through poleward shift of the Hadley circulation’s meridional extent. With projections indicating continued tropical expansion, these results indicate that tropical cyclone genesis will also continue to shift poleward, potentially increasing tropical-cyclone-related hazards in higher-latitude regions.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2019 04:50
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2019 05:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: tropical cyclone; hurricane; TC frequency
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040104 Climate Change Processes
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040102 Atmospheric Dynamics
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040107 Meteorology
04 Earth Sciences > 0405 Oceanography > 040599 Oceanography not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0227-5

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