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CR 27:77-83 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/cr027077

Tropical cyclones and climate change: unresolved issues

Kevin Walsh*

School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3010 Victoria, Australia

ABSTRACT: This paper reviews our current understanding of the effect of climate change on tropical cyclones. While there are presently no discernible changes in tropical cyclone characteristics that could reasonably be ascribed to global warming, predictions suggest some increases in tropical intensity in a warmer world. Formation regions are unlikely to change, while little consensus has emerged regarding changes in cyclone numbers or tracks. Some uncertainty in these predictions is created by clear deficiencies in current climate models. If predictions of intensities are correct, however, changes should be detectable in the Atlantic some time after 2050.

KEY WORDS: Tropical cyclones · Climate change · Global warming

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