International Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

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Precise Prediction of Hurricane Power vs Ocean Temperature

Received: 7 December 2020    Accepted: 9 January 2021    Published: 23 February 2021
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Abstract

It has long been known that hurricanes, the strongest and most destructive atmospheric events, do not occur below a sea surface temperature near 26 C. The detailed dependence of hurricane power on ocean temperature is of increasing interest and concern in the prospect of continuing global warming. The hurricane power was usefully quantified by Emanuel in 2005 with the definition and tabulations of the power dissipation index, PDI. This is the integral over the relevant sea areas of the cube of the maximum windspeed, representiting the power dissipated over one year. In his important 2005 paper Emanuel found that the PDI for the North Atlantic increased strongly in recent decades and showed in plots a close correlation of PDI with sea surface temperature. A critical temperature Tc, and a linear T-Tc power law dependence, typical of a continuous phase transition, for hurricanes have prcviously (Wolf, 2020) been inferred from plots of the power dissipation index PDI vs sea surface temperature T. This implies that tropical cyclone formation can usefully be regarded as a second order phase transition of the warm ocean-atmosphere system, driven by disequilibrium in atmospheric water content. We here show that the theory of phase transitions allows a precise prediction of the temperature dependence of hurricane power and windspeed on ocean surface temperature. We find that the wind velocity transition of the hurricane is in the same universality class as the Ising Model, the uniaxial antiferromagenet and the vapor- liquid transition of simple fluids, and shares their critical exponent. An implication for the applicability of potential intensity theory is noted.

DOI 10.11648/j.ijaos.20210501.11
Published in International Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (Volume 5, Issue 1, June 2021)
Page(s) 1-5
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

Tropical Cyclone, Power, PDI, Critical Temperature, Universality Class, ISING Model, Continuous Phase Transition

References
[1] Palmén, E., 1948: On the formation and structure of tropical hurricanes. Geophysica, 3, 26-39.
[2] Wolf, E. (2020) “Critical Behavior of Tropical Cyclones”, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 139 (3) 1231.
[3] K. Emanuel, Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature 436, 68 (2005).
[4] Kerry Emanuel, Environmental factors affecting tropical cyclone power dissipation. J. Climate 20, 5497 (2007).
[5] Nigel Goldenfeld, Lectures on Phase Transitions and the Renormalization Group. Taylor and Francis (1992). See Section 5.3.
[6] Emanuel, Kerry (2018) “100 Years of Progress in Tropical Cyclone Research”, Ch. 15 in AMS Monographs, Vol. 59 (American Meteorological Society).
[7] Wilson, K. (1983) “The renormalization group and critical phenomena” Reviews of Modern Physics 55, 583.
[8] Peters, O. M. and J. D. Neelin. (2006) Critical phenomena in atmospheric precipitation. Nature Physics 2, 393.
[9] Neelin, J., Peters, O., Lin, J., Hales, K., and Holloway, C. (2008) “Rethinking Convective Quasi-equilibrium: observational constraints for stochastic convective schemes in climate models” Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. A 366, 2581.
[10] Peters, O. and Neelin, J. (2009) “Atmospheric Convection as a Continuous Phase Transition: Further Evidence” Int. J. Mod. Phys. B 23, 5453.
[11] Polisetto, A. and Vicari, E. (2002) “Critical Phenomena and Renormalization Group Theory” Physics Reports 368, 547.
[12] L. M. Holmes, L. G. Van Uitert, and G. W. Hull (1971). “Magnetoelectric effect and critical behavior in the Ising-like antiferromagnet DyAlO3” Solid State Communications 9, 1373.
[13] R. Dare and J. L. McBride. The threshold sea surface temperature condition for tropical cyclogenesis. J. of Climate 24, 4570-4576 (2011).
[14] Smith, R., Montgomery, M., and Van Sang, N. (2009) “Tropical cyclone spin-up revisited” Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 135, 1321.
[15] Smith, R and Montgomery, M. (2016). “Understanding Hurricanes” Weather 71, 219.
Cite This Article
  • APA Style

