Tropical cyclones are likely to become rarer, overall, in response to climate change, but the most severe cyclones are consistently projected to occur more frequently, concludes a Review article published online this week in Nature Geoscience. With the more intense storms comes an increase of precipitation in the storm centre
Tom Knutson and colleagues from the World Meteorological Organization's Expert Team on Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change reviewed publications on past tropical cyclone activity and future projections. They concluded that past changes in hurricane activity cannot be distinguished from natural variability, mainly because of incomplete records and large natural fluctuations over time. However, future projections consistently point to an increase in the most severe tropical cyclones as the climate warms further.