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Are Hurricanes Getting Stronger Because of Climate Change? Weather Analysis


Blend Images – REB Images / Getty Images Are hurricanes getting stronger in our warming world? Given that climate change is affecting everything from droughts to sea levels , it may come as little surprise that the answer is “yes.” Here, we explore the latest research, how hurricanes are measured, and what we can expect in the future. How Hurricanes Are Intensifying

A study examining global trends in tropical cyclone intensity over the past four decades found that Category 3, 4, and 5 “major” hurricanes have increased by 8% per decade, globally—meaning they’re now nearly a third more likely to occur. Zoom in on the Atlantic Ocean alone, and this increase climbs to a whopping 49% per decade.

In addition to making the strongest storms stronger, climate change is also causing rapid intensification (that is, the increase in maximum sustained winds of 35 mph or more within a 24-hour period) of storms. According to a 2019 study in Nature Communications , the 24-hour intensification rates of the strongest 5% of Atlantic hurricanes increased by 3-4 mph per decade between 1982 and 2009.

And with trends in global average temperatures projected to increase into the 2050s and beyond, hurricanes and the […]

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