Impacts of Tropical Cyclones on Longleaf Pine Ecosystems of Florida -…
Impacts of Tropical Cyclones on Longleaf Pine Ecosystems of Florida
"The destructive forces of tropical cyclones are manifold, including high winds, excessive rain, and storm surge, with the latter two often combining to create extensive, deep flooding."
an especially important problem in Florida
high rate of population growth
highest ratio of shoreline to surface area of all fifty statesQ
second lowest mean elevation among all fifty states
longleaf pine is major Florida forest type, covering most of the state
exhibit extremely high plant diversity in ground cover
loss of biodiversity--only covers 3% of original range, current stands important
"It is possible that the current trend of increasing air and ocean temperatures related to anthropogenic climate change may be having an impact on the frequency of tropical cyclones [because] the main source of energy needed to create and sustain tropical cyclones is heat absorbed by and released from surface ocean water."
TROPICAL CYCLONES: EFFECTS ON LONGLEAF PINE IN FLORIDA
Longleaf pines represent a disturbance-maintained ecosystem, based on fire.
maintained in open savanna-like physiognomy in typical fire frequencies
hardwood species establish and inhibit longleaf reproduction in absence of fire
"Tropical cyclones influence the overstory directly via wind-caused damage and mortality, indirectly influencing ground cover by changing the spatial distribution of shading and litter accumulation."
this suggests that "tropical cyclones comprise an integral component of longleaf pine ecosystems"
"some global climate change scenarios have suggested increases in both frequency and intensity of future events, thus greatly affecting pine stands, and ultimately entire pine savanna ecosystems"
"By directly comparing pre-versus post-storm data at four sites within the impacted area, [it was] concluded that such high intensity storms [as Cat 5 Michael] reduced the extent of mature longleaf habitat, a reduction that threatens both the innately high biodiversity of these hotespots, as well as the existence of endangered species endemic to the habitat."
Big Question: "What existential threat is posed by tropical cyclones that may increase in frequency and intensity with climate warming?"
High Sea Surface Temperature
High Relative Humidity in the Mid-Troposphere
Large Surface-to-500 mb Lapse Rates of Equivalent Potential Temperature
Small Tropospheric Vertical Wind Shear
High Low-Level Relative Velocity
Sufficiently High Coriolis Force
TROPICAL CYCLONE FREQUENCIES AND FLORIDA LANDFALL EVENTS
North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), El Nino/La Nina cycles, Atlantic multidecadal oscillation
plays a significant role in whether tropical cyclones make landfall in Eastern United States
Florida experiences a relatively high number of landfall tropical cyclones because of its location; 40% of all landfall hurricanes in United States have hit Florida
TROPICAL CYCLONES AND CLIMATE CHANGE
"Recent work has suggested a direct connection between warming-enhanced increases in surface temperatures and increases in frequency/intensity of tropical cyclones