Scientists link climate change and cyclones

Extreme Weather

Scientists link climate change and cyclones

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The rise of global temperatures over the past four decades has led to a higher likelihood of more violent tropical storms, according to a new study

A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), published in May and analyzing satellite data going back to 1979, indicates that rising global temperatures have increased the chances of a cyclone reaching an intensity of Category 3 or higher by an alarming 8% per decade. This means that storms such as Cyclone Amphan, which ravaged the coasts of India and Bangladesh in mid-May, will become increasingly common. Observational evidence suggests that warmer ocean temperatures are to blame for the worsening storms, according to a recent New York Times report.

NOAA researcher James P. Kossin told the Times that previous data regarding this trend had been inconclusive. Kossin said he and his colleagues overcame the limitations of prior studies by expanding the scope of their research to include an additional 10 years of data. They also expanded their scope beyond North America, observing tropical storms worldwide.

“The trend is there and it is real,” Kossin told the New York Times. “There’s this remarkable building of this body of evidence that we’re making these storms more deleterious.”