Surface wind and temperature records from the European Centre for Medium- Range Weather Forecasts 40 Year Reanalysis (ERA-40) Project are used to estimate low-frequency variations in globally integrated tropical cyclone (TC) intensity from 1958 to 2001. For the first time, the annually integrated power dissipation (PD) is explicitly calculated on a global scale, and results show an upward trend in PD during much of the ERA-40 project period, although we argue this is at least partially due to limitations in cyclone representation in ERA-40. Comparing our estimated trend in PD with Emanuel's (2005) approximation to PD reveals good agreement after 1978, coinciding with the onset of a major satellite observing-system epoch in ERA-40. The low pass (>60 months) filtered PD time series correlates with mean annual tropical temperature, thus this result is consistent with the hypothesis that tropical temperatures may directly regulate the integrated intensity of TCs.


Originally published by AGU Publications, in Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1029/2006GL026167

Manuscript Received: 27 February 2006

Manuscript Accepted: 1 May 2006

Version of record online: 8 June 2006


Climate dynamics, Climate variability

Date of this Version