Reduced tropical cyclone densities and ocean effects due to anthropogenic greenhouse warming

Journal: Science Advances

Published: 2020-12-01

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd5109

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 6

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Research Highlight

Fewer but fiercer tropical cyclones expected

© Warren Faidley/Corbis/Getty Images

© Warren Faidley/Corbis/Getty Images

Rising greenhouse gases could see tropical cyclones drop in number but rise in intensity.

Tropical cyclones are among the most deadly and destructive weather disasters. Predicting how they will respond to global warming is essential for limiting damage, but current climate models often underestimate critical interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere.

Now, a team led by researchers from the Institute for Basic Science has used an ultrahigh-resolution climate model to predict how tropical cyclones will respond to rising greenhouse gases.

Their model predicted that, while the number of cyclones would decrease globally, their intensity would increase.

According to the model, a quadrupling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would increase the average wind speed of cyclones that make landfall by 6%. In addition, storm rainfall would increase by 9.5% for every one degree rise in sea surface temperature.

These findings should inform climate adaptation efforts, particularly in coastal areas where flood risks are expected to rise.

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  1. Science Advances 6, eabd5109 (2020). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abd5109
Institutions Share
Division of Earth Science, IBS, South Korea 0.42
Pusan National University (PNU), South Korea 0.42
University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UH Mānoa), United States of America (USA) 0.17

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