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Published online: 21 February 2010 | doi:10.1038/ngeo779
Tropical cyclones and climate change
Thomas R. Knutson1, John L. McBbride2, Johnny Chan3, Kerry Emanuel4, Greg Holland5, Chris Landsea6, Isaac Held1, James P. Kossin7, A. K. Srivastava8 & Masato Sugi9
Whether the characteristics of tropical cyclones have changed or will change in a warming climate — and if so, how — has been the subject of considerable investigation, often with conflicting results. Large amplitude fluctuations in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones greatly complicate both the detection of long-term trends and their attribution to rising levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Trend detection is further impeded by substantial limitations in the availability and quality of global historical records of tropical cyclones. Therefore, it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone activity have exceeded the variability expected from natural causes. However, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100. Existing modelling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6–34%. Balanced against this, higher resolution modelling studies typically project substantial increases in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of 20% in the precipitation rate within 100 km of the storm centre. For all cyclone parameters, projected changes for individual basins show large variations between different modelling studies.
"We've really come a long way in the last two years about our knowledge of the hurricane and climate issue," said study co-author Chris Landsea, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration top hurricane researcher.
Top researchers now agree that the world is likely to get stronger but fewer hurricanes in the future because of global warming, seeming to settle a scientific debate on the subject. But they say there's not enough evidence yet to tell whether that effect has already begun.
Originally posted by Copperflower
Thanks for the excellent reporting!
Originally posted by melatonin
However, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100.
Just out of curiosity, are these the same people who said that we would have a much more violent hurricane season the last 3 years due to "Global Warming"?