Comment 121931

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted September 08, 2017 at 15:38:37 in reply to Comment 121930

The evidence is mixed, but the scientific consensus right now is that overall the evidence is still too weak to confidently claim that the intensity or number of tropical storms has increased due human caused warning, although some papers claim to have detected a link.

This could be because the effect of a warming climate is still too small, or because the historical record is not good enough (changes in observation methods, accuracy, definitions etc.) For example, the evidence is fairly strong for an increase in intense category 4-5 storms since the 1940s, but it is not clear that the historical data is good enough to make a convincing claim.

However, there is strong consensus that increased warming will produce more intense storms with more rainfall by the end of the century. The likelihood of very intense storms will also increase. The basic physics means that warmer atmospheres and warmer oceans will eventually lead to more intense storms and rainfall.

A recent paper in Nature Climate Change did find a slight increase in the intensity of tropical storms over the last 30 years, but with fewer tropical storms overall.

There is no evidence to suggest that the incidence of tropical storms is "cyclical", unless by cyclical you simply means that it naturally fluctuates over time (not that it is periodic).

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2017-09-08 16:18:42

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