Increasing frequency of extremely severe cyclonic storms over the Arabian Sea

Hiroyuki Murakami, Gabriel Andres Vecchi, Seth Underwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


In 2014 and 2015, post-monsoon extremely severe cyclonic storms (ESCS) - defined by the WMO as tropical storms with lifetime maximum winds greater than 46 m s -1 - were first observed over the Arabian Sea (ARB), causing widespread damage. However, it is unknown to what extent this abrupt increase in post-monsoon ESCSs can be linked to anthropogenic warming, natural variability, or stochastic behaviour. Here, using a suite of high-resolution global coupled model experiments that accurately simulate the climatological distribution of ESCSs, we show that anthropogenic forcing has likely increased the probability of late-season ECSCs occurring in the ARB since the preindustrial era. However, the specific timing of observed late-season ESCSs in 2014 and 2015 was likely due to stochastic processes. It is further shown that natural variability played a minimal role in the observed increase of ESCSs. Thus, continued anthropogenic forcing will further amplify the risk of cyclones in the ARB, with corresponding socio-economic implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-889
Number of pages5
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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