Climate change will more than double the risk of heavy tropical cyclones in 2050

According to a new study published in the scientific journal, in the middle of the century, man-made climate change will make tropical cyclones twice as frequent, endangering large areas of the world. Scientists are making progress.

According to projections, the frequency of intense tropical cyclones could more than double in the middle of the century. Image: Triff-

According to the analysis, the maximum wind speeds associated with these cyclones could increase by about 20%.

Although they are among the most destructive extreme weather events in the world, tropical cyclones are relatively rare. In a given year, only between 80 and 100 tropical cyclones form worldwide, most of which do not have major consequences. In addition, accurate global historical records are scarce, making it difficult to predict where they might occur and what steps governments should take to prepare for them.

To overcome this limitation, an international group of scientists developed a new approach that combines historical data with global climate models to generate hundreds of thousands of simulated tropical cyclones.

“Our results can help identify locations that are most at risk of tropical cyclone risk. Then local governments can take steps to reduce the risk in their area to reduce damage and fatalities,” said Nadia Bloemendaal. from the Institute for Environmental Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, which led the study. “With our publicly available data, we can now more accurately analyze tropical cyclone risk for each coastal city or region.”

Computerized cyclones have similar characteristics to natural cyclones

By creating a very complete dataset with these computer-generated cyclones, which have characteristics similar to natural cyclones, researchers have been able to more accurately project the occurrence and behavior of tropical cyclones around the world in the coming years. decades. climate change. , even in areas where tropical cyclones almost never occur today.

The team’s analysis found that the frequency of the most intense cyclones, category 3 and above, will double globally due to climate change, while weaker tropical cyclones and tropical storms will be less frequent in the world. most parts of the world. The exception will be the Bay of Bengal, located in the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean, where researchers have found a decrease in the frequency of intense cyclones.

Many of the most risky places are in low-income countries. Countries where tropical cyclones are relatively rare today will experience increased risk in the coming years, such as Cambodia, Laos, Mozambique, and many Pacific island countries such as the Solomon Islands and Tonga.

Globally, Asia will see the largest increase in the number of people exposed to tropical cyclones, with millions more exposed to China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.

“It is especially troubling that the results of our study highlight that some regions that are not currently experiencing tropical cyclones are likely to do so in the near future with climate change,” said Ivan Haigh, an associate professor at the University of Southampton and the study. co-author. “The new tropical cyclone data set we have produced will go a long way in mapping the evolution of flood risk in tropical cyclone regions.”

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