Global warming and United States landfalling hurricanes
Article first published online: 23 JAN 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 35, Issue 2, January 2008
How to Cite
2008), Global warming and United States landfalling hurricanes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L02708, doi:10.1029/2007GL032396., and (
- Issue published online: 23 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 23 JAN 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 DEC 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 27 NOV 2007
- Manuscript Received: 18 OCT 2007
- global warming;
- Atlantic hurricanes;
- climate variability
 A secular warming of sea surface temperature occurs almost everywhere over the global ocean. Here we use observational data to show that global warming of the sea surface is associated with a secular increase of tropospheric vertical wind shear in the main development region (MDR) for Atlantic hurricanes. The increased wind shear coincides with a weak but robust downward trend in U.S. landfalling hurricanes, a reliable measure of hurricanes over the long term. Warmings over the tropical oceans compete with one another, with the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans increasing wind shear and the tropical North Atlantic decreasing wind shear. Warmings in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans win the competition and produce increased wind shear which reduces U.S. landfalling hurricanes. Whether future global warming increases the vertical wind shear in the MDR for Atlantic hurricanes will depend on the relative role induced by secular warmings over the tropical oceans.