Over the past two decades, the number of tropical cyclones (TCs) has decreased markedly in the southeastern part of the western North Pacific (WNP) as a component of the interdecadal variation. This decrease has partially been explained by an internal low-frequency variability of sea surface temperature (SST) in the Pacific, but influences of external forcing remain unclear. Here we show that past changes in sulfate aerosol emissions contributed approximately 60% of the observed decreasing trends in TC genesis frequency in the southeastern WNP for 1992–2011, using multiple simulations by a global climate model. This decrease was mainly attributed to the increased vertical wind shear and decreased low-level vorticity, associated with a trans-basin multidecadal SST change driven by aerosol forcing. The near-future projection shows that the aerosol forcing still has some potential influence on decadal TC change, but the projected decreasing frequency is mainly due to increasing greenhouse gases forcing.
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