Projections at global or ocean-basin scale indicate a future decrease in the number of tropical cyclones in northern Australia, but an increase in the proportion of high intensity storms. What is less certain is how well downscaled cyclone projections from global climate models represent cyclone characteristics that determine impacts at reef scale, for example size and speed of the cyclone, and the duration in any one place. Using three regions in northern Australia as case studies, researchers assessed the skill of climate models to simulate key cyclone characteristics at smaller spatial scales, finding some models project a future increase in cyclone characteristics that cause reef damage, and others projected a decrease. There were also regional differences in how well the simulated tropical cyclones captured observed cyclone characteristics.
Read more: Dixon, A.M, Puotinen, M., Ramsay, H.A., Beger, M., (2022) Coral Reef Exposure to Damaging Tropical Cyclone Waves in a Warming Climate, Earth’s Future, https://doi.org/10.1029/2021EF002600