Intensity of prehistoric tropical cyclones

Nott, Jonathan F. (2003) Intensity of prehistoric tropical cyclones. Journal of Geophysical Research: atmospheres, 108 (D7). 4212. - .

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Abstract

Prediction of future tropical cyclone climate scenarios requires identification of quasi-periodicities at a variety of temporal scales. Extension of records to identify trends at century and millennial scales is important, but to date the emerging field of paleotempestology has been hindered by the lack of a suitable methodology to discern the intensity of prehistoric storms. Here a technique to quantify the central pressure of prehistoric tropical cyclones is presented in detail and demonstrated for the tropical southwest Pacific region. The importance of extending records to century time scales is highlighted for northeast Australia, where a virtual absence of category 5 cyclones during the 20th century stands in contrast to an active period of severe cyclogenesis during the previous century. Several land crossing storms during the 19th century achieved central pressures lower than that ever recorded historically and close to the theoretical thermodynamic limit of storms for the region. This technique can be applied to all tropical and subtropical regions globally and will assist in obtaining more realistic predictions for future storm scenarios with implications for insurance premiums, urban and infrastructural design, and emergency planning.

Item ID: 6598
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0148–0227
Keywords: Cairns; cyclone deposits; paleotempestology; prehistoric tropical cyclones; Quaternary storms; Queensland
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Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2010 06:13
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120599 Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified @ 51%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 49%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 51%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960202 Atmospheric Processes and Dynamics @ 49%
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