Greater frequency variability of landfalling tropical cyclones at centennial compared to seasonal and decadal scales

Nott, Jonathan, Haig, Jordahna, Neil, Helen, and Gillieson, David (2007) Greater frequency variability of landfalling tropical cyclones at centennial compared to seasonal and decadal scales. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 255 (3-4). pp. 367-372.

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Assessing risk from tropical cyclones and predicting the impact of this hazard under a human altered climate is based exclusively upon the behaviour of these events over the past 50–100 yr and often less. Critical to these determinations is an understanding of the full extent of the natural variability of this hazard. The coarse resolution of millennial scale sedimentary records, brevity of the instrumental register, imprecision of longer historical accounts and lack of any long-term, high resolution records has led to the assumption that the total variability of tropical cyclone behaviour is encompassed within the seasonal to multi-decadal oscillations observed to date. We present a near 800 yr long, annual resolution isotope record of tropical cyclones in northeast Australia which displays marked centennial scale regimes. Our record demonstrates that the frequency variability of intense landfalling cyclones is greatest at centennial scale compared to seasonal and decadal oscillations. Switching between centennial scale regimes in this record occurred rapidly (10–20 yr) highlighting the importance of accounting for this phenomenon in coastal planning and risk assessment. Our study highlights the importance of obtaining high resolution multi-century records of tropical cyclone activity in order to more accurately assess future impacts of this hazard to human society.

Item ID: 2482
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1385-013X
Keywords: tropical cyclones; centennial scale regimes; isotopes; high resolution records
Date Deposited: 07 May 2009 06:37
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0499 Other Earth Sciences > 049999 Earth Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040601 Geomorphology and Regolith and Landscape Evolution @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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