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Publication Date
28 January 2019

Exploring the Impact of Dust on North Atlantic Hurricanes in a High-Resolution Climate Model



The relationship between African dust and the climatology of tropical cyclones (TCs) in the North Atlantic is explored using the Community Atmosphere Model at a global horizontal resolution of 28 km. A simulation in which the aerosol model is modified to significantly reduce the amount of airborne dust is compared to a standard simulation. The simulation with reduced dust increases TC frequency globally, with the largest increase occurring in the North Atlantic. The increase in TC activity in the North Atlantic is consistent with an environment that is more conducive for the genesis and intensification of storms. TCs are more frequent (27%) and on average significantly longer lived (13%) in the low dust configuration but only slightly stronger (3%). This results in a 57% increase in accumulated cyclone energy per hurricane season on average. This work has implications for projections of future climate and resulting changes in TC activity.

“Exploring The Impact Of Dust On North Atlantic Hurricanes In A High-Resolution Climate Model”. 2019. Geophysical Research Letters 46: 1105-1112. doi:10.1029/2018gl080642.
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