Report

Deconvolution of the Factors Contributing to the Increase in Global Hurricane Intensity

Science  07 Apr 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5770, pp. 94-97
DOI: 10.1126/science.1123560

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Abstract

To better understand the change in global hurricane intensity since 1970, we examined the joint distribution of hurricane intensity with variables identified in the literature as contributing to the intensification of hurricanes. We used a methodology based on information theory, isolating the trend from the shorter-term natural modes of variability. The results show that the trend of increasing numbers of category 4 and 5 hurricanes for the period 1970–2004 is directly linked to the trend in sea-surface temperature; other aspects of the tropical environment, although they influence shorter-term variations in hurricane intensity, do not contribute substantially to the observed global trend.

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