    Edward Wolf. (2021). Precise Prediction of Hurricane Power vs Ocean Temperature. International Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, 5(1), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijaos.20210501.11

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    ACS Style

    Edward Wolf. Precise Prediction of Hurricane Power vs Ocean Temperature. Int. J. Atmos. Oceanic Sci. 2021, 5(1), 1-5. doi: 10.11648/j.ijaos.20210501.11

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    AMA Style

    Edward Wolf. Precise Prediction of Hurricane Power vs Ocean Temperature. Int J Atmos Oceanic Sci. 2021;5(1):1-5. doi: 10.11648/j.ijaos.20210501.11

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  • @article{10.11648/j.ijaos.20210501.11,
      author = {Edward Wolf},
      title = {Precise Prediction of Hurricane Power vs Ocean Temperature},
      journal = {International Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences},
      volume = {5},
      number = {1},
      pages = {1-5},
      doi = {10.11648/j.ijaos.20210501.11},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijaos.20210501.11},
      eprint = {https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ijaos.20210501.11},
      abstract = {It has long been known that hurricanes, the strongest and most destructive atmospheric events, do not occur below a sea surface temperature near 26 C. The detailed dependence of hurricane power on ocean temperature is of increasing interest and concern in the prospect of continuing global warming. The hurricane power was usefully quantified by Emanuel in 2005 with the definition and tabulations of the power dissipation index, PDI. This is the integral over the relevant sea areas of the cube of the maximum windspeed, representiting the power dissipated over one year. In his important 2005 paper Emanuel found that the PDI for the North Atlantic increased strongly in recent decades and showed in plots a close correlation of PDI with sea surface temperature. A critical temperature Tc, and a linear T-Tc power law dependence, typical of a continuous phase transition, for hurricanes have prcviously (Wolf, 2020) been inferred from plots of the power dissipation index PDI vs sea surface temperature T. This implies that tropical cyclone formation can usefully be regarded as a second order phase transition of the warm ocean-atmosphere system, driven by disequilibrium in atmospheric water content. We here show that the theory of phase transitions allows a precise prediction of the temperature dependence of hurricane power and windspeed on ocean surface temperature. We find that the wind velocity transition of the hurricane is in the same universality class as the Ising Model, the uniaxial antiferromagenet and the vapor- liquid transition of simple fluids, and shares their critical exponent. An implication for the applicability of potential intensity theory is noted.},
     year = {2021}
    }
    

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    AB  - It has long been known that hurricanes, the strongest and most destructive atmospheric events, do not occur below a sea surface temperature near 26 C. The detailed dependence of hurricane power on ocean temperature is of increasing interest and concern in the prospect of continuing global warming. The hurricane power was usefully quantified by Emanuel in 2005 with the definition and tabulations of the power dissipation index, PDI. This is the integral over the relevant sea areas of the cube of the maximum windspeed, representiting the power dissipated over one year. In his important 2005 paper Emanuel found that the PDI for the North Atlantic increased strongly in recent decades and showed in plots a close correlation of PDI with sea surface temperature. A critical temperature Tc, and a linear T-Tc power law dependence, typical of a continuous phase transition, for hurricanes have prcviously (Wolf, 2020) been inferred from plots of the power dissipation index PDI vs sea surface temperature T. This implies that tropical cyclone formation can usefully be regarded as a second order phase transition of the warm ocean-atmosphere system, driven by disequilibrium in atmospheric water content. We here show that the theory of phase transitions allows a precise prediction of the temperature dependence of hurricane power and windspeed on ocean surface temperature. We find that the wind velocity transition of the hurricane is in the same universality class as the Ising Model, the uniaxial antiferromagenet and the vapor- liquid transition of simple fluids, and shares their critical exponent. An implication for the applicability of potential intensity theory is noted.
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Author Information
  • Department of Applied Physics, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, USA

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