As the evidence for climate change continues to grow, revealing the complexities in which the atmosphere-ocean system is responding to the change, it becomes more important to determine how particular phenomena in the regional scale are going to evolve under a new climate. One example of such regional phenomena are tropical cyclones, that can cause large devastation in vulnerable areas in the tropical regions of the Americas. Given that tropical cyclones are not yet completely understood, there is a need to coordinate the efforts currently in progress at different agencies and universities to achieve a better understanding. A three year project is proposed here to improve current knowledge on some aspects of tropical cyclone intensification and evolution in a critical region of the Earth: the Eastern Tropical Pacific, where the largest number of tropical cyclones form each year per unit area. The project includes climatological, phenomenological and modeling studies to better understand the conditions that lead to tropical cyclogenesis and intensification. The potential for changes in cyclone formation and the characteristics of their intensification under a warmer climate will also be addressed, utilizing the results from the global climate simulations currently being run for the Fourth Assessment Report (4AR) of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).

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Project CRNII-048
Tropical Cyclones: Current  Characteristics and Potential Changes Under a Warmer Climate
Hurricane Pauline, October, 1997, Image took from
the Laboratory for atmospheres, NASA-GSFC