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TROPICAL CYCLONES

Vietnam coastline threats

Int. J. Climatol. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.6348 (2019)

For tropical cyclones (TCs) approaching coastlines, predicting their intensity and destructive potential is important in forecasting and risk management. Sea surface temperature (SST) is a useful proxy for maximum TC intensity, but this relationship varies across ocean basins. In addition, theoretical maximum TC intensity predicted by SSTs differs from actual TC intensity, highlighting the need to explore these relationships regionally.

Credit: Stocktrek Images/Stocktrek Images/GETTY

Nguyen Thi Thanh from the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change and co-authors working in Vietnam and the USA analysed SST and TC intensity during 1982–2016 in the South China Sea, where these storms approach Vietnam. They find that this region exhibits less SST variability and higher SSTs relative to other ocean basins that produce TCs, and that maximum TC intensity shows a different SST dependence, with a peak in its distribution at about 29 °C. These results also support positive trends in regional SST and TC intensity over the past three decades — an uptick consistent with climate change simulations.

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Correspondence to Baird Langenbrunner.

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Langenbrunner, B. Vietnam coastline threats. Nat. Clim. Chang. 9, 801 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0625-3

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