The intensity of tropical cyclones may be impacted by large volcanic eruptions

The intensity of tropical cyclones may be impacted by large volcanic eruptions

Article written by Amara Huddleston, MAPP Communications Specialist

Volcanic eruptions have been found to impact the intensity of tropical cyclone activity for up to four years following an eruption. Understanding how tropical cyclone activity will be affected by large volcanic eruptions will allow communities to better prepare for the consequences of an extreme event. In a new PNAS article, Francesco Pausata and Suzana Camargo, a MAPP-funded principal investigator, investigated the impacts of volcanic eruptions on tropical cyclone activity using a set of sensitivity modeling experiments. These experiments showed that volcanic eruptions shifted the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the area where the trade winds of the Northern and Southern hemisphere converge, which causes sea surface temperature anomalies to emerge and cause changes to the potential intensity of tropical cyclones.

Francesco S. R. Pausata, Suzana J. Camargo. 2019. Tropical cyclone activity affected by volcanically induced ITCZ shifts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1900777116

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The Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program is a competitive research program in NOAA Research's Climate Program Office. MAPP's mission is to enhance the Nation's and NOAA's capability to understand, predict, and project variability and long-term changes in Earth's system and mitigate human and economic impacts. To achieve its mission, MAPP supports foundational research, transition of research to applications, and engagement across other parts of NOAA, among partner agencies, and with the external research community. MAPP plays a crucial role in enabling national preparedness for extreme events like drought and longer-term climate changes. For more information, please visit www.cpo.noaa.gov/MAPP.

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