Jun 3, 2011

Atlantic hurricane trends linked to climate change

by
Michael E. Mann and Kerry A. Emanuel
,
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
  • States that increases in key measures of Atlantic hurricane activity over recent decades are believed to reflect, in large part, contemporaneous increases in tropical Atlantic warmth
  • States that some studies have attributed these increases to a natural climate cycle termed the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), while other studies suggest that climate change may instead be playing the dominant role
  • Uses a formal statistical analysis to separate the estimated influences of anthropogenic climate change from possible natural cyclical influences
  • Presents results indicating that anthropogenic factors are likely responsible for long‐term trends in tropical Atlantic warmth and tropical cyclone activity
  • Indicates that late twentieth century tropospheric aerosol cooling has offset a substantial fraction of anthropogenic warming in the region and has thus likely suppressed even greater potential increases in tropical cyclone activity