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Title: Interannual and interdecadal variations of tropical cyclone activity in the South China Sea
Other Titles: Nan Hai re dai qi xuan nian ji ji nian dai ji de bian hua
Authors: Goh, Andy Zung Ching (葛崇正)
Department: Department of Physics and Materials Science
Degree: Master of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Cyclones -- Tropics.
Typhoons -- South China Sea.
Notes: xxii, 183 leaves : ill. 30 cm.
Thesis (M.Phil.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 172-183)
CityU Call Number: QC948 .G64 2008
Type: thesis
Abstract: It has been known that tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the Western North Pacific (WNP) is modulated by ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation), a periodic change in the sea surface temperature west of Peru that affects large scale atmospheric circulations. Since TC formation and its subsequent movement are dependent on these circulations, a lot of effort has been put into studying the relation between ENSO and TC activity in WNP. However, such studies have been lacking in the South China Sea (SCS). This study aims to fill this gap by examining whether the factors affecting TC activities in WNP can be extended to the SCS. TC activity in the SCS are analysed, and their relationship to different atmospheric phenomena are investigated. These include both ENSO and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), a change in North Pacific sea surface temperature similar to ENSO, and the combined effect of both. Results indicate that the total number of TCs and number entering SCS from WNP (ENT) are less during El Niño (EN) and more during La Niña (LN), while the number formed inside the SCS (FORM) is unaffected. Positive (Negative) phase of PDO generally favours less (more) TCs in all categories, while their combined effects have even more extreme effects on TC number. An explanation for this seems to lie in the effects ENSO and PDO have on the factors affecting TC behaviour, which in turn causes conditions in the WNP to become favourable or unfavourable for TC genesis and movement into the SCS. Eight factors are chosen for each case (ENT and FORM in early and late seasons) through stepwise regression technique, and they are very good representation of the actual situations (all correlation coefficients above 0.9). It is hoped that with the variations in TC behaviour explained, a more accurate prediction of TC occurrences in the SCS could become possible in the future.
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