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LONDON (Reuters) - British researchers say they have shown that a half-degree Celsius temperature rise in the Atlantic ocean can fuel a 40 percent increase in hurricanes.
The finding by the team from University College London is a contentious one in the debate over how climate change affects weather and, especially, storms.
"A 0.5 degree C increase in sea surface temperature is associated with a 40 percent increase in hurricane frequency and activity," the British researchers wrote in their report, published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.
The team showed ocean warming is directly linked to the frequency, strength and duration of hurricanes, said Adam Lea, the research scientist who co-led the study.