Modeled impact of anthropogenic warming on the frequency of intense Atlantic hurricanes

Morris A. Bender, Thomas R. Knutson, Robert E. Tuleya, Joseph J. Sirutis, Gabriel Andres Vecchi, Stephen T. Garner, Isaac M. Held

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

597 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several recent models suggest that the frequency of Atlantic tropical cyclones could decrease as the climate warms. However, these models are unable to reproduce storms of category 3 or higher intensity. We explored the influence of future global warming on Atlantic hurricanes with a downscaling strategy by using an operational hurricane-prediction model that produces a realistic distribution of intense hurricane activity for present-day conditions. The model projects nearly a doubling of the frequency of category 4 and 5 storms by the end of the 21st century, despite a decrease in the overall frequency of tropical cyclones, when the downscaling is based on the ensemble mean of 18 global climate-change projections. The largest increase is projected to occur in the Western Atlantic, north of 20°N.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-458
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume327
Issue number5964
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 22 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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