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Keywords:

  • climate change;
  • trend;
  • tropical cyclone

Given its strong dependence on sea surface temperatures and atmospheric conditions, tropical cyclone activity is expected to be strongly affected by climate change. With observational records suggesting that tropical North Atlantic hurricane activity has increased in recent decades, some scientists have suggested that global tropical cyclone activity will increase as the planet warms. Using an ensemble atmosphere general circulation model, however, Sugi and Yoshimura found that global tropical cyclone activity has undergone a long-term decline from 1872 to the present—a trend they found should continue throughout the coming century. They found that the rate of global tropical cyclone activity decreased by 12.4 hurricanes per century—8.7 fewer hurricanes per century in the Northern Hemisphere and 3.7 fewer in the Southern Hemisphere.