Journal Highlights

Assessing sensitivities in algorithmic detection of tropical cyclones in climate data

Editors’ Highlight—

This is a valuable research study that presents a sensitivity analysis for evaluating model input definitions in an automated algorithm for detecting tropical cyclones (TCs) in climate datasets. As emphasized by the authors, multiple tracking techniques are currently used when examining TC changes between the current climate and global warming scenarios. Although broadly similar, slight variations in the TC detection and tracking methods can lead to differences in performance, as well as discrepancies in the magnitude and direction of change in TC statistics, such as number of TCs, number of TC days, and accumulated cyclone energy. Therefore, it is crucial to develop optimized techniques to track TCs that can be more consistently applied across multiple research studies to facilitation model intercomparisons and reduce the artificial noise due imperfect tracking algorithms.  The results of this paper could substantially shorten the time it takes for others to track TCs in climate models. As this is a particularly time/computing intensive endeavor, anything to reduce the load but improve the outcome is worthy of highlighting as a special significance.  

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Featured Special Collection

A Census of Atmospheric Variability from Seconds to Decades 

The atmosphere varies naturally on all length scales from millimeters to thousands of kilometers, and on all time scales from seconds to decades and longer.  This special collection of Geophysical Research Letters synthesizes and summarizes that variability through a phenomenological census.  The collection brings together some of the most influential and definitive papers to have been published in this journal in recent years.  The topics covered include turbulence on time scales of seconds and minutes, gravity waves on time scales of hours, weather systems on time scales of days, atmospheric blocking on time scales of weeks, the Madden–Julian Oscillation on time scales of months, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and El Niño–Southern Oscillation on time scales of years, and the North Atlantic, Arctic, Antarctic, Pacific Decadal, and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillations on time scales of decades.  The collection is accompanied by a Commentary article, which provides an authoritative, concise, and accessible point of reference for the most important modes of atmospheric variability.

A Census of Atmospheric Variability from Seconds to Decades