Climate change is probably increasing the intensity of tropical cyclones

This ScienceBrief presents a summary of the state of the science on tropical cyclones (tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons) and climate change. Thomas R. Knutson and colleagues assessed more than 90 peer-reviewed scientific articles, with a focus on articles describing observations of, or projected future changes to, the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones (TCs) globally or in key regions, as well as changes in tropical cyclone-related rainfall and storm surge.

Warming of the surface ocean from anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change is likely fueling more powerful TCs. The destructive power of individual TCs through flooding is amplified by rising sea level, which very likely has a substantial contribution at the global scale from anthropogenic climate change. In addition, TC precipitation rates are projected to increase due to enhanced atmospheric moisture associated with anthropogenic global warming.

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