Last updated August 29, 2019

Recent increases in tropical cyclone intensification rates

  • States that rapidly intensifying cyclones are typically associated with the highest forecast errors and cause a disproportionate amount of human and financial losses
  • Authors utilize two observational datasets to calculate 24-hour wind speed changes over the period 1982–2009
  • They compare the observed trends to natural variability in bias-corrected, high-resolution, global coupled model experiments that accurately simulate the climatological distribution of tropical cyclone intensification
  • Both observed datasets show significant increases in tropical cyclone intensification rates in the Atlantic basin that are highly unusual compared to model-based estimates of internal climate variations
  • Our results suggest a detectable increase of Atlantic intensification rates with a positive contribution from anthropogenic forcing and reveal a need for more reliable data before detecting a robust trend at the global scale