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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-112
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-112
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  22 Sep 2020

22 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Atlantic Hurricane response to Sahara greening and reduced dust emissions during the mid-Holocene

Samuel Dandoy1, Francesco S.R. Pausata1, Suzana J. Camargo2, René Laprise1, Katja Winger1, and Kerry Emanuel3 Samuel Dandoy et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • 2Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA
  • 3Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Abstract. We use a high-resolution regional climate model to investigate the changes in Atlantic tropical cyclone (TC) activity during a warm climate state, the mid-Holocene (MH: 6,000 yrs BP). This period was characterized by increased boreal summer insolation, a vegetated Sahara, and reduced airborne dust concentrations. A set of sensitivity experiments were conducted in which solar insolation, vegetation and dust concentrations were changed in turn to disentangle their impacts on TC activity. Results show that the greening of the Sahara and reduced dust loadings (MHGS+RD) lead to a larger increase in the number of Atlantic TCs (27 %) relative to the pre-industrial climate (PI) than the orbital forcing alone (MHPMIP; 9 %). The TC seasonality is also highly modified in the MH climate, showing a decrease in TC activity during the beginning of the hurricane season (June to August), with a shift of its maximum towards October and November in the MHGS+RD experiment relative to PI. MH experiments simulate stronger hurricanes compared to PI, similar to future projections. Moreover, they suggest longer lasting cyclones relative to PI. Our results also show that changes in the African Easterly Waves are not relevant in altering the frequency and intensity of TCs, but they may shift the location of their genesis. This work highlights the importance of considering vegetation and dust changes over the Sahara region when investigating TC activity under a different climate state.

Samuel Dandoy et al.

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Samuel Dandoy et al.

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Short summary
This study analyse the impacts of changing vegetation and atmospheric dust concentrations over an area that is currently desert (the Sahara) to investigate their impacts on tropical cyclone activity during a warm climate state, the mid-Holocene. Our results suggest a significant change in Atlantic TCs frequency, intensity and seasonality when considering the effects of a warmer climate in a greener world. They also highlight the importance of considering these factors in future climate studies.
This study analyse the impacts of changing vegetation and atmospheric dust concentrations over...
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