Pseudo-climate modelling study on projected changes in extreme extratropical cyclones, storm waves and surges under CMIP5 multi-model ensemble: Baltic Sea perspective

Martin Mäll, Ryota Nakamura, Ülo Suursaar, Tomoya Shibayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In order to estimate the possible parameters of future extreme extratropical cyclones (ETCs), a pseudo-climate modelling study of three historical storms originating from the Atlantic Ocean and one from the Black Sea area was performed using multi-model approach considering IPCC emission scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 for the twenty-first century. Applying Weather Research and Forecasting atmosphere model (WRF), Finite Volume Community Ocean model (FVCOM-SWAVE) and the Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) model, the changes in initial conditions in atmospheric air temperature, sea surface temperature and relative humidity were considered on the basis of 14 CMIP5 general circulation models ensemble. According to the future scenario results, no notable changes are expected in minimum atmospheric pressure within the ETCs of the future; however, the low pressure area was slightly larger and the strong wind zone was extending further south with greater peak wind speeds in the future (year 2081–2100) simulations. This, in turn, yielded a small surge height increase at Pärnu under RCP4.5 scenario; however, under RCP8.5 scenario the surge increase was up to 22–59 cm. Westerly approaching ETCs will bring more precipitation to the Baltic Sea area in the (warmer) future. In case of a southerly cyclone, the results were more mixed. An insignificant increase in wave heights during extreme storm conditions occurred. Although RCP8.5 future scenario is usually considered as unrealistic, the results of this study still suggest that the extreme ETCs may become more dangerous in the future, although probably not as certainly as tropical cyclones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-99
Number of pages33
JournalNatural Hazards
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Cyclone tracks
  • ETC
  • FVCOM-SWAVE
  • Precipitation
  • Sea level
  • Storm surge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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