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Intensity of tropical cyclones is probably increasing due to climate change


Many tropical cyclone-prone regions of the world are expected to experience storm systems of greater intensity over the coming century, according to a review of research published today in ScienceBrief Review .

Moreover, sea level rise will aggravate coastal flood risk from tropical cyclones and other phenomena, even if the tropical cyclones themselves do not change at all. Models also project an increase in future tropical-cyclone precipitation rates, which could further elevate the risk of flooding.

Researchers at Princeton University, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the University of East Anglia (UEA) examined more than 90 peer-reviewed articles to assess whether human activity is influencing tropical cyclones, including tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons. The studies showed growing evidence that climate change is probably fuelling more powerful hurricanes and typhoons, a trend that is expected to continue as global temperatures rise, amounting to a roughly 5 per cent increase in maximum wind speeds if the globe warms by 2 degrees Celsius.

The influence of climate change on tropical cyclones has been notoriously difficult to separate from natural variability. But an increasingly consistent picture is emerging that suggests human activities are probably influencing some aspects of these extreme weather events, although […]

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