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Impacts of hemispheric solar geoengineering on tropical cyclone frequency

Jones, A. C., Haywood, J. M., Dunstone, N., Emanuel, K., Hawcroft, M. K., Hodges, K. I. and Jones, A. (2017) Impacts of hemispheric solar geoengineering on tropical cyclone frequency. Nature Communications, 8 (1). 1382. ISSN 2041-1723

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01606-0

Abstract/Summary

Solar geoengineering refers to a range of proposed methods for counteracting global warming by artificially reducing sunlight at Earth’s surface. The most widely known SG proposal is stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) which has impacts analogous to those from volcanic eruptions. Observations following major volcanic eruptions indicate that aerosol enhancements confined to a single hemisphere effectively modulate North Atlantic tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the following years. Here we investigate the effects of both single-hemisphere and global SAI scenarios on North Atlantic TC activity using the HadGEM2-ES general circulation model and various TC identification methods. We show that a robust result from all of the methods is that SAI applied to the southern hemisphere would enhance TC frequency relative to a global SAI application, and vice versa for SAI in the northern hemisphere. Our results reemphasize the perils of regional geoengineering and should motivate policymakers to regulate large-scale unilateral geoengineering deployments.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:72899
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group

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