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Sunday, August 16, 2009

McCabe, Clark & Serreze, J. Climate, Trends in Northern Hemisphere surface cyclone frequency and intensity

Journal of Climate, Vol. 14, No. 12, pp. 2763-2768 (June 2001); DOI: 10.1175/1520-0442(2001)014<2763:tinhsc>2.0.CO;2

Trends in Northern Hemisphere surface cyclone frequency and intensity

Gregory J. McCabe (U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO, U.S.A.), Martyn P. Clark and Mark C. Serreze (Cryospheric and Polar Processes Division, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, U.S.A.)

(Manuscript received July 27, 2000, in final form November 20, 2000.)


One of the hypothesized effects of global warming from increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases is a change in the frequency and/or intensity of extratropical cyclones. In this study, winter frequencies and intensities of extratropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere for the period 1959–97 are examined to determine if identifiable trends are occurring. Results indicate a statistically significant decrease in midlatitude cyclone frequency and a significant increase in high-latitude cyclone frequency. In addition, storm intensity has increased in both the high and midlatitudes. The changes in storm frequency correlate with changes in winter Northern Hemisphere temperature and support hypotheses that global warming may result in a northward shift of storm tracks in the Northern Hemisphere.

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