Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hurricane Frequency Is Up But Not Their Strength, Say Researchers

Date:
September 23, 2009
Source:
Clemson University
Summary:
In a new study, researchers have concluded that the number of hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin is increasing, but there is no evidence that their individual strengths are any greater than storms of the past or that the chances of a US strike are up.

This graph shows the number of tropical cyclones (hurricanes plus tropical storms) that have been observed since 1850.
Credit: Robert Lund, Clemson University

In a new study, Clemson University researchers have concluded that the number of hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin is increasing, but there is no evidence that their individual strengths are any greater than storms of the past or that the chances of a U.S. strike are up.

Robert Lund, professor of mathematical sciences at Clemson, along with colleagues Michael Robbins and Colin Gallagher of Clemson and QiQi Lu of Mississippi State University, studied changes in the tropical cycle record in the North Atlantic between 1851 and 2008.

“This is a hot button in the argument for global warming,” said Lund. “Climatologists reporting to the U.S. Senate as recently as this summer testified to the exact opposite of what we find. Many researchers have maintained that warming waters of the Atlantic are increasing the strengths of these storms. We do not see evidence for this at all, however we do find that the number of storms has recently increased.”

The study represents one of the first rigorous statistical assessments of the issue with uncertainty margins calculated in. For example, Lund says “there is less than a one in 100,000 chance of seeing this many storms occur since 1965 if in truth changes are not taking place.”

He adds, “Hopefully such a rigorous assessment will clear up the controversy and the misinformation about what is truly happening with these storms.”

The study, submitted to the Journal of the American Statistical Association, also found changes in storm pattern records starting around 1935. This was expected at the onset of aircraft reconnaissance, which allowed record-keepers to identify and document storms occurring in the open ocean.

While the study did conclude that more storms are being documented, researchers found no evidence of recent increases in U.S. landfall strike probability of the strongest of hurricanes. Lund notes that “because these types of storms are so uncommon, it will take many more years of data to reliably assess this issue."

The research was funded by a $100,000 National Science Foundation grant.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Clemson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Clemson University. "Hurricane Frequency Is Up But Not Their Strength, Say Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090922112207.htm>.
Clemson University. (2009, September 23). Hurricane Frequency Is Up But Not Their Strength, Say Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090922112207.htm
Clemson University. "Hurricane Frequency Is Up But Not Their Strength, Say Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090922112207.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins